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Filipino prospect Drian “Hands of Gold” Francisco is reported to have a shot of ex-Cuban Olympic gold medalist Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux in the undercard of the fight between Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce in Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, USA on December 17. I told to myself that this could be a chance of another Filipino to become a world champion.
However, in an article written by Ed de la Vega of Philboxing.com, Rigondeaux 11-0-0 (KO 8) will instead fight Thai ex-champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. That was depressing for Francisco who was in the US for some time looking for a fight.
De La Vega hinted two reasons why the fight did not materialize. First, it is simply “business-wise”. HBO prefer for the Thai fighter because mainly of penetrating the Thai market—also a country that follows boxing. Besides the veteran and former champion has a huge following locally.
Unlike Francisco, it becomes redundant since the Filipino boxing fans would definitely watch because of Donaire being the main event.
Second reason cited that allegedly, Rigondeaux viewed Francisco as a “high-risk” but “low-return” (I don’t know if this is another term for being scared) opponent. I think it is true because in my opinion Francisco would really give Rigo some problem. I know that Rigo is being groom to gain more and more popularity for a possible mega showdown with Donaire.
After Donaire dispatched Nishioka in his last fight, Rigondeaux name afloat and there are some claim that Donaire should fight Rigo next. Nevertheless, Donaire was quick to dismiss the idea that Rigo needs to probe him and fight more quality opponents. This position of Donaire started some fans telling that he is ducking Rigo.
I think if Rigo wanted a shot of Donaire it is vital for him to fight Drian. If he could beat Drian then Donaire might think that he is the one he should fight next. Donaire being also a Filipino knows well what Drian could bring.
However, if the real reason is really about “business”, then what he can do? Boxing is a big business after all.