Guillermo Rigondeaux Will Struggle to Land Big-Name Fights Despite Huge Win

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 14, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13:  Guillermo Rigondeaux punches Nonito Donaire during their WBO/WBA junior featherweight title unification bout at Radio City Music Hall on April 13, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Guillermo Rigondeaux's defeat of Nonito Donaire might have been one had an inkling about, but it was still an incredible victory nonetheless for the Cuban.

In just his 12th professional fight, Rigondeaux was able to control the explosive Donaire—rendering his power hitting completely useless against his solid defense—and scored a unanimous points victory that, in reality, read much closer that the fight really was.

Rigondeaux simply dominated from start to finish and he deserved the win.


Yet despite his control and huge win over the 2012 Fighter of the Year, Rigondeaux will not be able to take full advantage of his stunning victory.

No matter how long the accolades come in for, the Cuban star will not be able to gain everything that he should have from this fight—starting with a big-name fight.

Every boxer wants to be the best, and in order to do that, they have to beat the best. Yet in order to do that, they've got to land fights against the biggest names in the world, which it seems Rigondeaux will struggle to do, even after his dominance at Radio City Music Hall.

All because of his style.

Rigondeaux is a technically skilled boxer who, as we saw against Donaire, is a true craftsman in the ring. He works his opponent, dances around and looks for that opportunity to get a good shot off rather than engaging in a blow-for-blow style. And as we saw against Donaire, that style can be incredibly deadly when utilized correctly against some of the gun-ho boxers around today.

However, it won't land him that big-name fight.

Rigondeaux's hard-to-solve style won't see him land a big-name fighter; Donaire is perhaps more likely to do that than Rigondeaux after this one.

Bleacher Report's Kevin McRae commented on this subject after the fight:

There will be no line of people willing to fight him [Rigondeaux].

You can call that a shame, but it's just the cold hard facts. As fans, you can always appreciate the brilliant boxing technique and tactics that mark Rigo's style, but to the casual fan, that stuff doesn't sell anymore.

He's simply too high-risk-and-little reward for most fighters.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had similar words after watching Rigondeaux completely shut down the crowd-pleasing style of Donaire in this one (per ESPN):

It was not a very engaging fight. If Rigondeaux would stand and fight, (he) has a lot of power and a lot of skills, but running the way he does really makes it not a watchable fight. I don't know what I'm gonna do. I have to look for someone to fight him.

He's one of the best defensive fighters I've ever seen, but it's not a very pleasing style. He's a very good fighter, but it's not pleasing.

For at the end of the day, boxing—like every other sport—is about what sells. At times, it's about what sells more than about getting the best quality on screen.

Sure, there's a time and a place for that, and Rigondeaux will get his moment in the sun one day. But for those wondering if that's going to come any time in the near future, the outlook isn't good, especially after the clinic that he put on against Donaire.

No boxer is going to want to duke out a tough 12 rounds with Rigondeaux; even fewer fans are going to flock across the country to see that take place.

It's like watching paint dry when the Harlem Globe Trotters are in town.

Perhaps Rigondeaux was a little too dominant against Donaire.


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