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Nonito Donaire was on top of the world until he was dominated by Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Boxing can be an unfair game at times.
When Nonito Donaire met Guillermo Rigondeaux at New York City's Radio City Music Hall this past April, many were expecting the "Filipino Flash" to bulldoze through his opponent as he had so many before him. The general consensus was that while Rigo was a talented fighter, he hadn't been in the pro game long enough to handle Donaire's power and aggression.
So much for that.
Rigondeaux didn't just beat Donaire, he dominated him in every facet of the game, and he won a much-deserved unanimous decision.
But it'll be Donaire featured as the co-main event on an HBO telecast this coming weekend—despite the loss—even as Rigondeaux struggles to convince the suits at the network to continue broadcasting his fights.
Donaire will face old foe Vic Darchinyan in a rematch of their 2007 flyweight contest, which the Filipino won by brutal fifth-round knockout, capturing the IBF 112-pound championship in the process.
On a professional level, this year has been every bit as bad for Donaire as last year was good. In 2012 he fought four times, winning all in impressive fashion, and he staked a claim to a top-five spot in most pound-for-pound rankings.
But the Rigodeaux fight was a disaster, and it left a bad taste in many people's mouths.
The question is whether Donaire was exposed on that night, or whether it was simply a bump in the road against another supremely talented fighter.
We know one thing for sure, Darchinyan will come to fight, and he'll be willing to engage much more than Rigo would. That should mean advantage Donaire.