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Judge: Rigondeaux can’t fight on Sept. 15

Fighters Network

A judge in Miami-Dade county has denied a motion by the attorney of WBA junior featherweight beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux that was meant to allow the two-time Olympic gold medalist to defend his belt against Robert Marroquin on Sept. 15.

Rigondeaux-Marroquin was scheduled for the undercard of an HBO Pay Per View-televised main between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

But the bout is in jeopardy, according to Pat English, an attorney for Rigondeaux’s Irish promoter, Gary Hyde, based on a written order from Miami-Dade County judge David Miller on Aug. 23 which prevented Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 knockouts) from facing Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs) because the bout was not approved by Hyde.

An emergency filing by Rigondeaux’s Miami-based attorney, Guy Spiegelman, had sought to change Miller’s mind based on Spielgelman’s assertion that Hyde had agreed to share in a five-bout promotional agreement with Top Rank, which is handling the Chavez-Martinez card.

Spiegelman argued that Rigondeaux-Marroquin is the final bout of the five-fight pact, and that Hyde is trying to extend his contract as a result.

But Miller has denied the argument by Spielgelman and supported his original decision, enforcing Hyde’s request for a two-year injunction against Rigondeaux “prohibiting him from working in the boxing industry except under the management of Gary Hyde.”

“What it does is it sustains the original decision of the court. Mr. Hyde is Mr. Rigondeaux’s manager,” said English. “So Mr. Hyde will continue to obtain the best fights and the fights that are most lucrative for Mr. Rigondeaux, consistent with prudent business practices.”

In the meantime, however, Marroquin has reportedly already begun the search for a new opponent, whom Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has identified as hard-hitting right-hander Oscar Gonzalez (19-1, 13 KOs), of Mexico, a winner of his past four fights by knockout.

Hyde contends that his contract has been in place with the fighter since he defected from Cuba in 2007, that Top Rank placed the bout on the Chavez Jr.-Martinez card with no contract, and that the promotional company scheduled the Marroquin fight without his permission in spite of “lucrative offers” from other promoters.

English said that Hyde’s automatic two-year contract extension went into effect when Rigondeaux dethroned Rico Ramos for his current crown in January.

But Spiegelman said he believes the terms of the Rigondeaux’s two-year agreement began in November of 2010, when Rigondeaux won the WBA’s interim belt by split-decision over Ricardo Cordoba. Spiegelman asserts that the Hyde-Rigondeaux contract should end in November.

Neither Spiegelman nor Top Rank lawyer David Marroso, who is a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm, could immediately be reached for comment.

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]