Rigondeaux Runs Away With It, Beats Donaire UD in NY

BY Michael Woods ON April 13, 2013

Donaire vs Rigondeaux This was no Bradley-Provodnikov or Rios-Alvarado but that doesn't detract from the superior effort put forth by ultra-skilled Guillermo Rigondeaux in the main event at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Saturday night, and on HBO. His slickness, his hand speed, his movement, the whole package was too much for Nonito Donaire, who looked passive from the start, and for most of the rest of the way. Nonito scored a knockdown in the tenth, but that was one of his sole high points; after twelve rounds, the judges scored it 114-113, 115-112, 116-111, for Rigo. This was a display of the sweet science par excellence by the Cuban; the crowd booed regularly, but you had to tip your cap to the victor even if you didn't care for the manner in which he did it.

Rigo said after to Max Kellerman that those who know boxing know he did well. He said Donaire is excellent but you can't win with one shot. Nonito, his left eye puffed up from the 12th round, said he was sorry for not giving the fans what they wanted. He said he got stupid in the last two rounds, and lauded Rigo's "beautiful boxing." He said for last his three fights he's needed surgery on his shoulder, and will have surgery to repair a ligament. Some booed that announcement. He said he didn't jab like he wanted, said it was a close fight, but conceded he was beaten. He said he will go up a division because he had trouble making weight. He also said he didn't study enough before.

The fight wasn't the barnburner both fighters promised. Rigo went 129-396 while Donaire, never able to get a bead on the best defender in the sport, bar none, went 82-352.

The WBO super bantam champ Donaire (31-1 entering; age 30; born in Phillipines, lives in CA) weighed 121.6 on Friday, while Rigo (11-0 entering; age 32; bron in Cuba, lives in Miami) was 121.5. A crowd of 6,145 watched the tussle.

In the first, we saw Donaire's 2.5 inch height advantage, but Rigo had the hand speed edge. He landed a sharp left and a right hook later to take the round. Robert Garcia asked Donaire to step to his left.

In the second, Rigo moved less and Donaire was able to be the aggressor more so. His right to the body scored well.

In the third, Donaire landed a sharp right, his best blow, but Rigo's defense was superior.

In the fourth, Rigo coasted and ate a hard left then did the same to Nonito. It was a tight round but Nonito worked harder.

In the fifth, Rigo ran a bunch, and drew boos. But Donaire couldn't find him enough to snag the round noticeably.

In the sixth, a nasty left won the round for the Cuban. We heard boos again, but Rigo was in control, fighting his fight. Nonito's face was a bit puffy now.

In the seventh, Rigo did what he wanted and Donaire followed and didn't let his hands go.

In the eighth, Garcia yelled for Donaire to "stay close" and asked for the right uppercut. "I want to see more," he yelled. Rigo was again busier, and likely won the round. Donaire was again slow and flat in the ninth, and the crowd booed again. A left hook put Rigo down with 2:10 left in the tenth. That blow worked because Donaire closed the distance, bullied him, and didn't give him room to scramble. In the 11th, Rigo ran, made Nonito miss badly with left hooks, and the crowd booed. In the 12th, Donaire pawed his right eye. He covered his eye with his glove and looked hurt, because of a sharp right hand blow by Rigo. But we made it to the cards.

Shoulder Roll Defense says:


As the famous Notorious B.I.G. line goes, "if you don't know, now you know......"

brownsugar says:



But Donaire has nothing to be ashamed of.

Radam G says:

Exactly! Rigo literally ran to a win. The pro game has become like the amateurs. You can bambi and bytch fight and win nowadays. Wow! Rigo did his amateurish O-Games jive and was able to survive. He is in the right place at the right time. The international amateurs are now running old school pro-style fighting. Holla!

SouthPaul says:

He didn't run but neither was he active enough for my taste. Good win for Rigo, great losing effort by Donaire.

Message to Rigo: be more active or catch the next boat ride home.

Radam G says:

Wow! No way that the judges in Texas will give Austin Trout the win for fighting similar to that in San Tony next week. I will be in Texas to see da haps. Holla!

TioMamoy13 says:

You have to give rigo credit, he beat an off balance nonito, great performance and was exactly how I called it
@shoulder roll
Nice call g

Radam G says:

I agree, SRD! Rigo fought very amateurish. What he did was O-Games-like syet. Not Sweetpea Whitaker or the late, great Macho Time Camacho. Rigo is a great STILL! Holla!

DaveB says:

Rigondeaux deserved the win in my opinion. It would have been nice to see more action but like they said why would he change anything when this was working for him. He threw nice counters, had good foot movement along with hard shots that kept Donaire out of position or hesitant to throw. Even when Rigondeaux got rocked he wasn't buzzed the badly. Perhaps they can meet at 126 after the surgery. It will probably be a while before they fight again. I picked Donaire but I wasn't surprised to see this happen because of the things I had heard about Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux was the better man tonight. Maybe next time Donaire can even it up. He needs a well derserved break anyway.

deepwater says:

Easy $ . The Cuban stunk out the joint and stole the win. Nonito wanted to ko the Cuban and forgot to box. Styles make fights and Nonito wanted the ko too much. I got 5-1 odds so I had to bet on the Cuban .

ali says:

9 times out of 10 the sweet science beats punchers going for the KO. I hate when my boi Donaire goes in there looking for the KO especially against a guy like Rigo. Donaire quit trying to impress the crowd just won't and look good in your next fight. A Nonito had to do was wrk behind his jab and be patient and he would have won the fight now he's acting like a sore loser talking about his shoulder and saying he had a hard time making weight no excuses fam.

the Roast says:

I'm late to the party, just watched the fight about an hour ago. Took a look around see which way the wind blow. Nonito and I severely underestimated Rigo. Rigo controled the distance and tempo masterfully. Very hard to hit on the chin. Constant head and shoulder movement. Never let Nonito set his feet. Every time Donaire did set Rigo was gone or got off first. I wonder why Donaire fought so much of the fight with his mouth open? No body punches either.

mortcola says:

Nonito came off like the amateur. No answer, over 12 rounds. Zip. I'm gonna take the unpopular road and say that Rigo used his amateur virtues like a disciplined pro, while Nonito spent 11 1/2 rounds disbelieving what was in front of him, when what he needed to do was swarm with under and over combos, risking the counters. But he was a deer in the headlights. Rigo might have been a Cuban "amateur", but he was the more seasoned and intelligent fighter in there. I think our chief contributors are in a state of denial with the taste of sour grapes in their mouths after seeing the P4P great reduced to following and not punching for nearly the entire fight. Yes, Rigo was dull. But he was the master, the true pro, while Donaire was a kid who would't adapt. And I'm sticking to it.

TioMamoy13 says:

Rigo did to nonito what floyd would have done to manny no doubt, bobby arum lost again

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

You have to give rigo credit, he beat an off balance nonito, great performance and was exactly how I called it
@shoulder roll
Nice call g

Thank you, fighter with more skill won, which is usually the case.

Latest Articles


Latest Videos on BoxingChannel.tv

The Talk N Shoot Boxing Podcast - 12th Edition - International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductees (June 7)

Live Boxing Coverage

Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?

51.9%   (28)
48.1%   (26)