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.


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.


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.

-Kevin Perry


  • Thought it was a good fight. Too bad Iole from Yahoo Sports s**t all over Rigo for being “boring” and not pleasing the fans. And of course that article appeared on the front of Yahoo where squares will read it and probably believe it instead of judging for themselves. Not that casuals would appreciate a performance like that. Rigo is good for boxing, it is clowns like Iole that are HORRIBLE for the sport.

  • R ANALYSIS From Charles Farrell:

    “Last night Guillermo Rigondeaux was the best boxer, hands down, in the world. Whether he remains so (he’s old, after all; a good deal older than his promoters would tell you) is neither here nor there. He was operating at a level of sophistication, while reducing Nonito Donaire to a novice, that viewers (one of whom was Donaire’s trainer, Robert Garcia) were ill-equipped to decode. Unfortunately, boxing fans have been taught to value effort–the visible trappings of a struggle–more than they do consummate efficiency. It’s not enough that a fighter is trying; he has to look like he’s trying. So if a fighter doesn’t move too much, doesn’t throw more punches than are necessary, feints and drops his shoulders in subtle ways, and doesn’t put himself at risk if there’s a way not to, viewers grow restive, which is what they did last night. I admit that it bothered me to hear the crowd booing the best performance in recent years. People were disappointed that Rigondeaux didn’t engage enough. Why should he have? He won every minute of every round, with the exception of being tagged with a hard shot that dropped him in the 11th (also largely unnoticed was that he was unhurt, and handily dominated the remainder of the round). It’s worth noting, too, that when Donaire opened the final round by going for broke, Rigondeaux immediately upped the ante and nearly scored a knockout (had there been a 13th round, it would likely have been the last of the fight).”

  • The reason why it was easy to pick Rigo for many people is that Donaire is not a highly technical boxer. In fact he’s not even a “mediumly” technical boxer.

    Donaire is in the Naseem Hamed mould – a gifted athlete who happens to box. I think anyone who has been following Donaire since the Montiel fight has seen the issues his lack of technical knowledge and training have caused for him. Primarily I believe this manifests itself in the lack of any sort of fight plan A or plan B.

    In other words, what you see with Donaire in round 1 is what you’re going to see all night long. He can’t make adjustments or adapt, that much was painfully obvious before Rigo.

    After Rigo it’s painfully obvious Donaire needs to learn the “craft” aspects of boxing.

    And a comment about Max – I can’t stand his commentary anymore. The round where he was blubbering about the “skill level, the feints, the footwork, the technical craft on display by these two masters…” or something to that effect was putrid. Yeah, there was one fighter displaying all that – why can’t you just give him the credit without propping up the house fighter in such a ludicrous way. Why does HBO think this enhances their broadcasts?

  • Don Juan, I don’t profess to be a profit but what bothered me was all of these so called experts picking Donaire by KO. In my opinion that was the only way he could win. Too many so called experts that fall in love with punchers. I think thats what happened here.They failed to look at Donaires opposition. Mostly aggressive fighters who he could counter. He was facing a style that would render that ineffective. Also Rigo had power and was sound defensively. Like you said, Arce? He was past his prime, and Montiel as good of a run as he had before their fight, he laid an egg against a way past prime Mark 2 Sharp Johnson. Styles make fights. Maybe Mares relentless style might suit better against Rigo, however he probably gets stopped because of his defensive holes and lack of power.

  • The official scoring was pathetic. Scores were closer than they should have been. The fix was in but Donaire was so thoroughly outclassed that they could not find a way to rob Rigo. Almost though.

  • What is interesting was the scorecards,Rigo winning by 1 point,3 points and 5.Was the fight close???? scorecard shows it was close.Rigo nearly ‘pick pocketed’.

  • Donjuandinero,

    Man, you are way off. I give KP a hard time (out of fun KP), to keep him honest, but I have to say KP has been calling this for a while. He even took crap from Douglass Fisher of Ring Mag for it. KP, Zak, and Pedro get props for calling this. I’ll admit, I’m a Donaire fan, but I knew he was in for trouble, because he can’t cut off the ring or walk someone down (who is not slower than he). Your comaprison of Rigo and Pac is also way off. Donaire knew who Rigo was, because he was hounded by him (Rigo) and his fans (like KP). Plus, Rigo won 2 Gold Medals. Pac came from obscurity, but MAB was not allowed to train properly because Texas commission kept breaking his camp (plate in head) and the fires in Big Bear delayed his camp too. Morales knew about Pac, but still played with him in the final rd of their 1st fight, by swtiching to lefty. Morales was then pressured by Arum & Team Pac to fight at weights he could no longer make for the 2nd and 3rd fights. The first Team Pac wins by weight-drain. Please, do your homework from now on.


  • Lets be honest, and Im being a devils advocate here KP because you always seem to give a good commentary, in that you are fair on both sides but usually make a sound conclusion, but again lets be honest. The truth is that this fight was a pick’em fight. It truly was a toss up, in that we seen Donaire dominant ie picking up fighter of the year honors(which call me a hater, but i dont think he deserved, I mean c’mon, arce, paaaleese spare me, but whatever). And Donaire has less than 15 fights to compare or judge. So to say you or whoever else picked Rigo, just KNEW is just flat out patting yourselves on the back because you GUESSED right. Like a lottery winner saying he KNEW the numbers because he dreamnt it the night before. I will say yes, the fan boys and betting public, bet Donaire, which is why HBO announced the fight as a 2-1 fight, which they rarley do, with house fighters, only when its an obvious mis-match like they did with Broner-Gavin. But also noted come fight night the line went to 3-1 for Donaire because of the heavy filipino betting, which pushes Manny’s line every single time. Im guessing they made a point to point out it was a 2-1 fight to pat themselves on the back for finally having a real ah hem PICK’EM fight for the first time in forever. But Okay I would consdier yourself someone in the ‘KNOW’ like Pedro that can see fluff an substance and that RIGO was the real deal, which I considered him before hand. But I couldnt pick a winner because I felt it truly was a coin toss fight. And although I thought RIGO dominated this fight ala Delahoya did Trinidad pre-9th round chicken run, I still suspected they were going to try if possible to GIVE the the fight to DONIARE which they CLEARLY attempted to do, when they announced that the SCORES had to BE “RE-TALLIED”, which is why it took so long, which no ones even blinked an eye on in any boxing column so far. But props to RIGO, for dominating this fight, like I havent seen in ages, since, WINKY WRIGHT dominated TRINIDAD with boxing class. In that these were two in their prime fighters, at the top, and one just dominated like the 85 bears. And it wasnt all defense either. DONAIRE tried to open up, but as soon as he did, RIGO countered him, not with mauling or stepping around, but sharp lefts right down the middle. DONAIRE didnt want any after that first round. So c’mon KP, I respect your opinion, but on the real, lets not pretend to be prophets. Educated guess, sure why not, but still more guess work than anything. Hell even DONAIRe admitted as much, when he saide he didnt study, which to me means, not much was really known about the guy, like when PAC-MAN first hit the seen, ask Erik Morales and Barerra about not knowing much about a guy!

  • sorry kp! rigo put on a boxing clinic (typo)

  • KP! donaire got school ! rigo but on a boxing clinic. i see why donaire didnt want to fight rigo. had rigo been more offensive minded , i think he would have stopped donaire in like 6 or 7 rd, donaire looked clueless on sat and i loved it.

  • good call KP!

  • Kevin,

    Excellent analysis! I had no opinion about the fight because I had seen Rigondeaux fight only once before. But what speed, footwork, accuracy and defence from him! Amazing!


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