Saturday night two of the best super bantamweights in the world will be squaring off at the Radio Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire will square off against highly regarded Guillermo Rigondeaux in what many are calling one of the best matchups of the year.
Rigondeaux is only 11-0 with 8 KO’s as a professional fighter, which is perhaps one of the reasons why Donaire wasn’t interested in the fight up until recently. Despite Rigondeaux’s lack of professional experience, he is known to many as the best amateur boxer to ever exist, racking up nearly 400 fights with only 12 losses, which is nothing short of sensational. His style is superior to most, and his record is very deceitful as a professional. In his third professional fight he fought Giovanni Andrade, who had a record of 59-11 as a pro. Rigondeaux was 2-0 at the time, and knocked Andrade out in three rounds. I saw the fight and I was more than impressed. Even then he had the style of a professional fighter that had been in the ring for years. Rigondeaux may only have 11 fights but he is more than ready for this fight. He has knocked down his opponent in every single one of this professional fights except one, and has 8 knockouts as a pro.
On the other side, is one of the pound for pound kings Nonito Donaire, who has racked up a 31-1 record as a professional with 20 of those wins coming by knockout. Donaire is at worst ranked 5th on almost every pound for pound list. He is active, popular, and very good. Known as the 2012 Fighter of the Year by almost everyone he fought four times last year, and knocked down each one of this opponents. He has been on the pound for pound list for years, and hasn’t lost since his second professional bout way back in 2001.
When they face off Saturday night the general concensus is that no one is quite sure how the fight is going to turn out, which is why the fight is so intriguing. Both fighters are tactical fighters, both of them have great speed, both of them have one punch knockout power, and both of them have tons of professional experience. They are both very smart, and both will be looking for that one punch knockout, and they both know that they can get it. While they both love to counter punch they are no strangers to going blow for blow with exciting action. So, who’s going to win, and how is the fight going to go?
I don’t expect it to be the Fight of the Year. They are both too smart for that. What I do think we will see is a very tactical battle, with some explosive moments, but some serious downtime as they both try to set each other up for the knockout punch. I’m not sure if the fight will end in a knockout, but I guarantee that there will be a knockdown or two. I am picking Donaire to win by late KO. I feel that the advantage goes to him because of his powerful left hook, which works extremely well against southpaws. Ridondeaux has been down before as a professional, and I think he’ll be down again in this fight, but with Donaire’s power, he may not be able to get back up.