If Nonito Donaire isn't impressed with Guillermo Rigondeaux yet, I'm willing to bet he soon will be. Donaire scoffed at the notion that Rigondeaux's 400-plus amateur fights make up for his limited professional career.
Per Alexis Terrazas of the San Francisco Examiner, Donaire said:
There’s nothing out there like being in the pro game, I’ve known guys with 600 fights in the amateurs and not make it in the professional level. But he is talented, he is a champion ... again, that inexperience is just gonna give him chills, and he’s gonna to doubt himself. That’s what inexperienced fighters do.
Even though I'm sure Donaire has watched video of Rigondeaux and seen the obvious skills El Chacal possesses, it sounds as if he's still hung up on his record. He discusses the issue a bit more here in this video:
This could ultimately be very dangerous for him.
When you look at Rigondeaux fight, the last label that should come to your mind is inexperienced. The 32-year-old fights with excellent poise, balance and remarkable boxing fundamentals.
I'm not taking anything away from Donaire. He is one of the three best fighters in the world, but I can't help but feel as though he isn't giving Rigondeaux his due.
The early rounds of this fight should be very telling. Donaire is naturally aggressive and based on his desire to please and make a statement, he'll probably come out looking to prove he is superior early on.
Is Donaire overconfident?
If he is able to rock Rigondeaux with one of his signature left hooks, he could be well on his way to an impressive victory. If he has trouble finding his target early—which is what I predict—this will be a classic bout in which Donaire will have to dig deep to win.
Rigondeaux is very crafty defensively and he's an excellent counterpuncher—especially to the body. He has long arms that allow him to be effective from distance.
Donaire has never faced a fighter like him, and I think that is the point he's missing—at least, that's the impression he's giving. Perhaps he is just trying to come off a bit dismissive as part of some sort of gamesmanship, but I don't think that is the case.
I tentatively predicted Rigondeaux would win this fight by decision, and I'm sticking to that. Donaire's disrespect for his opponent's experience makes me a little more confident.
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