Mike Coppinger spoke with manager Gary Hyde at BoxingScene.com about the current situation with super bantamweight champ Guillermo Rigondeaux, and the news isn't exactly good. Hyde says there's nothing new on his fighter getting back on HBO any time soon, and believes that the decision made by the network is a disgrace.
"I can't fathom how a fighter with the skill set, power and ring craft of Rigo is being victimized like this. The trouble with Rigo is he is just too good. In just his 12th professional fight he destroyed a pound-for-pound fighter and made him look ordinary. Rigondeaux exposed Donaire and is the only fighter to do this. The penalty for Rigo's destruction of a great is unspeakable."
Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KO) won the WBO and WBA titles with a win over Nonito Donaire in April, but shortly after that, Bob Arum said that HBO "threw up" whenever he mentioned Rigondeaux to them. The idea being that Rigondeaux is simply too dull, and that HBO executives are just not interested in his fights. I took a deeper look at that idea in July, and my conclusion was basically that HBO has never been high on Rigondeaux, and that while the dismissal of Rigondeaux for exposing Donaire is certainly unjust -- especially given that HBO pushed hard for the Donaire-Rigondeaux fight -- it wasn't particularly surprising. There are a lot of factors here.
What I've heard personally of late is there's a decent chance Rigondeaux will fight on the Pacquiao-Rios undercard from Macao on November 23. Top Rank has far more control over what goes onto an HBO PPV undercard than a normal HBO broadcast, and PPV undercards have been Rigo's refuge before, as he's fought on the undercards of Pacquiao-Margarito, Pacquiao-Bradley, and Chavez-Martinez.
If he does get back on the Pacquiao-Rios show, it's better than nothing, but it still stinks that this is the guy made an example of, out of every boring fighter HBO has ever showcased. This is a network that made moves in the past to bring Andre Ward and Chad Dawson over from Showtime, televised a ton of Bernard Hopkins fights, and has stayed in the Yuriorkis Gamboa business even though his fights are rarely memorable and he's beaten no one as good as Donaire.
Keep in mind, too, that HBO has said nothing "official" about this, but I think it's pretty clear that it's not just mumbo-jumbo at this point.