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Rigondeaux could face Frampton-Quigg winner

rigondeaux5By Scott Gilfoid: The winner of the February 27th fight between WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) and IBF 122lb champion Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) must face WBA “Champion in recess” Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) by July 27th of this year or else their WBA belt will be stripped from them. Quigg and Frampton will be fighting a unification bout on 2/27 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.

The winner of the Frampton-Quigg fight will hold both the IBF and WBA titles. By having the WBA belt, it will create a heavy burden on the winner of the fight because they’ll need to face arguably the best fighter in the 122lb division in Rigondeaux if they want to keep the title.

The World Boxing Association are saying that the winner must face Rigondeaux. The only way they can escape the fight is to vacate the WBA belt, which I see a likely scenario unfortunately.

Boxing is a business and I cannot see the winner of the Frampton vs. Quigg fight face a quality fighter like Rigondeaux. I see the winner heading in another direction towards safer waters by instantly vacating the WBA title in order to avoid a sure thing loss to Rigondeaux.

Rigondeaux was recently stripped by the WBA due to him being inactive for a year without fighting. The WBA was good enough to give Rigondeaux the status of “Champion in Recess,” which means that he can get a shot at the WBA super bantamweight title after the next fight.

“Rigondeaux shall come out of recess and face the winner of the February 27 unification bout between WBA champion Scott Quigg and IBF champion Carl Frampton,” said WBA chairman Gilberto Jesus Mendoza to “The winner of said bout, or Quigg if the fight is ruled a draw, must fight Rigondeaux on or before July 27, 2016.”

It sure would be nice to see the winner of the Frampton vs. Quigg fight show some courage by agreeing to face Rigondeaux with both the IBF and WBA titles on the line for the fight so that Rigondeaux can have a chance of capturing both titles. It would be a way of at least whittling down the names in the division to try and identify who the best fighter is in the super bantamweight division rather than just speculating.

The winner of a fight between Rigondeaux and the Frampton-Quigg winner could then look to face WBO champion Nonito Donaire in another unification fight. Then from there they could face WBC 122lb champion Julio Ceja in a final unification fight so that all the titles would be held by one champion.

Unfortunately, I can’t see Rigondeaux getting a crack at the Top Rank promoted Donaire. Rigondeaux already beat Donaire by a one-sided 12 round decision three years ago in 2013, and I don’t think Top Rank boss Bob Arum would allow Donaire to get anywhere near the unbeaten Cuban fighter. I mean, Donaire can certainly talk about wanting to fight Rigondeaux again and avenge his loss to him, but I don’t see Arum giving Donaire the green light to make that happen. Arum is the one that makes the fights for Donaire, and I do not see the 84-year-old promoter letting Donaire ever face Rigondeaux again. However, I do think Arum would make a fight between Donaire and the winner of the Quigg-Frampton fight in a heartbeat.

I could see Arum really wanting to make that fight, because there would potentially be a lot of money on the table for Donaire and Top Rank in such a match-up. Even if Donaire loses the fight, he can easily go after the WBC champion Julio Ceja and likely beat him for the WBC title. Ceja appears to be an easy mark.

Rigondeaux, 35, is coming off of a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision win over Drian Francisco last November on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight card on HBO pay-per-view. It was not a thrilling fight to watch, as Rigondeaux was simply so much better than the slower Francisco. Boxing fans wanted to see Rigondeaux take more chances with Francisco by looking to knock him out, but Rigondeaux didn’t want to take risks because Francisco was a hard puncher.

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Rigondeaux is now with Roc Nation Sports promotional team. Being with them definitely helps Rigondeaux, because they have the money and promotional power to set him up in big fights.

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