Nonito Donaire is a three-division champion and 2012 Fighter of the Year said earlier this week, he accomplished everything in boxing. Saturday evening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, he failed to accomplish everything and was dominated by the undefeated WBA Super Bantamweight champion and former two-time Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist Guilermo Rigondeaux.
It was the 12th fight for Rigondeaux, 12-0, who has options now as a champion in the 122-pound division while Donaire revealed he needs surgery on an injured shoulder.
It was the second fight held at historic Radio City Hall in New York City, the first January 15, 2000 when Roy Jones Jr. defended and retained the light heavyweight title fighting with a broken left hand against David Telesco. Judges at ringside had it all for Rigondeaux, 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111.`
“I told you I was going to do my job and I did it,” said Rigondeaux through an interpreter in the ring. “The people who saw this saw it was a very good fight. There was quality. I made him look bad and I looked great.”
And, for at least 11 of 12 rounds, Donaire did not resemble the quick and talented knockout artist he has become, sustaining his second defeat, 31-2, 20 KO’s. The only spark from Donaire came late in round 10. He connected with a left to the chin of Rigondeaux that briefly put the Cuban on the canvas.
On the knockdown he said, “He’s an excellent fighter but with one shot you can’t win a fight. I will fight whoever comes out but Donaire is a great fighter.”
Donaire, fighting in the shadow of fellow Filipino countryman, eight-time division champion Manny Pacquiao, said “The last two rounds I got stupid. I just got too carried away. I wanted to take him out so bad.
As Donaire spoke, the sold out Radio City Crowd booed when he stated that he was fighting with a bad shoulder that needs surgery for ligament damage. Possibly a poor excuse as Donaire, with the exception of a quick knockdown, did nothing to resemble his status as Fighter of the Year and three-division champion.
“We just have to come out and go back to the drawing board,” he said. “For the last three fights I needed surgery on my shoulder, torn ligaments. I didn’t do my job which was to throw jabs.
But during the past few weeks there were reports that Donaire was slacking with his training and he admitted it in the ring Saturday night, “I did not study enough.”
It was a tough test for Donaire who only had one knockout past the eighth round coming into the fight. It was the first loss for Donaire in 12-years after sustaining a loss in his second professional fight.
There was mutual respect with both fight camps despite the controversial issue of drug testing procedures that were discussed with intense negotiations originating from the Donaire camp Drug testing was an issue a few months ago when the fight was first announced. After bitter discussions as to how testing would be conducted. VADA, the voluntary anti doping agency was in control and everyone agreed it should be mandatory.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com