By Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Trainer of the Year” Robert Garcia is confident that once his “Fighter of the Year” Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (31-1, 20 KO’s) catches Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO’s) with his lethal left hook, it should be the end of their unification title fight at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on April 13.
Garcia said Donaire should “have no problems” against the current WBA champion Rigondeaux.
He said reigning WBO, Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond Belt super bantamweight champion Donaire “is too big and too strong and the first time Nonito lands the left hook it should be over.”
He said Rigondeaux’s supposed hand-speed and power are “nothing to worry about” and although the Cuban two-time Olympic gold medalist is “skilful, he is not in the same level as Nonito.”
Garcia said that Rigondeaux might try to work on a game-plan to run and try to score points from the outside using his impressive amateur background but that Donaire who enjoys a “2 to 3 inch advantage in height should catch him.”
Donaire’s trainer conceded that “it should be a pretty interesting fight” and that fight fans wanted Donaire to face Rigondeaux or former WBC champion Abner Mares who has since moved up in weight. Garcia indicated “I don’t see that fight (vs Mares) happening.”
Garcia earlier told a Fight Night interview that Rigondeaux’s trainer Pedro Diaz “has done a great job with previous fighters and I love challenges. But this fight may turn out to be an easy fight for Nonito . As long as he keeps his cool, keeps his patience and follows his game-plan I don’t think he’s got any problems against Guillermo Rigondeaux .”
He said people will see that despite the talent and skill of Rigondeaux , Donaire “is at a different level.”
Asked about whether he could review the Robert Marroquin fight last September 15 and take something from the fact that Rigondeaux was staggered but went on to win a twelve round unanimous decision, Garcia said “its going to be a different story because once he (Rigo) gets hit by Nonito I don’t expect him to last that long.”
The Donaire-Rigondeaux title fight will be telecast by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN on its pre-eminent Channel 2 at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, April 14 and also over The Filipino Channel which has a huge following among Filipinos in the Middle East in particular.