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Garcia: Nonito Donaire might be more talented than Pacquiao and Mayweather

By Chris Williams: Trainer Robert Garcia believes that his fighter WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (30-1, 19 KO’s) could be more talented than both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Garcia doesn’t see Donaire as having accomplished the same things that those two fighters have, so he has no problems with them being ranked higher in the pound for pound rankings, but Garcia does think that Donaire has more talent than them.

Speaking with writer Chris Robinson at, Garcia said “I think if we talk about talent, Nonito might be the best of them all.”

I disagree with Garcia, but I can understand why he might have a bias towards his fighter, because if Donaire is perceived as the best fighter in boxing, and he clearly isn’t and probably never will be, it makes Garcia look better. However, I see the large part of Donaire’s success in the past as coming from his size and very careful match-making by his promoter Bob Arum. I don’t think Donaire is more talented than Mayweather OR Pacquiao. I don’t even think Donaire is the most talented fighter in his own division. Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux look a lot more talented to me than Donaire. The only thing Donaire has going for him is his left hook, fast hands and decent power. You take away his left hook, he’s just a fighter with fast hands and decent but not great power. He can’t do the things that Pacquiao and Mayweather. Those guys are a lot more versatile. They don’t just rely on a left hook. If you shut down their hooks, they have a lot more tools to use. Garcia needs to teach Donaire some game because he’s pretty limited as far as I can tell.

Up until now, Donaire has been much taller than his opponents while fighting at flyweight, super flyweight and the bantamweight division. He’s now fighting at super bantamweight where guys are roughly the same size as him, yet he’s not fighting the two fighters – Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux that are considered the best in the division.

Donaire is bigger than them too, but he’s still not fighting. I think Donaire’s success has come from his size and the fact that his promoter Bob Arum seems to be steering him around Rigondeaux and Mares. Donaire also never fought Anselmo Moreno when Donaire fought at bantamweight. Instead, he fought Fernando Montiel, a small fighter that is more of a flyweight than a bantamweight.

It’s easy to say that Donaire is the most talented fighter in boxing when he’s not fighting the top guys like Moreno, Mares and Rigondeaux. I guess Garcia can keep saying it while Donaire beats up little Jorge Arce, another fighter much smaller than him. I don’t think Garcia understands how much bigger Donaire is than his opponents, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in Donaire fighting Rigondeaux.

Garcia really tap danced around that one when interviewed recently, saying that Rigondeaux needs more experience, despite the fact that Rigondeaux had over 400 fights as an amateur and won two Olympic Gold medals for Cuba. Garcia is saying that because Donaire has fought a little more than Rigondeaux at the pro level, Rigondeaux lacks experience. It just makes Garcia seem like he’s making excuses not to have his fighter take a real challenge to where he could potentially lose. That in turn would make Garcia look bad.

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