Nonito Donaire Meets the Press

By Robert Ecksel on April 10, 2013
Nonito Donaire Meets the Press
"I know I have power in both hands. That’s what makes me scary." (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

In anticipation of Saturday’s fight between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux, the fighters met with press to discuss their Radio City Music Hall showdown…

In anticipation of Saturday’s fight between WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) and undefeated WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), the fighters met with press yesterday to discuss their Radio City Music Hall showdown.

Donaire, 2012 Fighter of the Year, needs no introduction. His personable manner outside the ring is balanced by his kill-or-be-killed ethos in the ring and he has been wowing audiences for years.

Rigondeaux by contrast is a wild card. Although he is a former two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist with 400 amateur bouts to his credit, his 11 pro bouts, while all victories, inevitably raise eyebrows.

Donaire was hoping to get it on with Abner Mares in his next fight, and the feeling was mutual, but due to promotional difficulties beyond our control, that failed to materialize. As a result, Rigondeaux gets the shot.

“He’s an incredible fighter,” said Donaire. “Having only 11 fights and becoming world champion—he’s an elite fighter.  I wanted to fight Abner Mares first then Rigondeaux, but that fight didn’t happen. That’s why after Mares fell through he was the next guy in line. We want to fight the best. We want to clean up this division.”

Initially Donaire was skeptical about fighting Rigondeaux.

“In the beginning when I followed Rigondeaux,” Nonito said, “I wasn’t impressed…but the more that I watched him fight the more formidable I see him. He is a really tough guy. Not only does he have speed and power but he does well mentally so I am really excited about the fight. When you do this for awhile, like I have, you tend to be motivated by having a good fighter in front of you and that is why I disregarded Rigondeaux in the beginning because of the Cordoba fight. So when the fight with Mares didn’t happen, Rigondeaux was the next guy in line.”

Nonito was asked why he changed his mind after Rigondeaux’s fight with Ricardo Cordoba.

“He fought better and progressed as he fought different opposition. As much as I can say he hasn’t fought the guys at my level, the more he fought, the better he got.”

A reporter alluded to Donaire’s stinker against Omar Narvaez in Madison Square Garden.

“I think there will be fireworks this time,” he said, before adding the contradictory, “It may be a chess match. We are both defensive because we can see the punches coming. But when it comes down to the fight we are both aggressive and offensive guys, so I don’t think it will be anything near that fight and the people in New York and the people watching on HBO will have a treat.”

Donaire was asked what he thought was Rigondeaux’s greatest strength?

“I think his ability to see punches and to be intelligent in there. He has speed and power like I do. It is going to be who is the smartest guy in the ring and who has the biggest heart.

“When it comes down to speed and power and tactical ability then my experience will come in handy. In terms of pushing through and going all-out and going more rounds, I think that is going to be a big factor.”

Because both fighters are counterpunchers, someone will have to initiate the action. Will Rigondeaux open up first, or will it be Donaire?

“It is impossible to say what I will do because I am a fighter who is given a situation and reacts to that situation and whatever that may be I know I have the power and weapons. It may be the left or it may be the right. I know I have power in both hands and that’s what makes me scary. I have power from all angles and the overhands or I have the straight punches. Rigondeaux has the same thing, power in both hands. But it’s going to be a great fight. To set things in motion I have to put the energy out there to make him engage or do whatever I want him to do.”

Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux will be televised live Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing at 11:00 PM ET/PT.

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  1. Mike Casey 06:40am, 04/10/2013

    “Hell, that guy from wants to ask me another bunch of questions - quick, run!”

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