Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux: (In)Experience Key to Bout

Jeremy HerrigesCorrespondent IApril 11, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  Guillermo Rigondeaux poses for a photo with his belts after knocking out Teon Kennedy during their WBA super bantamweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

This Saturday, New York’s Radio City Music Hall will host the WBO/WBA super bantamweight title unification bout between “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KO) and Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO).

Both fighters have been impressive inside the ring during their careers.  Donaire is near the top of most pound-for-pound lists, while Rigondeaux is seen as one of the most explosive punchers in the super bantamweight division.  Many see Rigondeaux as a worthy opponent for Donaire, but I don’t.

Guillermo Rigondeaux is a skilled fighter with fast hands and great punching power, but he lacks the boxing skills that Nonito Donaire possesses.  Rigondeaux is a stationary target who is flat footed. At times, he plays the role of counterpuncher, but Donaire is fast enough to make him pay for his lack of movement. 

Some people think that Rigondeaux is a dangerous opponent for Donaire simply because he is a southpaw, but Donaire in the past has matched up well with southpaws.  Two of Donaire’s most impressive wins were against Toshiaki Nishioka and Vic Darchinyan, who are both southpaws.  The result in both fights was a Nonito Donaire victory via knockout. 

The biggest gap between Donaire and Rigondeaux is the experience factor.  Rigondeaux has only fought 11 professional fights to Donaire’s 32.  Donaire’s experience allows him to ad-lib during a fight.  This is a skill that Rigondeaux has not yet learned.

In the end, Donaire is going to win this fight.  No man has been able to deliver a loss to Rigondeaux’s record yet, but Donaire will and I believe that he will do so by way of knockout.  I don’t think
Rigondeaux is going to make it past the ninth round. 

If this happens, then Donaire is one step closer to reaching the same status that Manny Pacquiao enjoyed during the pinnacle of his career.  This could be a defining moment in Nonito Donaire’s legacy.