Guillermo Rigondeaux def. Nonito Donaire by unanimous decision (114-113, 115-112, 116-111)
Nonito Donaire may have been the favorite heading into this fight, but from early on, it was clear that that wasn't going to be how the fight played out. Over the vast majority of 12 rounds, Guillermo Rigondeaux used technique to outbox Donaire, taking him apart en route to a unanimous decision win. We also knew that Rigondeaux was a fine technical boxer - what was a surprise here was just how technically superior he was to Donaire. All fight, he used brilliant footwork, timing, and movement to connect his own shots and escape anything Donaire came back with.
Well, almost all fight. During round 10, Donaire made it interesting, coming out with a fury and dropping Rigondeaux for the fight's only knockdown. It looked like perhaps the start of a true champion's performance of pulling victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was not to be. Rigondeaux quickly reestablished his game, and continued his dominance.
Heading in to the fight, I said the big question were is Rigondeaux for real, and what next for Donaire. The first is answered with an emphatic yes - yes, Guillermo Rigondeaux is for real, and in fact, he's one of the best boxers on the planet today.
As for Donaire, post-fight he said he'll be taking time off to heal his shoulder and that when he returns, it will likely be up a division at 126. He expressed interest in a possible Donaire vs. Rigondeaux II, but don't expect that to happen right away. Interestingly, he also mentioned that he did not watch any tape of Rigondeaux to prepare - clearly a disastrous choice.
Overall, a great fight for the technical purists, even if it left the New York crowd a bit restless at times. Welcome to the elite Guillermo Rigondeaux, and enjoy your break Nonito Donaire - we look forward to your return.
Check out gifs of Donaire vs. Rigondeaux highlights below:
Here's a beautiful straight left up the middle from Rigondeaux:
Here's the knockdown from round 10 courtesy of a big Donaire left hook:
From round 12, Rigondeaux lands a stiff left that badly hurt Donaire's right eye and caused him trouble for the closing minutes of the fight:
Finally, Donaire after round 12, showing the results of Rigondeaux's attacks: