Who were all those so-called “boxing fans” booing at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday night? Surely they didn’t have the ignorance to boo the Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux fight which ended up exceeding expectations.
If you weren’t pleased with the skill both fighters, especially Rigondeaux, displayed on Saturday night, then I suggest you head to your nearest mirror and seriously ask yourself if you’re a “boxing fan” or just “fight fan.”
Anyone who is a fan of the technical skill behind the sweet science enjoyed every second of Guillermo Rigondeaux’s masterful performance over Nonito Donaire.
I scored every round except one for Rigondeaux who eventually won a unanimous decision on the official scorecards. The in-house judges had the fight much closer than it actually was, but that’s to be expected when Donaire was the obvious fan favorite.
The Filipino Flash got outclassed by his Cuban opponent. Rigondeaux has complete control of the fight and made Donaire look like an amateur at several times throughout the 12-round bout. Donaire couldn’t catch him, couldn’t hurt him and couldn’t out-smart him.
Not only was Donaire outclassed during the fight, he continued to be outclassed by Rigondeaux in the post-fight interview. Instead of admitting that he was simply schooled by the superior opponent, Donaire had every excuse in the book. First he blamed a shoulder injury that he has apparently been holding off for quite some time. After the audience booed his shoulder excuse, Donaire decided to blame his preparation. He tried telling everyone that he didn’t prepare for the fight nor study for Rigondeaux’s style. When asked about fighting Rigondeaux again, Donaire had yet another excuse by trying to explain that he has outgrown the weight class.
Meanwhile, Rigondeaux had nothing but positive things to say about his opponent.
Throughout the years, many fight fans have tried to convince themselves that Nonito Donaire is the next Manny Pacquiao. Even though they’re Filipinos, the two have nothing in common. Donaire may have just as much natural talent as Pacquiao, but he has never had the heart of a champion. Talent-wise, Donaire is a top 10 pound for pound fighter, but talent alone cannot make you an all-time great.
Nonito Donaire has never liked to trade punches and he has always shied away from opponents that can match him in talent. On Saturday night at Radio City Music Hall, we finally found out why.
When Donaire faces someone he can’t bully based on a size advantage, he is a completely different fighter. Rigondeaux proved to have superior boxing skills and a fighter’s heart to boot. Whenever Donaire was lucky enough to land a punch on his super quick, savvy and hard to catch opponent, Rigondeaux always answered back by landing hard blows of his own.
There was no way Rigondeaux was going to be bullied or beaten by an overrated Nonito Donaire.
The only negative thing I can say about Guillermo Rigondeaux is the fact that he waited so long to turn professional. How dare he rob us of the opportunity to see his masterful boxing skills for so long. He may only have two or three years left in the prime of his career, but it is hard to envision anyone beating him at super bantamweight.
At the end of the day, Nonito Donaire may have more fans and plenty of excuses, but we now know Guillermo Rigondeaux is a much better boxer.