Lem Satterfield

Rigondeaux eyes Top Rank contract extension


LAS VEGAS — The manager of WBA junior featherweight beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux says that his fighter still is a free agent beyond Saturday night’s HBO Pay Per View-televised defense against Roberto Marroquin at the Thomas and Mack Center on the undercard of the main event between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez.

On Thursday, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum informed RingTV.com that a deal was to be worked out with manager Gary Hyde that will allow his company to promote the two-time Olympic gold medalist beyond the Marroquin bout.

The pronouncement was made after the attorneys for Top Rank and Hyde reached an out-of-court agreement in spite of an injunction which had prevented Rigondeaux from facing Marroquin

On Saturday, however, Hyde acknowledged having received a proposal from Arum, only to say he has not yet agreed to it, meaning that Rigondeaux will remains a free agent after facing Marroquin.

“I met with Bob Arum on Thursday and he increased his earlier proposal considerably,” said Hyde in a prepared statement. “But ‘Rigo’ has not signed a promotional deal with Top Rank or any other promoter for that matter. I am waiting for Top Rank to send its proposal to my attorney, Patrick English, and then I will consider it,”

A written order from Miami-Dade County judge David Miller had forbid Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 knockouts) from facing Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs). But Hyde granted his blessing earlier this week, having worked out satisfactory terms with Top Rank lawyer David Marroso, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm, and Rigondeaux’s lawyer, Guy Spiegelman.

“We have two other lucrative offers and will decide which promoter we will sign with after thoroughly reviewing each and all proposals,” said Hyde. “Tonight’s fight against Robert Marroquin will be Rigondeaux’ final fight for Top Rank as his promotional contract expires after tonight’s one-fight deal.”

Arum said that he still is hopeful of working a deal with Hyde to promote Rigondeaux.

“My understanding was that we had made a deal when we had this meeting,” said Arum. “But now, Patrick English says that there is no deal until the receive the paperwork, which I guess is accurate. But as far as I’m concerned, we have a deal.”

Hyde has, otherwise, expressed optimism concerning the situation.

“I had an injunction against him, and I needed that injunction to get the better deal. I got the better deal, and now, the fight is happening, and I’m delighted that it’s happening. My relationship with Rigondeaux is good, 100 percent. We have absolutely no issues. It was just that there were other people talking in his ear,” said Hyde.

“It was the usual boxing stuff. But now, we’re quite happy. I’m absolutely delighted that he’s fighting. Of course, you don’t want to be stopping a fighter of this magnitude from doing what he does best. He’s trained hard, and he’s ready for the fight, and that’s because I think that he knew in the back of his mind that he was going to be fighting.”


Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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