April 15th, 2013 By Kevin Perry
FEELS GOOD TO BE RIGHT!
Los Angeles, CA- Unfortunately I was away for the weekend in Las Vegas for some personal business, so I actually did not get an opportunity to watch the fight until 2am this morning. What I saw was pretty much the fight I envisioned. Nonito Doniare (31-2, 20 KOs) stalking forward ineffectively and Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) picking him off with laser like shots from the outside.
I didn’t expect a slugfest, and I didn’t expect Donaire, a native of the Philippines fighting out of Northern California, to be relentless in his attack because of the Cubans accurracy. In reading predictions from other boxing writers, many who consider themselves experts, or are perceived as such be way off the mark in their pre-fight assessment. I have come to the conclusion that the majority of so-called boxing experts put too much emphasis on power in regards to who they believe will win big fights. Boxing in many ways mirrors other sports in that in a close toss up fight, a championship level basketball game or the Super Bowl, the superior defender or defensive team wins the majority of the time. What difference does it make if you have a lot of power if you can’t hit your foe with anything of substance or consistency? This aspect if way too often overlooked in breaking down a prizefight. Myself, Pedro Fernandez and writer Zack Young were in agreement that the Cuban was going to win and do so decisively due so some of the aforementioned factors.
A CLINIC THAT HAD MOMENTS OF ACTION
Maybe I am alone here, but considering I didn’t expect the action to be anywhere near or as sustained as the fights from previous weeks with Mike Alvarado’s gutsy win over Brandon Rios and the war between Tim Bradley and Ruslan Providnikov last month, I viewed this as a good fight considering the styles of the combatants. Two counterpunchers facing each other rarely makes for a bout where you see a lot of punches thrown and landed. However for the most part the Cuban landed the majority of the clean blows with Donaire rarely landing more than one punch at a time. He appeared to be a fighter who suffered because the majority of opponents he’s been facing are lacking defensively so hasn’t had much need to make adjustments in a fight. Part of the reason Donaire lost his composure and limited his chance for victory was because he fought the Cubans fight the whole time. I do believe early on he tried to get Rigondeaux to lead, however when they fought at close range he still wound up on the end of some truly telling blows.
GIVE THE MAN HIS CREDIT
There are people out there what may say Donaire got exposed, or if he did something different maybe he could have won. My biggest view was Donaire didn’t fight a terrible fight. He was in there with an extremely smart fighter who would not allow the Filipino to mount anything effective. When you use terms exposed in regards to the former champion who is clearly a top level talent, it takes credit away from the boxing exhibition put on by Rigondeaux, whom now holds both WBA and WBO 122lb titles. When the Donaire opened up he got countered with well timed punches, and certain times the Cuban defector created lulls in the action and then would catch Donaire off guard with sneaky shots. He used clever footwork to keep his opponent confused. Donaire’s corner, headed by Robert Garcia, seemed lost and provided little advice on how to solve the puzzle. While official scorecards read 116-111, 114-113, 115-112, with even some ringside media viewing the fight close, watching on television this really didn’t appear to be a close fight. Donaire didn’t really do enough in any rounds to win them except for the 10th when he scored a knockdown. He was outlanded in 11 of the 12 rounds, and didn’t mount much of a consistent offense. For those who think amateur credentials don’t matter , “Rigo” a two time Gold medalist appears to be up there with the two top fighters in boxing today, both who have won medals; 1996 Olympic Bronze medalist Floyd Mayweather (43-0,26 KOs) and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs). All three possess impeccable skills, speed, and are defensively sound. To sum it up defense wins fights, at the same time all three know how to mix offense with defense effectively. For Rigo to defeat one of the top level fighters in only his 12th professional fight is a remarkable achievement.