Donaire vs. Rigondeaux: When size isn’t enough to win
By Chris Williams: There’s little question that the hulking 5’7” WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KO’s) will have a huge height and weight advantage over WBA World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO’s) in their fight a month from now on April 13th on HBO at the Radio City Music Hall, in New York, New York, USA.
If being the bigger guy was all that Donaire needed to win this fight then he’d have no problems winning it because he’s three inches taller and will likely be close to 15 pounds heavier than Rigondeaux when they set inside the ring on April 13th.
Rigondeaux walks around at 126 lbs. in between fights, which means he comes into his super bantamweight fights right at the weight that he’s fighting at without having to dehydrate down to make the fight.
In contrast, Donaire is someone that has to take weight off to make the 122 pound limit for the division. In their recent press conference to announce the fight, Donaire looked like a legitimate lightweight [135 lbs], and he didn’t look at all fat.
Donaire looked like a solid 135 or possibly even 140. He looked like someone that could be fighting at either lightweight or light welterweight. Okay, so Donaire is going to have a huge, huge size advantage over the 5’4” Rigondeaux next month, and I’m guessing it’ll be at least a 15 pound weight advantage after he rehydrates following the weigh-in. So it could be Rigondeaux fighting at 122 right on the button against Donaire weighing 137 to 140.
It’s going to be a lot of weight. However, I still don’t see Donaire’s size helping him in this fight because he’s facing such a skilled fighter in the Cuban Rigondeaux.
When you have a fighter that is as quick and as dangerous as Rigondeaux is with his counter punching ability, it really doesn’t matter that he’s going to be giving away from weight to Donaire. His speed, power, defensive skills and overall talent will be enough to make up for what he lacks in size.
Rigondeaux has been in with some big guys like Teon Kennedy and Roberto Marroquin, but it didn’t matter. He was still able to get the better of them because of his speed and skills.
I suspect the same thing is going to happen in the Donaire fight. Rigondeaux will be able to get the better of Donaire, and possibly even score a knockout by landing a quick body shot once he realizes what Donaire is keying on in terms of his punch arsenal.