November 12th, 2013 By Zak "Attack" Young

Rigondeaux Rematch Next For Donaire

Rigondeaux Rematch Next For Donaire


Los Angeles, CA- Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) kept his career afloat for the moment with a 9th round TKO over Vic Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KOs), a guy he had previously stopped in five rounds back on July 7, 2007. Despite earning the W over Vic, this was not an impressive performance by Nonito by any stretch.


Once considered a top five ‘pound-for-pound’ talent by many in the boxing community, Donaire always looked quite limited in my opinion. Yes, he has good power. Yes, he does have some ability. Yes, he has carried these things with him as he has traversed weight classes, but “The Filipino Flash” has also carried his limitations. He has been overrated, which is something I know all about after putting Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KO) in my pound-for-pound top five shortly before he was starched in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez (55-8, 47 KO) this August.


The first time I noticed Donaire’s flaws as a pugilist was back in 2011 against Omar Narvaez (40-1-2, 21 KOs). Nonito essentially pitched a shutout that night and captured a very wide UD victory, but he had difficulty landing anything substantial on a much smaller man moving up in weight. Narvaez used his defense and movement to avoid taking any punishment. This was just a few months after what I view as Nonito’s finest hour, a two-round destruction of Fernando Montiel (50-4-2, 38 KOs), so I decided to give Donaire a pass.


Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (23-3-1, 19 KO) again illuminated some cracks in Donaire’s armor. Though the fight was not close enough to warrant the split decision in favor of Donaire and should have been a unanimous decision for the Fil-Am fighter instead, Vazquez certainly won some rounds by boxing effectively. Jeffrey Mathebula (27-4-2, 14 KOs) likely did enough to beat Nonito, but walked away with a WIDE UD loss. Even if you had Nonito winning that fight, one in which he was significantly out-thrown and out-landed, Mathebula deserved far more rounds than he was given on the official cards, which read 117-110 once and 119-108 twice in favor of Donaire.


Donaire and promoter Bob Arum decided to play it safe and visit some senior homes to find his next two opponents in Toshiaki Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KOs) and Jorge Arce (64-7-2, 46 KOs). Nonito beat both fairly easily, though again struggled to land against Nishioka, who was coming off a year layoff and retired after the fight. Arce retired after getting drilled in three rounds against Donaire, though he is returning to the ring this Saturday after eleven months away.


Going into the Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) fight, many expected Donaire to destroy the “chinny” Cuban. Instead, Rigo carved him up over 12 rounds and had Nonito on the retreat in the final stanza. I knew going in that the Cuban amateur standout would win. The only question mark was his chin, which proved to be rather sturdy after all. Rigo took Nonito’s prized left hook away from him, and made him look like a fish out of water.


A myriad of excuses came from the Donaire camp following this one-sided loss (weight issues, training issues, shoulder injury, child on the way, etc.), but none of them rang true. He was simply outclassed by the superior boxer that night. If they fought ten more times, I would bet money on “El Chacal” winning 9 times at least. Nonito has been exposed as a puncher with a little boxing ability, and has not had a truly impressive performance against a worthy opponent since he beheaded Montiel back in 2011. A guy he beat handily in Vic Darchinyan was able to bust him up and hurt him on multiple occasions on Saturday night, thus I think it is time for Nonito to take a long look at his career.


At 30, Donaire is beginning to get up in age for a lower-weight fighter. He has a solid resume and has beaten most of the people he has entered the ring with. He is also a bit of a one-trick pony. Luckily for him, that one-trick has been a lethal left hook that has carried him to the top of a few divisions. Can he come back and beat some good opponents? No doubt. He is nowhere near “shot”. Does he still have the competitive fire to compete with the best of the best? Truth be told, I think Guillermo Rigondeaux extinguished that fire back in April.

Zak “Attack” Young


  1. I believe Donaire knocked out Darchinyan and ended the fight in 5 rounds during their first fight.

    EJ Uy on November 12th, 2013 at 10:26 PM
  2. You’re right. Too many 7s.

    Pedro Fernandez on November 12th, 2013 at 10:45 PM
  3. Donaire is highly overrated. He gets credit for the wins against Vic and Montiel but against Montiel he looked like he was 3 divisions bigger than him. Donaire has fought nothing but old retired fighters or much smaller fighters. He wasted any momentum he had after the Vic win fighting on them low budget Arum PPVs. The criteria for the reason he was fighter of the year was weak, going by that same criteria they should of given it to Wilder.

    PJ on November 13th, 2013 at 7:27 AM
  4. Good catch. My mistake. The 7/7/0/7 date threw me off.

    Zak on November 13th, 2013 at 8:43 AM
  5. Donaire rely’s on speed and athleticism and when faced with a fighter who can box, he comes confused and doesn’t know how to set up shots. He isn’t really overrated though. He’s only been beaten decisively once, and that was to master boxer.Boxers like Rigo can make most any fighter ordinary. Rigo is such an accurate puncher that he puts opponents in a sort of trance and they stop throwing shots. As for Donaire against Vic, well I think there was too many people in his corner and I think mentally he’s conflicted. Too many cooks in one kitchen and the guy needs to stick to one trainer. I think Robert Garcia is overrated as a trainer. He really didn’t bring much to Donaire’s game. His younger brother is good, but I think trainers sometimes get too much credit. The fighter has to go out there and execute.

    KP on November 13th, 2013 at 3:20 PM
  6. Donaires whole record is a whos who of who the heck is that. When he beat Vic the first time he then was put on a bunch of low level PPVs that Arum used to put on only to not build him up correctly nor did he build his fan base. From then he went on a whos who of old, washed up, way too small, about to retire fighters. Now some of those fighters he fought where very good in their prime but now are really a shell of themselves. So he really gets no credit for any of those fights. He has been in nothing but show case fights and even in some of those fights he looked terrible. Very overrated in my opinion. Now that is not his fault, that is the medias fault for putting him on such a high pedestal. If that would of never happened then he wouldn’t get some of the backlash that he does get.

    PJ on November 14th, 2013 at 10:22 AM

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