Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux
Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux

‘Filipino Flash’ Donaire Falls to Olympic Legend

Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux
Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux

Before I get into last Saturday’s world title bout between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux, I just want to get this clear: I am a Donaire fan, and have been since 2007 when he knocked out Aussie Vic Darchinyan.

As a Filipino I admire his talent, and as a boxing fan I love his knock-out power and predatory instincts. The ‘Filipino flash’ Donaire is one of the last truly exciting champions, able to end  fights and sometimes boxing careers  at any time with that rocket launcher known as his left hand.

That said, let’s rewind to last Saturday. I’m as patriotic as the next Filipino fight fan but am prepared to call it how it was. Nonito the ‘Filipino Flash’ Donaire entered the ring as a four division world champion, reigning WBO, IBF and The Ring  super bantam weight chamption, and current ring magazine fighter of the year.  Almost all critics had him in their top 5 pound for pound. He had the hype and did the training, and we all thought he had the tools to get the job done. But everything changed after the bell rang, Guillermo Rigondeaux was waiting and  school was about to start.

From the onset of the bout, it soon became apparent that Donaire’s 12 year winning streak was in danger.  Although he was heavily favoured, his Cuban opponent and two-time Olympic gold medallist looked faster and sharper.

By the middle rounds the question changed from ‘could Nonito win?’ to ‘what was he doing there?’.  By then I was re-reading  Rigondeaux’ s credentials and sure enough there it was – beyond his 12 professional  victories  were over 400 (not a miss-print), 400 amateur fights.  ‘The Jackal’ Rigondeaux came from the gutter and Donaire needed to take it to the gutter, but he didn’t.

The ‘Filipino Flash’ could not land a clean punch. In the 10th round he did manage to connect with a straight left that floored an off-balance Rigondeaux.  This was, however,  just a little consolation. At the fight’s conclusion there was no need for judges, his face was the scorecard and all 12 rounds were written on it.  

I don’t know if Congressman Pacquiao even watched the fight. He was probably  too busy singing Kenny Rogers classics  at a karaoke bar.

… or maybe he did take a moment mid-verse in ‘the gambler’, just in time to watch his successor Donaire break all of Kenny Rogers golden rules:

Donaire did not know when to “hold’em, up”, his hands that is.  He did not know when to fold his style and switch to throwing more combinations. He did not know when to walk away, he just kept walking into that Rigondeaux Jab. He counted his money when he sat at the table with his promoters, but the two hands that Rigondeaux had were too fast, and they dealt so many clean strikes, that Donaire was relieved when the dealing was done.

I think history will show that Donaire will not ask for a rematch. He will move up a weight-class and will win; he’ll probably get new world titles leaving more unconscious opponents in his wake. He is already famous and may one day be as famous as a Pacquiao –  Jinky, that is.

Which brings me to what makes Manny an Immortal. He was never chased out of any division. He beat everyone, took his title belts, celebrated with a few Halo Halo’s to gain a few pounds and bashed the next heavier champion. Manny left all of the eight divisions he fought in blood-stained and vacant –  vacant meaning he took the belts with him.

Donaire is now faced with the biggest choice in his career,  similar to Pacquiao’s after Morales 1 –  whether to rematch or not. There are Manny, sorry for the pun, countless genuine reasons not to fight Guillermo again. There is only one reason to rematch, and it’s the one that matters. Being number one and leaving the 122 weight class as ‘numero uno’. Nonito shows the courage and character we know Manny has.  Ask for the rematch: Do it. Be immortal.



Scoop shot brings you a fan's insight, from sport, movies to music and popular culture. Cut through the politics of everything except politics.