Guillermo Rigondeaux stuns Nonito Donaire with UD win in NYC: I’ve proved I’m the best!

14 Apr

Alan Dawson – London

Nonito Donaire suffered a second career defeat at the hands of Guillermo Rigondeaux at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 13. In an unexciting yet tactical bout, Rigondeaux continually confounded Donaire with a technical potshot-and-move strategy that was upset in the tenth when the Cuban was knocked down. With victory, WBA super bantamweight belt holder Rigondeaux annexed the WBO world title.

Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
9 9 9 10 9 9 10 9 9 10
9 9
10 10 10
9 10 10 9 10 10 8 10 10

Official verdict: Rigondeaux by way of UD (114-113, 115-112 and 116-111).

Both southpaw Rigondeaux and orthodox fighter Donaire maneuvered their feet into position to launch straight shots with their power mitt within the first minute of the opening round. Whilst their respective body languages lived up to their pre-fight promise that there would be bad intentions behind their respective strategies, there was little to separate the pugilists after three minutes of tentative, cerebral combat aside from one straight left shot from Guillermo that forced Nonito onto the back-foot.

In the second session, Rigondeaux strived to goad Donaire into action using a combination of feints and inviting footwork. Midway through the round, Rigo punched to the body, landed a combination upstairs and had one power punch blocked by a Donaire who was yet to find his rhythm despite scoring some distinctive marking over the eye/brow region of Rigondeaux.

Renowned trainer Robert Garcia barked Johnny Cash instructions during the third round, imploring his charge Donaire to “get rhythm!” to “get rhythm in front!” and “always on the jab!” While Donaire had managed to punch and box his way into the fight in the third, that rhythm that Garcia pined after proved hard for Donaire to find largely because of Rigondeaux’s evasive and intuitive movement.

Any success Donaire aimed to capitalise on in the fourth round was shut down by Rigondeaux with a counter-punching method. Donaire, the aggressor, continually attempted to find a way in with a crowd-pleasing attack while Rigondeaux was content boxing from mid-range and waiting to land one big shot – his straight left hand. Moments before the bell, a millisecond street fight broke out that began because of an accurate crack dispatched by Donaire.

In the fifth, ring general Donaire dictated the pace of the fight. While Nonito owned the central space of the ring, Rigondeaux danced… even sprinted, around the periphery. Even though Donaire possessed a pound-for-pound ranking and a 2012 trainer of the year winning coach in Robert Garcia, he did not target Guillermo’s body enough in order to slow the Cuban’s running. This allowed Rigo to box his fight, not Nonito’s.

In the sixth, Rigondeaux secured the round’s most meaningful punches with a body-bound then upstairs combination. The competitive and strategic encounter between the super bantamweight division’s two most well-known names was underlined by that two-punch move arguably winning Rigondeaux the round alone. Otherwise, there was little action.

Yes, the first half of the contest was epitomised by one-pace but that was something that threatened to change in the seventh round as Donaire, with his fast hands, cannoned a three-punch combo into Rigondeaux’s frame. However, that intention proved exclusive to the beginning of the stanza as, for the rest of the round, Rigondeaux swatted and parried punches away with his gloves in what had become a frustrating, chess-like affair for the spectator.

In the eight and ninth rounds, the pace of the fight continued to be dictated by the Cuban, whose refusal to engage with the Filipino Flash annoyed the sell-out New York crowd. While Guillermo allowed his fists to fly, most of his shots were blocked harmlessly by Donaire’s gloves.

“You gotta think about your family, about your baby,” said Garcia to Donaire moments before the tenth round. Robert, the sport’s fastest-rising elite-level trainer, used family as a source of motivation and it proved to be inspired as Donaire floored Rigondeaux by utilising a short-range left hand mere minutes after the speech. Rigo struggled to regain his composure, showed un-sturdy legs but had enough wherewithal to use the full space of the ring to his advantage.

Rigondeaux had settled down in the championship rounds and even hurt Donaire at the beginning of the final round. Donaire was largely forced to box one-handed for the last three minutes as he kept his right hand tight to his right eye… something that had been swelling profusely, perhaps due to a rogue thumbing early in the round.

When the bell signified the end of competition, Donaire received treatment for an eye appearing more grotesque by the second. Rigondeaux, conversely, mounted a neutral turnbuckle and saluted the East Coast fight fans convinced he had just secured himself the most momentous victory of his professional career to date.

“I prepared myself well. Everyone has their opinion, about my amateur background, but I proved myself [as a professional] today,” said Rigo to Top Rank TV after receiving a unanimous nod by the three judges. “Everybody talked about how Rigondeaux was going to lose today but I proved that I am the best 122lb fighter in the world. I’m here, ready to fight anybody. I don’t hide, I don’t duck!”

Rigondeaux moves to 12-0-0, 8ko with the win, while Donaire dropped to 31-2-0, 20ko.

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13 Responses to “Guillermo Rigondeaux stuns Nonito Donaire with UD win in NYC: I’ve proved I’m the best!”

  1. Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    ha ha ha. yeah rigo is the best ……….in track & field! he is not a boxer byt a track n field player!!

  2. Dizon P. Lacia April 14, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    All the judges are blind! What is boxing for them, track & field? It was Donaire who dominated the fight by constant aggression! F Rigondeoux, the JOKE chose to fight he would b kayoed by Nonito!

  3. Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 5:29 am #


  4. cats April 14, 2013 at 5:39 am #


  5. cats April 14, 2013 at 5:41 am #


  6. Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    there is no bravery in boxing anymore…… all aspiring boxer out there all you have to do is practice running just punch a little then run and you will win!

  7. Adrian Guylan April 14, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    “Everybody talked about how Rigondeaux was going to lose today but I proved that I am the best 122lb fighter in the world. I’m here, ready to fight anybody. I don’t hide, I don’t duck!”-Rigo
    Really?…you just HOLD and GRAB!..oohh..I forgot where ur best at…CHICKEN-RUNNNING!strap all the belts around you!..but you are not the BEST in boxing! but in RUNNING maybe you’re in line with BOLT!.

    • cats April 14, 2013 at 9:25 am #


  8. Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 6:06 am #


  9. Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    the judges better officiate at amateur boxing

  10. Anonymous April 15, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    yes,you are the best……..the best runner of all time,idiot!

  11. boy mcdo April 16, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    i can beat both donaire and rungondeux in one day at the same fight, wanna bet? built a ring with 50m x 50m size then i will run all day. i can easily earn 750k dollars as what rigondeux did.

    rigondeux style is not sweet science, its a cowardly preference and amateurish style. i dont see any science in that. dont get me wrong, rigondaw, is an excellent boxer with v good defense. but dont say to me that he is master of sweet science. sweet science is creating ring general ship, aggressive, throwing more punches, has excellent defense, KO your opponent and not running all day. i see only defense and running with potshots as the arsenal of rigondaw.

    for nonito, move on, for one, you can move to featherweight with ease. two, dont under estimate your opponent. importantly respect him and be a sportsman inside and outside the ring. you suffered a bitter lesson to remember.

    if they see each other again, i see that donaire winning to a very boring fight. that’s the problem if anyone will still buy this rematch. worst case, rigondaw will be like bradley, fighting as champion with no fan base and selling only tickets to lose. boxing is fighting not running…

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