Moments after junior featherweight titlist Carl Frampton knocked out mandatory challenger Chris Avalos on Feb. 28, he stood in the ring with titleholder Scott Quigg and they both said they were interested in a summer unification bout.
That is a big fight in the United Kingdom, where Frampton is a star in Northern Ireland and Quigg has a fan base in England.
But if Gary Hyde, who manages unified champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, has his way Quigg will be compelled to fight Rigondeaux rather than accept the proposed fight with Frampton (20-0, 14 KOs).
Hyde said he has petitioned the WBA to enforce the mandatory fight between Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs), the organization's so-called "super champion," and Quigg (30-0-2, 22 KOs), the organization's secondary "regular" titleholder and, thereby, Rigondeaux's mandatory challenger.
Hyde released a letter he wrote to WBA president Gilberto Mendoza on the matter on Thursday.
"I write to request enforcement of the mandatory," Hyde wrote, adding, "Clearly as the regular champion Quigg is the highest ranked contender in the division. While he was injured he is now back in training and there is no reason why Mr. Rigondeaux cannot or should not fulfill his mandatory obligations against Mr. Quigg.
"We are aware that there are some discussions about a bout between Quigg and Frampton. However, we have been in touch with the IBF and they will not sanction the unification fight with anyone other than the highest level champion, which in this case is Guillermo Rigondeaux. We respectfully suggest that it is best to deal with the mandatory issue now and request that Quigg and Guillermo be directed to begin negotiations."
The IBF, which recognizes Frampton as its 122-pound titleholder, indeed has a policy under which if one of its titleholders is going to fight another organization's titleholders it should be "the highest rated champion from another organization." That means Rigondeaux, not Quigg.
If a Rigondeaux-Quigg bout is not ordered, Rigondeaux could be headed to Japan for his next defense. On Dec. 31, he got dropped twice in the seventh round but rallied for an 11th-round knockout of Hisashi Amagasa in Osaka.