By Ted Sares on September 29, 2013
“Rigondeaux's plight will enrage many, but it's the reality of boxing in the 21st century.”

Rigonomics depends on supply and demand as its backbone. Quite simply, if demand is high, prices usually will go higher…”

“Demand creates its own supply.”—John Maynard Keynes, the founder of Keynesianism

“Rigondeaux’s plight will enrage many, but it’s the reality of boxing in the 21st century.”—Kevin Iole (Yahoo Sports, July 17, 2013)

Supply and demand is the most fundamental concept of economics and it is the backbone of a market economy. Demand refers to how much (quantity) of a product or service is desired by buyers. The quantity demanded is the amount of a product people are willing to buy at a certain price; the relationship between price and quantity demanded is known as the demand relationship.

Rigonomics also depends on supply and demand as its backbone. Quite simply, if demand is high, prices usually will go higher. This is pretty basic stuff and a lot less difficult to understand than Economics 101.

If Floyd Mayweather Jr. agreed to fight Gennady Golovkin at a catchweight (which likely won’t happen), the demand to watch such a fight would be off the charts. The price could and would be increased accordingly; PPV could probably charge something close to $ 00.

And this brings us to the plight of Guillermo Rigondeaux who possesses Mayweather-like skills but woefully lacks Mayweather-like charisma and flamboyance, and above all, Mayweather’s product appeal.


“Rigondeaux is extremely talented, but his defensive style won’t make him a star. The electricity that ran through the arena for most of the night and in the first few rounds…turned stale and quiet as the fight wore on, with Rigondeaux – a southpaw – boxing, moving and spending long chunks of the fight going backward.”—Dan Rafael

“Every time I mention him (Rigondeaux), they (HBO) throw up.”—Bob Arum

“I don’t think it’s right for them to abandon Rigondeaux, whatever his style is…He’s still an amazing talent. We have to get him in with a guy who is aggressive.”—Arum, more recently.

“The people I grew up watching fights with, all of us right now are compelled to watch Rigondeaux whenever he fights because he’s the best in the world at what he does. He just shutout a dominant, three-division champion.”—Max Kellerman

This skillful fighter found himself in the strange (and disturbing to some) predicament of having no immediate fight lined up since he soundly beat and dethroned Nonito Donaire on April 13 on HBO and this after only 12 bouts in the pro ranks. After the fight, Rigo found his style of boxing under attack from all quarters including his own paymasters.

After two gold medals, a professional world title, and nearly 500 amateur and pro fights combined, Rigo is a purist’s delight, but that’s the rub. He has faced harsh, if not unfair, criticism with his own promoter stating that fans of the sweet science do not enjoy watching his style

Kevin Iole puts it more bluntly—“Rigondeaux, and the hardcore fans who appreciate him, are [sic] learning a very difficult reality: The percentage of those who appreciate the technical purity of Rigondeaux’s defensive game is minute.”

Rigondeaux said to BoxingScene Radio, “I don’t think I need to change anything. I am a champion. I am a champion for a reason. I am not going to change. I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and that has been working for me.”

Colman Corrigan is in Rigo’s corner and asserts, “The Cuban fighter… has been a winner…he should not jeopardize his flawless professional record to satisfy blood-thirsty viewers and commentators.”

Really, though, does the opposite of boring have to be bloodthirsty?

Next Fight

Finally, and according to “man in the know” Dan Rafael of ESPN, the highly skilled Cuban will next fight on HBO on either December 7 or December 14, though It’s not clear whom the WBA/WBO super bantamweight champion (12-0) will be fighting. The choice could come from one of the following less-than-scintillating names: Victor Terrazas, Jeffrey Mathebula, Jesse Magdaleno, Johnathan Romero, Fernando Montiel, Cristian Mijares, Hugo Cazares, Nehomar Cermeno, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., or Hozumi Hasegawa. If it’s any one softer, the interest (demand) will be close to zero—if not there now.

With the possible exception of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., any matchup involving these fighters will not enhance Rigo’s fortunes unless he becomes aggressive-minded and comes out banging and bombing and, more importantly, take some risks. It’s time for Rigo to alter his style and go on the offensive

It’s also time for Rigo and his management team to get a handle on how Economics 101 works in the business of Boxing. Rigondeaux’s current style is not compelling to the majority of today’s boxing fans. Again, Iole nails it: “If he doesn’t [change his style], he’ll spend the rest of his career in anonymity, fighting meaningless bouts off TV.”

Hidden Agenda

Bob Arum is no dummy and his business acumen should never be underestimated. Maybe what he and HBO have in mind here is to have as Donaire’s next opponent (i.e., Vic Darchinyan) someone who possesses little threat and someone against whom the “Flash” can look flashy. Meanwhile Guillermo gets back on HBO against an opponent with whom he can be far more aggressive-minded while still ensuring victory. Then Donaire and Rigo can meet in an interesting rematch next year on a PPV undercard, or if both win spectacularly, in a PPV main event, though that seems unlikely given the harsh reality of Rigonomics.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Robert Guillen

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  1. Darrell 11:25am, 10/05/2013

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t pay, & big too, to watch this deadly kid in action?  Madness!

  2. nicolas 10:06pm, 10/03/2013

    BIKERMIKE: Regarding your comment that Joe Louis beat the best of his times. Of his twenty five title defenses, only three times did he defend his title against black fighters. John Henry Lewis who I understand Louis was trying to get him a good payday, and Jersey Joe Walcott, a fight before it happened as I understand was fear that not many would come to see this fight between two black men. I also have read about Obie Walker, the last colored heavyweight champion, who according to boxrec, it was said in the mid thirties, he could have beaten Louis, Schmeling, Braddock, on the same night in less than 10 rounds. Louis of course at the end of his career defeated Jimmy Bivens, but I would point out, that perhaps BIvens, who I think had fought the tougher competition, might have had more wear and tear on him than Louis. I am not suggesting that Louis would not have beaten the many black contenders that were around, but I think it could be questioned whether he did he really beat the best who were around. When Louis fought Walcott, many people probably don’t know that Walcott was a few months older than Louis.

  3. Ted 06:39am, 10/03/2013

    Thanks Mike

  4. bikermike 06:09pm, 10/02/2013

    Let’s face it….until and unless there is a WORTHY Heavyweight Champion from North America….Boxing will be behind tuff man contests….

    The plethora of weight divisions and WORLD SANCTIONING BODIES…..can and have given us some three hundred and sixteen WORLD CHAMPIONS….if you count this thing called ‘Interim World Champion

    Boxing has been the author of its own demise

  5. bikermike 05:53pm, 10/02/2013

    Hey TED…...another article out of the park….

    Man…you can write a storm….with attitude and knowledge…..

    It pisses some folks off…that you know so much…

    ‘cept for that Leonard/HAGLER thing….we’re good !!

  6. bikermike 05:34pm, 10/02/2013

    Hardest thing to develop is a good amateur HW prospect ...in the amateurs

    Many Lt HW become HW ...with maturity…..say…..CASSIUS CLAY/MUHAMMAD ALI…f’rinstance…

    otherwise….you get some tuff man contest guy who can throw a punch and take some punishment…..and we call him a North American Heavyweight Contender

  7. bikermike 05:27pm, 10/02/2013

    Iron Mike…..great post…

  8. bikermike 05:24pm, 10/02/2013

    Arturo Gatti got some of that in his amateur career too God rest his soul

  9. bikermike 05:22pm, 10/02/2013


  10. bikermike 05:20pm, 10/02/2013

    pbf will now be known as the ‘shoulder roll’ champion of all time
    The kid was trying…but ....shoulder roll champ knew his opponent better than the kid’s sparring partners

    pbf will be beaten only when he’s grown too old…pbf won’t fight threats at this stage…as if that is a departure from his career strategy.

    A good visit to the washroom ...some sauna time…....OR…cupla spaghetti/pasta meals….

    pbf can fight in four divisions

  11. bikermike 05:06pm, 10/02/2013

    demand and supply….

    In my time….National Funding became available to produce CHAMPIONS…in any and all Sports in Canada…

    Funds flooded into the amateur program….and with lots of ability to travel and train properly…with top notch coaching….

    Michael Olaijadai….Lennox Lewis…Willie de Witt…the Johnson Brothers…‘Cowboy Brown….Milton Brothers…Scotty ‘THE BULLDOG’.......THese were world class contenders and Champions…..who got to get into the deep end of the pool….due to funding…

    Nowadays….as Boxing…both amateur and Pro…is so dis jointed…...it is dificult to get a focus .

    If Canada were to adopt the Quebec model of Amateur and ....distant but real relationship with Professional Boxing…..

    It would be much easier to get a starting point .  Canada ...with so vast a land and so sparce a population…..has produced heroes and champions for two hundred years…

    Quebec is a good model for any North American Body to look at…State…National..or County…

    Funding is all there…no witholding of information or training…lots of funds for travel to attend matches…

    Many times in the Province of Quebec…there will be four to seven amateur matches in the same weekend…...and Quebec can supply all the officials and doctors necessary to host this kind of interest in the Sport of Boxing….

    Good Boxers…even better officials…...very few home town decisions in Quebec

  12. bikermike 04:49pm, 10/02/2013

    remember….when reaganomics came in…..huge payments to agriculture ...to reduce production…

    true…product prices rise…when product is scarce…..especially if it is engineerd…..

    back to boxing…..if big contenders and Title holders are only fighting once or twice a year…...THAT IS WITHHOLDING PRODUCTION>....AND ARTIFICIALLY RAISING THE PRICE

  13. bikermike 04:43pm, 10/02/2013

    Look…when Joe Louis was bombing them off every month….was it that he was just so good…or was it that his competition was not so good…...
    IN ANY CASE…Joe Louis is considered the Greatest Heavy Weight Champion of all time….by some…....Twelve years ..he held the Title…(only one Title then)  Got a gift with Jersy Joe…but immediately closed that chapter..

    Louis beat the best of his time…don’t know if there was a dodge…anywhere along the line…

    With pbf…and the multi division ...half weight Titles of today…

    I’m not gonna put pbf in that kind of competition…...as he only graces us once or ..GASP…twice a year…

    Still ...pbf is a good fighter…..and looks even better when he chooses his opponents

    Nowadays…at a convenient weight to pbf….pbf is winning each and every match he will accept (BIG ASTREX THERE !!)

    Ne’re the less….in todays stalwart and

  14. bikermike 04:31pm, 10/02/2013

    After reagan economics got to play for the two terms and a half….it turns out that the ‘trickle down’ ..massive tax breaks given to the corp funding interests of the Republican Party of the day….never trickled down much past that point.

    Ditto for Boxing….USA is out of an amateur program…out of the major leagues in Pro Boxing…and no longer hosts HW CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING…as the Klitschko’s do very well abroad….

    USA PROMOTERS HAVE PRICED THEMSELVES OUT OF WORK…...and so ...no interest in USA amateurs…..just looking to snag some Cuban…or Eastern trained Amateur…

  15. Ted 02:42pm, 10/02/2013

    I’m beginning to think that the “most” may not be as big as we might suspect.

  16. Tex Hassler 02:39pm, 10/02/2013

    Most of today’s fans are more interested in seeing blood shed and violence than appreciating the skills of a great boxer like Rigondeax.

  17. Ted 06:14am, 10/02/2013

    Big Walter has the beat

  18. Ted 05:39am, 10/02/2013

    Peter, ok ok, but not MOLINA. He is pure awful to watch.

  19. Don from Prov 04:46am, 10/02/2013

    +1 for Mr. Silkov

  20. Peter Silkov 03:05am, 10/02/2013

    Id rather watch Rigo fight than watch either Chavez JR or Alvarez anyday.  The difference between how Rigo and Chavez jr have been treated is a great example of all that is wrong with boxing today imo and why Bob Arum is a toad, (to put it politely!).

  21. Peter Silkov 02:56am, 10/02/2013

    Very interesting article Ted, as always.  I do find it interesting that people think Rigo needs to learn English in order to be an attraction, I don’t see the language barrier being a problem for Saul Alvarez now or Roberto Duran in the past!.  I feel Rigo has been treated despicably by Arum and HBO… with a back story like Rigo’s, if Arum cant sell that, then he’s a crap promoter, simple as that.  As for being boring I think anyone who finds Rigo boring find the sweet science boring.  I like the sluggers, Saad Muhammad, Gatti, Animal Fletcher, etc but I like the pure boxers too, even the spoilers and the out and out runners at times.  I even like Molina! and think he gets a raw deal!.  Maybe theres something wrong with me! lol!.

  22. BIG WALTER 09:40pm, 10/01/2013

    I guess I am hopeless but I like technically-minded fighters who are slick and defensive-minded. Terrence Crawford is one that comes to mind. He also can get someone out of there. He is like Pernell Whitaker.

  23. Ted 10:52am, 10/01/2013


  24. Don from Prov 09:17am, 10/01/2013

    Ah, is that the old whore/Madonna thing—
    But turned into “throw you/don’t throw you” moment.

    I think that sharks “smile” too :)

  25. Mike Casey 09:11am, 10/01/2013

    That was his missus, Don - as opposed to his various mistresses.

  26. Don from Prov 09:08am, 10/01/2013

    Was that before or after throwing them off balconies, Mr. Casey?

  27. Mike Casey 08:47am, 10/01/2013

    Monzon only smiled at women, Don. Pretty much any woman would do.

  28. Don from Prov 08:37am, 10/01/2013

    or better still—-just damn fight

  29. Don from Prov 08:36am, 10/01/2013

    How often did Carlos Monzon smile?
    And what is it about the “need” to learn english—-

    ‘Merica might barely be around in a few years: Learn Chinese


  30. Ted 08:20am, 10/01/2013

    Good post, Prov, but I add that he needs to polish up his public image a tad. Smile more and learn a few English words like hello, thank you, I am trying to learn the language, etc. etc. Just a tweak (no pun intended) would help him immensely.

    But I repeat, his Team is clueless.

  31. Don from Prov 07:51am, 10/01/2013

    I don’t think what you’re talking about is unique to the 21st century—
    But, like many things is more bottom line reality now.

    Factor in a smaller and less knowledgeable boxing fan base and that =
    potential trouble for Rigo: Yet, I would not change my style if I were him
    (maybe a tweak or two, tiny, to bring his power into play more often)
    He should do his thing and see where it takes him, beating a couple of more
    top fighters could make him pretty much unavoidable, so who know?

  32. ted 05:40am, 10/01/2013

    Excellent idea Mike. I’m almost certain someone might just steal it.

  33. Mike Casey 03:45am, 10/01/2013

    One of the most successful advertising campaigns of the sixties featured a picture of a Volkswagen accompanied by a one-word, self-deprecating headline: LEMON. The other ad agencies couldn’t figure it out but the car was bought by thousands of Americans. I wonder what the response would be to a picture of Guillermo Rigondeaux with the accompanying word: BOXER.

  34. kid vegas 05:57pm, 09/30/2013

    Actually I like him and I like to watch him. Count me in as a purist.

  35. Ted 11:25am, 09/30/2013

    Films of Molina fights are used to torture captured terrorists. The Geneva Convention is stepping in, however.

  36. Stephanie 11:05am, 09/30/2013

    Ted, thanks for your warning about Molina. (I’m not familar with the current many alphabet soup stars and have no aspirations to become so.) 

    Iron Mike, the story you propose to market Rigo would not appeal to me, (too often heard, and no I don’t want to feel pity for fighters).

    Am I the only one who thinks of Buster Keaton when watching Rigo? I don’t have a story in mind, but in order to market Rigo, I would focus on his nerdiness and try to work out the charming side of it.

    Nicolas, Germany is a developing country in boxing, even though there is not that much development. Ottke was constantly criticized for being boring, hiding and running, but he was hyped, and the hype payed off.

  37. nicolas 10:30am, 09/30/2013

    A boxer today is not a fighter, he is a commodity. Some fighters have become bigger than the sport itself, and this is partially due to not having the weekly, or more likely monthly boxing shows that may have been in American cities at one time. Also Rigo has to compete for the boxing or fight fans dollars with many other fighters and champions in the USA. many years ago, when Henry Maske was champion, there was a magazine article (perhaps in Ring) which did not understand why people in Germany were flocking to see Maske defend his light heavyweight title, as they consider him boring. Well of course, it was supply and demand. talk about boring, and even somewhat showing the unfairness of boxign judging, was not the not very exciting Sven Otke also a big draw in Germany? I might even suggest, that if Rigo were a fighter born in the USA, of Irish descent, might his fortunes be different?

  38. IRON MIKE 10:05am, 09/30/2013

    It seems to me that HBO are trying to turn out boxers like music promoters are turning out boy bands—good looks good story skills c or b at most and they go on overdrive selling it to the public, it takes real fight fans and great writers to really tell the not so informed public what is going on, even the guys doing commentary are in on the selling , look at Berto vs Jan Zaveck they were saying he was like homicide Hank FFs-and when they were selling Ortiz—they never once mentioned that he quit against Maidana in the 24/7 with Floyd—HBO has really lost its way in the last few years, HBO to me has just as much power as ARUM-WBC-WBA-IBF and yet they sell boxing like pimps- Lets hope they get back to the roots and push for the big fights and great cards we use to get, they need to realize ARUM don’t really have any place to go in America-they are holding all the cards—Anyways Thanks Ted for allowing me to go off—PEACE

  39. ted 09:53am, 09/30/2013

    Back later, I have to continue with my poll to see how much more popular lice, sewer rats, root canal, and cockroaches are than members of Congress

  40. Ted 09:49am, 09/30/2013

    That’s good stuff IM. It’s a great story. Unlike Solis who has gotten fat and lazy.

  41. IRON MIKE 09:47am, 09/30/2013

    They have the perfect story line, A young over the top talented boxer breaks away from the Castro strong hold -breaks out of poverty , he knows he is something special, learned that America was an evil place but knew deep in his heart that was a lie, wanted the American dream leaves his family for a life in exile from his family and country to chase the American dream—the HYPE machine would go over the radar with that story, and his amateur background his dismantling of Donaire wow it is like it is scripted—this is an easy hype job and an honest one, Arum and HBO are making a big mistake on this one-also from what i seen Saturday nite we all know that HBO does not = an HONEST BOB OPERATION—PEACE

  42. Ted 09:25am, 09/30/2013

    IRON MIKE, thanks as always, mate. I totally agree that Arum, etc. could hype Rigo. I think their criticism was over the top an d they reacted to writers like Iole too quickly. At some point, Rigo will be a major star—-just not anytime soon. He needs marketing and his current team is clueless when it comes to that.

    I would gladly offer my help at a “nominal fee.”

  43. Ted 09:18am, 09/30/2013

    Stephanie , so do I. I will watch him whenever he fights. But one caveat, If it’s against Carlos Molina, you will have to drag me with a pickup to watch that form of torture.

  44. Ted 09:16am, 09/30/2013

    kid vegas, I think that one belongs on my last post, but I can well understand how that was MORE exciting than Rigo

  45. IRON MIKE 09:16am, 09/30/2013

    Great stuff as always SIR TED, I don’t believe Arum at all, or HBO for that matter, They could easily put the hype machine on this kid and build him up—look what they did with Berto, a c-b level fighter at most, but they had the public starting to believe he was the next big thing—they build Ortiz up like a killer for the floyd fight, but the fight fan in the know knew he was a weak minded fighter—and they did a great job with the Ghost also, If the HBO/TOPRANK hype machine could sell these fighters then they could easily sell Rigo who really has the skill to back up the HYPE, great stuff as always. Thanks SIR TED

  46. Stephanie 09:16am, 09/30/2013

    Ted, you nailed it. That’s the business part. I hope very much, he gets it done, because I want to see him in big fights.

  47. Ted 09:15am, 09/30/2013

    Thanks Magoon LMAO!

  48. kid vegas 09:10am, 09/30/2013

    The one that hooked me was Chacon vs. Limon. Bobby was losing but pulled it out at the end with a knockdown of Limon and I threw my beer up in the air and screamed as loud as I could. That did it.

  49. Magoon 08:47am, 09/30/2013

    It’s clever, I’ll say that, but Rigo is boring enough without the Keynesian approach!

  50. Joe 07:52am, 09/30/2013

    I think Rigo is a master at his craft and enjoy his matchups.  Real fight fans appreciate his talent and certainly weren’t surprised when he outclassed the “Flash”

  51. seth roadm 07:30am, 09/30/2013

    I have never seen any boxing talent like this rigondeaux kid, geezz incredible!

  52. Ted the Bull 07:14am, 09/30/2013

    Stephanie, Absolutely. It has done wonders for Cotto and GGG. Learn the US culture and language, Fans appreciate this; they appreciate the effort.

    Rigo (and Lara) and not let the softer life here impact them as it has other Cuban defectors. They have remained dedicated to their craft. Now they need to get a Simonize job on their aura. It should be part of the training camp.

    To sell a product, you need to create appeal.

  53. Your Name 06:54am, 09/30/2013

    If a fighter is boring, no one will watch him and tickets will dry up. That’s a fact your name. That’s Rigonomics in a NUTshell

  54. Stephanie 06:53am, 09/30/2013

    Ted the Bull and Djata:
    I agree. And in the promoters and/or managers shoes, first thing I’d do with Rigo would be to give him a communication coach to teach and train him for the interviews ;)

  55. Djata Bumpus 06:41am, 09/30/2013

    Supply and demand is simply an excuse to be greedy!....A fighter’s marketability has everything to do with his or her manager’s relationship to a successful promoter…Plenty of undeserving fighters get shots.

  56. Ted the Bull 06:24am, 09/30/2013

    Stephanie, Mayweather proved it with a combination of flash, skill, and flamboyance. Rigo has the skill, but not the other.

  57. Ted the Bull 06:22am, 09/30/2013

    Gajjers , Broner is an excellent example of what I am talking about here. He is profoundly disgusting in demeanor and highly talented in fighting. That creates fan interest which in turn creates fan demand which translates to market appeal and a possible PPV down the line. 

  58. Stephanie 06:08am, 09/30/2013

    thanks Gajjers.
    I forgot to include certain boxing writers into my accusations against promoters, commentators and interviewers. Also, I’d like to remind everybody of the fact, that diversity of fighting styles is the ‘conditio sine qua non’ to keep the sport interesting and entertaining.

    And, last but not least, talking Rigonomics, there are millions of people out there, who are not boxing fans, who reject the sport for it’s brutality, and if you want to conquer them, if you want to hook em up and make em addicted, if you want to expand your market, Rigo is the one to do it and not the likes of Dempsey & Co. (Mayweather proved it).

  59. dollarbond 06:06am, 09/30/2013

    Ted, when it comes to Econ 101, you and Kevin Iole have the beat.  It may not be pretty, but fans prefer to watch sluggers rather than boxers like this one.  It may not be right, but it is reality.  Kind of like the Government shutdown.

  60. pikkon 05:23am, 09/30/2013

    Cloning Floyd style of defensive fighting is not good for the sport.

  61. Gajjers 03:58am, 09/30/2013

    Very well put, Stephanie. I find it tough to understand how fans, networks & promoters expect a fighter with the attributes of a Pep, Whitaker or Mayweather to assume the demeanor & approach of a Dempsey, Marciano, Foreman or Tyson. Use what works for you, folks. Mayweather was (and still is) similarly downplayed by Bob Arum while he was Floyd’s promoter. Guess what?  Floyd is currently considered the best boxer, worst cherry-picker & most boring great fighter in equal measure, while earning the biggest paydays (demand & supply, huh?). Trash-talking alone won’t do it - that’s bread & butter for a whole army of pugilists. What happened here? Someone please clue me in…

  62. Stephanie 02:48am, 09/30/2013

    Demand and supply are not givens, on which nobody has an impact. On the contrary, suppliers work constantly on raising the demand for their product, if they don’t even create it in the first place.

    Now, if commentators and promoters declare non stop that Rigo is boring, instead of praising the beauty of his moves, instead of getting excited about his brillant intelligence, instead of expressing fascination with his unparalleled intuition in anticipating his opponents next action, his razor sharp, perfectly timed blows, and so on, in short, if commentators and promoters diss him, well, guess what, that will dimish the demand.

    It’s the economy, stupid. Yeah, right, then commentators and promoters should just do their job and work on raising the demand. It’s certainly not Rigo, who has to change something, because he’s doing his job to perfection, it’s the promoter and the commentators who have to change something, namely promote him in the true sense of the word.

    Rigos marketability is not about about a minority of purist boxing fans and a majority of bloodlusty fans. He has agressively knocked out two thirds of his opponents, (super marketable Mayweather’s KO% is lower). No, it’s about the big fail of his promoter and certain commtentators and interviewers.

    (I suggest to watch his fight with Donaire with the sound off and judge every round according to which of the two fighters is more boring.)

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