Guillermo Rigondeaux defeats Nonito Donaire

This past Saturday night, WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0) defeated Nonito Donaire (31-2) via unanimous decision to win the WBO and The Ring super bantamweight titles. It wasn’t pretty, it had about as much action as San Juan’s downtown scene on Saturday night, but it was effective.

On this particular evening, I totally agreed with Harold Lederman’s score card. I had this 11-1 for el Cubano. The tenth round was obviously Donaire’s (scored a knockdown making it a 10-8), and I can see, maybe, an argument for two other rounds for Donaire that were close. However, I can’t help but feel shocked and perplexed when I hear how close some people had it. Amused that Bob Arum thought Donaire won. Donaire was going forward, throwing less and landing less, while getting nailed in the face by a man that proved to be a better boxer. El Filipino looked awful in there as the amateur boxing legend displayed superior speed and sharper technique.

Out of all the top journalists out there, I felt that Steve Kim had my favorite take on the fight.

I found it interesting that some writers like my colleagues, Kevin Iole and Dan Rafael, derided Rigondeaux’s performance as boring and not fan-friendly. Honestly, I don’t disagree. His style is not for the masses. No argument there. But it’s funny, why is Rigondeaux derided for his style and yet others who dot those fantasy pound-for-pound lists not given such harsh treatment for boxing their way to victory? Namely a guy like Andre Ward, who has no problems admitting that he isn’t taking any unnecessary risks inside the ring and that his whole goal is to win the fight. Or a Bernard Hopkins who will never be in any “fight of the years” and fights a very defensive style, certainly their prerogative, but it’s also Rigondeaux’s right to box to his strengths also.

But for some reason Rigondeaux isn’t afforded such a narrative that allows him to box in a way that isn’t necessarily entertaining.

The fight had the pace of “Jeanne Dielman”, but like Akerman’s masterpiece, I enjoyed seeing a Rigondeaux display his craft. I agree that it wasn’t “fan-friendly” but seeing Rigondeaux dominate the much-hyped Donaire so effortlessly made the fight more fun than I would have thought otherwise.

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