Is Donaire running scared of Rigondeaux?
By Chris Williams: No matter how you look at it, Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18 KO’s) really got jacked up by Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in winning the vacant WBO super bantamweight title on February 4th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Donaire, moving up in weight from the bantamweight division, didn’t carry his power up with him and looked soft and slightly flabby around the midsection in going 12 rounds against a guy that was stopped by Jorge Arce in the 12th round last year.
Donaire just doesn’t look at this weight and all the big things that his promoter Bob Arum has in mind for him – fights against Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka and then a move up in weight – seem more a dodge of the real top fighter at super bantamweight WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (9-0, 7 KO’s). That’s the real champion at super bantamweight.
The rest of the guys – Donaire, Nishioka and Takalani Ndlovu – are little more than paper champions in comparison.
Donaire wants Arce and Nishioka and doesn’t seem at all interested in facing Rigondeaux. Can you blame him? If that had been Rigondeaux in the ring with Donaire on February 4th, he would have so many opportunities to KO Donaire due to the way he kept loading up with everything he was throwing as if he thought he could score a one-punch knockout.
It’s not going to happen at this weight and Donaire is going to be heading for a knockout loss if he ever faces Rigondeaux. If you’re a Donaire fan, then you don’t have anything to worry about because Donaire’s promoter Bob Arum won’t make that fight. I know Rigondeaux fights for Top Rank as well, but he’s not drawing like Donaire thus far. Since he’s not bringing in the huge numbers, he’s going to be kept far away from Donaire. This is something that Donaire could change if he wanted to. He could get Arum to make that fight but I don’t think he will. He’ll take the safe route and hope he can get by Arce and Nishioka.
Donaire make a big fuss out of his hurt left hand in the Vazquez Jr. fight, holding it up in front of the HBO cameras after the fight, as if giving an excuse for why he couldn’t score a knockout. The hand wasn’t the issue. The issue is Donaire doesn’t have huge power at super bantamweight like he did at flyweight and super flyweight. He needs to move back in weight if he wants to get those quick knockouts like was getting because it’s not happening at his weight.