One of boxing's most skilled practitioners will be taking the ring this Saturday night on HBO for the first time since an eye-opening win over Nonito Donaire in April. Guillermo Rigondeaux, after seemingly falling out of favor with HBO because he beat one of their prized possessions while using a style not appreciated by the men who decide who gets to be on premium cable and who does not, is making his somewhat long-awaited return against former bantamweight titleholder Joseph Agbeko. Agbeko was a very good boxer in his prime but has only fought once since 2011. He is probably most famous for getting repeatedly hit in the balls by Abner Mares.
With respect to Agbeko, Rigondeaux is the clear favorite and one of the top boxers in the world regardless of weight class. So, the natural question becomes, who is next for the talented Cuban? Keeping in mind that it's going to be limited to non-Golden Boy fighters the field becomes thin. Naturally, the most obvious proposal is a rematch with Donaire. They're both promoted by Top Rank and, if HBO wants it again, it should be pretty easy to make.
However, there may be one snag to getting the fight made. In an article from the Miami Herald, Rigondeaux claims that he has no problem getting in the ring with Donaire again, but the fight would have to be contested at a catchweight while also having a re-hydration clause.
"Donaire thought I was the easiest fighter out there," Rigondeaux said. "Now he's out there clamoring for a rematch. If he is willing to come down to 123 pounds and not weight more than 10 pounds the next day, I would be willing to give him another beating. I am waiting for him to win another belt so I could take that one from him as well."
Personally, I wouldn't mind a rematch between Rigondeaux and Donaire but I also am not salivating for it. The first fight was awfully boring for long stretches, notably in the middle rounds after things settled down. The biggest highlights came late when Donaire floored Rigondeaux in the tenth and Rigondeaux hurt Donaire in the 12th.
Either way, if we never saw them in the ring with each other again it would not bother me much, and with this weight proposal by Rigondeaux, I doubt we do see it again. Wanting a catchweight is one thing, it's common in boxing whether we like it or not. But the re-hydration clause is silly and likely a non-started. Truthfully, Donaire did not exactly look scintillating up at featherweight against Vic Darchinyan. I think Rigondeaux presents the exact same problems for him regardless of if they fight at 123 or 153. Rigondeaux is just a guy who can match Donaire's talent and is a bad style matchup for him.
Do you have any interest in a rematch?