Nonito Donaire KO's Fernando Montiel

Sacramento, CA– After months of back-and-forth social media insults and accusations of “ducking,” Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) and Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) have finally agreed to face each other at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The two super bantamweight (122 lbs.) titleholders will compete for super bantamweight supremacy on April 13th, 2013. One man will end up with his hand raised at the end of the night, but which man will that be?



Donaire supporters say that Rigondeaux is not seasoned enough as a professional to compete with the “Filipino Flash.” They also point to Rigo’s apparent lack of punch resistance after being wobbled multiple times by Robert Marroquin (22-2, 15 KO) in his last fight. Specifically, they point to the punch that rocked Guillermo; the left hook.


The “Filipino Flash” has one of the most lethal left hooks in all of boxing, and fans question whether or not Rigondeaux will be able to survive his power. This is a legitimate question, and part of what makes this such a compelling fight. What many of those who say Rigondeaux’s night is destined to end on the canvas fail to note, however, is the fact that Rigondeaux is a highly skilled boxer with several years of experience.


Guillermo Rigondeaux

Before turning pro in 2009, Rigondeaux compiled an amateur record of nearly 400 fights with only 12 losses. He won gold in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in the bantamweight (119 for amateurs) division. Though he only has 11 fights as a pro, that number can be a bit deceiving considering how lengthy his amateur career was. Also worth noting is that Rigo has only fought the best possible opponents during his short pro career, and has never fought anyone with a losing record.



Omar Narvaez (38-1-2, 20 KO), Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (22-2-1, 19 KO) and Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14 KO) all posed some problems for Nonito and exposed some flaws in his style. Donaire
does not look nearly as good against technical boxers as he does against brawlers like Jorge Arce (62-7-2, 46 KO). The fact that he was unable to hurt Narvaez bodes well for Rigondeaux, who is bigger, stronger, quicker, and has better technique than the Argentine.


I see Rigondeaux out-boxing Donaire in this fight, though I am just as curious as everyone else about whether or not he will be able to withstand the power of the Filipino Flash. Rigondeaux has a lot of power of his own, however, and certainly has the potential to hurt Nonito to the body. This is one of the most intriguing bouts in recent years, and I can see it going either way,
but I am leaning towards Rigondeaux by decision.

Zak “Attack” Young


  • And also, I think it has something to do with Arum not wanting to match up his cash cow (Donaire) with his other potential cash cow (Rigo). Not until that two already peaked their career or that there’s too much money involved not to realize the fight.

  • I see your point, KP. I’m in agreement with you that Donaire at first didn’t want to fight Rigo, but it’s not just because of the style and immense talent Rigo possesses or that Donaire won’t be able to defeat him. I think it’s about money, same thing perhaps why Mayweather didn’t want to fight Pacquiao before. Fighting the Cuban would be too risky for his marketability. He (or Arum would most likely do as well) wanted to “pump” things up, create something to talk about, while he takes on other talented champions against whom he’s 99% confident enough of winning, and collects the fruit of his peaking “stardom,” before he could fight and risk losing that money. Can’t blame him, money really plays a role here.

  • PeterTier,

    You do know you are proving the criticisms of Donaire right? You’re right, Narvaez didn’t want to fight, but Donaire didn’t know how or couldn’t break down the much smaller man. Didn’t think Narvaez was going to press the much bigger Donaire and beat him into submission did you? Thus, Donaire was exposed (or flaws were exposed, really). I’ve been a fan of Donaire for some time, but fan or not, as a Boxing fan, you have to keep it real. Donaire needs the other guy to press, so he can counter. He has Not shown ability to seek out and destroy his opponent, and can’t cut the ring off on a boxer like Narvaez. Those are flaws, hopefully he’ll make some adjustments and win, but don’t be surprised if he does not. If people here have seen those flaws, I’m sure Rigo and his team have seen them too. That’s why they fight. It’s cool to disagree about who you think will win, but Stop being a fan boy, that’s not cool.


  • Peter, I was just responding to Kurt saying Rigo got exposed because he got hit twice in a fight where he never went down and put his opponent on his back twice, a guy who’d never been down pro or amateur. Donaire is a great fighter, but there’s a reason he didn’t want to fight Rigo. He’s a stylistic nightmare and also I think he believes he won’t get the credit he deserves if he wins and doesn’t do so impressively. When you say he beat guys like Arce, who is a one-dimensional fighter, and Nishioka who went twelve rounds with a way past his prime Marquez, I think in hindsight those wins are nothing special. Thats a credit to Donaire to be criticized be cause you expect a lot of a guy with his talent and ability. I think he has reached his zenith at 122, not as easy to blow away guys that are your own size.

  • Exposed or not, the thing is Donaire beat those guys. It poses a problem to you guys because you’d been expecting a KO finish, you got used to Donaire winning the fight so seeing him just “winning” without KO finish makes you judge him less. And Narvaez, good gracious, the guy didn’t want to fight! He was defending and NOT engaging Donaire. Oh yeah, Donaire got exposed by a man who kept on defending and defending till everybody got bored. And you judge Donaire less for NOT knocking him, and praise this Narvaez guy for “exposing” Donaire. That’s not cool.

  • The only way Donaire wins is if he is able to hurt rigo with that left hook, it will be a difficult task since rigondeaux is extremely slick and a great counter puncher. If the left doesn’t land often and hard I see rigondeaux outboxing Donaire and winning by either KO/UD.

  • Looks like some fans are sleeping on Rigo. Don’t know why. As KP & Joel pointed out Donaire has problems with guys who can box (Narvaez), and guys who have pop (Vazquez Jr.), and Rigo can do both. I’ve priased Donaire in the past, but he does lack something going forward. If Rigo forces him to initiate it will be a long and frustrating night for Donaire. This really is a pick ’em fight, and one that Donaire really found himself in, rather than really wanting it. It has the potential to be really exciting, or really boring. Either way, as Zak pointed out, intriguing.

    Kurt – Broner won’t even fight a Mexican with a Cuban style (Miguel Vazquez).


  • i dare all the other Ringtalk favorites (Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather, A. Broner, Trout) to fight the best Cuban in your weight class. None of them have the guts or skill to beat a top Cuban fighter within 10 pounds of them.

  • PF was adament about Donaire ducking Rigo, looks like it’s going to happen

  • Rigo is by far the more talented boxer. It reminds me of Gomez versus Zarate.The more versatile fighter wins 90% of the time. Nonito is one dimensional and will miss most of his punches. Rigo by easy unanimous decision or late round TKO.

  • Nick, Exposed how? He got hit with like two solid punches the whole fight, one happened because he got cocky and started to show boat. He dropped Marroquin twice. He barely lost a round. If anyone has been exposed within the last year it’s Donaire who Ecxels against face first and past prime fighters, but becomes clueless and frustrated against someone that can box. Anyone can look good against guys like Arce and Nishioka, two guys with one foot out there door. The barometer here is Narvaez. A southpaw who exposed Donaires limitations as a boxer. Rigo is a bigger version with a bigger punch and better skills.

  • Donaire has the advantages on paper but something about his performance in the Vazquez jr. fight raised the red flags. A fighter is only as good as his opponent and knocking our ancient arce and a Japanese fighter who was also past his prime didnt impress me. Nonito talks about Rigo lacking experience but with his amateur stats, I suspect there isnt much that Donaire can bring that Rigo hasnt seen before. True he got rocked but a left hook but Nonitos left is telegraphed and can be seen a mile away by someone with Rogos instinct. Chacal by 11th round stoppage.

  • If Vasquez, Mathebula and Narvaez can go the distance with Doniare, I don’t see a knockout. As far as Rigo’s chin, well he never went down, and Marroquin really is a featherweight and just was much bigger and a good puncher. Tough one to pick, but Rigo has the better skills and is better defensively. He also can punch. I’ll give my prediction later, but this is a 50/50 fight in my mind.

  • Marroquin is the best opponent Rigondeaux has faced and he got exposed. Rico Ramos was a walk in the park so the belt he has was bestowed upon him without opposition. As relates to fighting Donaire, Nonito is hot and Guillermo is not. I think they maybe headed in different directions in that all Rigondeaux’s previous fights and training are taking their toll. A Donaire victory one way or the other is what I’m thinking. Nonito doesn’t stand around to play hand tag but will be busy in a variety of ways that will make the Cuban look less than spectacular.

  • Zak,

    Putting it on the line again, I see. I’m pulling for Donaire, but I can see Rigo out boxing him. Donaire reminds me of JMM’s attacking offense, barely there. If Rigo boxes, uses lateral movement, and attacks the body, I can see him pulling the upset. Indeed, this is an intriguing bout.


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