The strength-and-conditioning coach of WBA Super Bantamweight champion Guillermo "El Chacal" Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), D.J. Montanocordoba, vehemently denies Internet reports alleged by Nonito "The Filiipino Flash" Donaire that, after the December 15 HBO show in Houston, Montanocordoba verbally accosted a female member of Donaire’s entourage during a heated argument that took place at the Hyatt Hotel.
Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs), the WBO super bantamweight champion, reportedly searched for Rigondeaux’ room and later called there and Montanocordoba’s room to address the altercation. Ringondeaux was schedule to fight former world champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (48-2, 33 KOs), who failed his medical exam, in the December 15 co-featured bout. Donaire beat Jorge Arce in the main event.
"I just want to clear my name," Montanocordoba said. "I am part of Team Rigondeaux and wouldn’t do anything like that. I didn’t know anything, if it happened, because I was in my hotel room and not involved. I don’t have a problem with Donaire or anybody in his camp. I didn’t see them after the fight was over. I’m very mellow. I don’t drink or go out clubbing. I concentrate on my job. I talked to a few people in the hotel lobby and went to my room. That’s not my style; I don’t disrespect people. I was surprised by what Nonito said. I spoke to him that Wednesday and told him how much I respected him for what he’s done and that I thought he was good for boxing. He’s a great fighter. I respect him and his wife, his trainer, Robert Garcia, and his other coaches. I was totally shocked when I read the report with Donaire accusing me. .
"We’ll be on opposite sides when if he fights Rigondeaux. As great a fighter Nonito is, I think Rigondeaux is better, and that nobody can beat him at 122. If Nonito doesn’t fight Rigeondeaux, no problem, I can’t disrespect him for that, but he can’t go around saying he’s cleaned-up the division without taking Rigondeaux’ title. Hey, I respect every fighter. (Abner) Mares is great, so is (Wilfredo) Vasquez. If Nonito decides to move-up a division, I can respect that but, he has to defeat Rigondeaux to say he’s cleaned out the 122-pound division, and I believe he is not capable of beating Rigondeaux. The only way they can prove who is better is by fighting in the ring. I’m confident in my ability but, even if I wasn’t working for Rigondeaux, I’d still believe he’s the better fighter. And I’m not taking anything away from Donaire by saying that but I believe it and I know Donaire belives it otherwise he would be willing to face Rigondeaux.
"I don’t conduct myself that way (Donaire’s claim). At the last press conference, I had a direct conversation with Nonito, and I said I admire him and had nothing but respect for him. I’ve said nothing negative about him. He’s has accused me of doing something that I wasn’t even present for and I’m still not disrespecting him. Maybe somebody told him a story, he believed it and got angry. It just never happened."
The animosity between Team Rigondeaux and Team Donaire has been building the past year, largely due to Donaire’s failure to fight Rigondeaux, something that is rumored to happen in mid-2013.
"Donaire wrongly accused DJ of being abusive to somebody in his entourage," Rigondeaux’ manager Gary Hyde added. "I was at the Hyatt Hotel with D.J. and both of us retired to our respective rooms after the show at midnight. The next day, D.J. told me that Donaire had called him but he thought he was dreaming because he was woken from a deep sleep. D.J. definitely wasn’t involved in any altercation with Donaire or his people. Team Rigondeaux has respect for Donaire. We don’t condone this type of behavior, but we’re furious at Donaire for accusing D.J. of this type conduct."
Arguably the greatest amateur boxer of all-time, Rigondeaux is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time Cuban national champion who also captured a pair of World Championship titles during his incredible 243-4 amateur career.
The multi-talented southpaw, now fighting out of Miami, is rated No. 1 by The Ring Magazine, and Donaire is its super bantamweight/junior lightweight champion.
December 28, 2012