Nonito Donaire has very quickly established himself as one of the hottest boxers in the world, and one of the most feared men when he steps inside the ring.
Regardless of who he takes on at 122 pounds, Donaire's dazzling skills and raw power have seen him emerge with a number of solid victories and solidify his status as the most complete boxer in the world in the Super Bantamweight division.
His 31-1 record speaks for itself.
Yet as dominant as The Filipino Flash has been, he won't necessarily have it all his own way when he takes on Guillermo Rigondeaux in their HBO-televised bout on Saturday from Radio City Music Hall.
Rigondeaux (11-0) might not have earned the same accolades as that of his opponent, and he might not have the same fan support heading into this fight, but the reality is that Rigondeaux is more than capable of pushing Donaire for the full length in this one.
His technique is sound, his agility can match it with the best in the business, and he's shown enough knockout power to be considered a huge threat to the Filipino's chances.
The 32-year-old Rigondeaux is arguably one of the most technically sound boxers in the sport today, with his concentration and dedication to his craft making him very difficult to break down. His patience to look for the perfect opening might make him seen boring, but against a gun-ho fighter like Donaire can sometimes be, it should hold him in great stead.
Rigondeaux has knocked down every single one of his opponents as a professional fighter, and loves to work the body—something he'll no doubt do here.
Which for Donaire, isn't going to spell good news.
kal yafai @iam_yafai
Just putting out there now don't be surprised when Guillermo Rigondeaux beats Nonito Donaire this weekend.2013-4-9 21:35:30
Donaire has rarely been tested throughout his career so far when it comes to taking blows on his body—at least not like he'll face in this one from Rigondeaux. His opponent loves to find body shots and rarely opens up his guard often enough to be tagged himself—meaning that Donaire will find himself with a serious test on his hands in this one.
The Filipino Flash will likely take more work here than he's ever faced in the professionals before, and against the two-time Olympic champion in Rigondeaux, may well struggle to match his technique, consistency and patience throughout the fight.
Donaire will likely push for the win early, for it seems unlikely he'll be able to beat Rigondeaux on points. Which, given the Cuban's patience and consistency, he'll no doubt be pushing for, and will surely get after working the 30 year old here.
The star of the fight might be Donaire, who comes into this one after winning Fighter of the Year in 2012 and wowing the world with his swift skills.
But against Rigondeaux, he'll find that dominance coming to an abrupt halt.
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