As Guillermo Rigondeaux was stripped of his champion status earlier this month, it was assumed that former world title holder Donaire would then battle Juarez for the vacant belt as the pair are placed at one and two in the ratings.
Due to Rigondeaux appealing the WBO’s decision to relieve him of the championship, General Secretary José Izquierdo explained that hands are currently tied until the process of evaluating the Cuban’s claim is fully complete.
“Nonito Donaire vs Cesar Juarez is scheduled for the WBO International title,” Izquierdo told World Boxing News.
“Following the WBO World Championship Committee’s recommendation to vacate Mr. Rigondeaux’s Title, the WBO Complaints and Grievance Committee has received an appeal on behalf of Rigondeaux. Obviously, and in accordance with WBO Rules, the appeals process needs to run its due course before there is talk of a fight for the WBO World Championship in that division.”
Asked if he expects the appeal process to be completed before Donaire v Juarez square-off in San Juan on December 11 and whether that will make a difference to the status of the fight, Izquierdo answered: “That is all speculative at this point. The matter is now in the hands of the WBO Complaints and Grievance Committee— no one else gets involved at this point— but I don’t foresee it taking longer than the end of the month.”
Should ‘Rigo’ lose his dispute as expected, it seems to be pretty much common sense for the WBO to allow Donaire and Juarez to contest the belt as the top-ranked contenders with the organisation – which may lead to Rigondeaux finally moving up in weight.