May 17, 2016
May 17, 2016
guillermo rigondeaux

Ed Mulholland/Top Rank

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GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX has been reinstated as WBA world super-bantamweight champion having been stripped of the title last November due to inactivity.

The belt fell to Scott Quigg, who relinquished it to IBF champion Carl Frampton in their February superfight.

Frampton was stripped of the WBA belt for not negotiating with Rigondeaux’s team, as he will move to featherweight to take on Leo Santa Cruz.

So Rigondeaux has automatically reclaimed the strap he once owned, and WBA president Gilberto Mendoza earmarked Jazza Dickens – who Rigo was set to fight in March before visa issues prevented it – and Jamie McDonnell as potential opponents for his first defence.

“We had differences with Rigondeaux’s team, but we mediated,” he told ESPN Deportes.

“They hired a legal adviser and then after negotiations we came to the decision that he would be reinstated as a super champion.”

“Rigondeaux is ready. With the restoration of his WBA World super bantamweight title, he looks at his options and likes what he sees. A title defense against Jamie McDonnell, a chess match with James “Jazza” Dickens, and a war with the interim champion, Moses “Chucky” Flores, are all possibilities.”

McDonnell, a former IBF boss, currently holds the secondary WBA title at bantamweight. He was pursuing a meeting with full WBA champion Juan Carlos Payano, but the Dominican will instead rematch Rau’shee Warren.

He has frequently expressed his desire to move up to super-bantam to pursue the big fights, and his team are currently in talks with Rigondeaux’s over a potential meeting in July or August.

McDonnell’s trainer, Dave Coldwell, told Boxing News: “Jamie’s attitude has changed. He used to all be about the money but now he’s out for respect.

“He doesn’t feel he’s getting the recognition he deserves, so he’s hunting down a guy nobody wants to fight.

“It’s a massive ask against Rigo, he’s a brilliant fighter. But he’s also getting on a bit [he’s 35], he’s fairly inactive and he’s shown he can be hit in recent fights. Jamie’s not a massive puncher but he’ll be stronger at super-bantam than he is now.”

Though nothing is set in stone yet, Coldwell remains confident Rigondeaux would travel to the UK to fight McDonnell, given that he was willing to do so for Dickens. Of course, they would need to ensure the same ridiculous situation with the Cuban’s visa doesn’t happen again.