Last night Nonito Donaire suffered his first loss in 12 years at the hands of two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Rigondeaux, in just his 12th professional fight, managed to out class the ‘2012 fighter of the year’ in pretty much every round bar the 10th. Donaire had a short moment of success in 10th round when he switched to southpaw and landed a huge overhand left which put Rigondeaux on his back. However, the rest of the fight was all Rigondeaux - staying outside, circling away from Donaire’s powerful left hook and using his sharpness and precision to land counter punches at will. Donaire, in an attempt to capitalise on Rigondeaux’s alleged questionable chin, was head hunting and looking for the one punch knockout, but unfortunately for the Filipino Flash it never came.
Is Donaire a victim of his own success? Nobody has given him any trouble recently and he even rubbished the idea of a Rigondeaux fight last October, suggesting that Rigondeaux was not ready and needed some more experience. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only reason this fight was made is because Donaire has practically cleared out the division (with the exception of Abner Mares). Perhaps he took the Cuban southpaw too lightly.
While it’s true that this was a enormous step up in competition for Rigondeaux, it’s important to take into consideration that Rigondeaux boasts a legendary amateur record of nearly 400 fights with only 12 losses. I’ll call it what it is: an obvious made up lie. Do me a favour! I’m having some difficulty believing that it’s possible for anyone to have a 97% success rate after 400 fights.
Regardless, Rigondeaux has unified the Super Bantamweight belts, and I suppose the next fight that makes sense would be Mares, provided that Mares can get past Daniel Ponce De Léon on May 4th.
Meanwhile, Nonito Donaire will want a rematch with Rigondeaux, but he is likely to move up to featherweight very soon as he’s struggling to cut to 122lbs. Even though Donaire got taken to school last night, I don’t think a rematch is out of the question. Donaire was unprepared this time, but with the right strategy I like his chances in a rematch.