By Keith Idec
Nonito Donaire hasn’t forgotten the monotonous nature of his utterly forgettable fight against Omar Narvaez.
In fact, “The Filipino Flash” feels as though he owes New York fights fans an action-packed performance Saturday night in his first appearance there since the Narvaez farce in October 2011. Though an intimidated, reluctant Narvaez deserved most of the blame for their thoroughly boring bout, Donaire intends to deliver as many memorable moments as possible during his high-stakes, 122-pound championship unification fight against unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall (11 p.m. ET/PT).
It’ll help, of course, that other than that they’re both southpaws there is little similar about the light-punching Narvaez (38-1-2, 20 KOs) and the dangerous, diverse Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs).
“I think there’s going to be fireworks between us,” Donaire, 30, said on a conference call Tuesday. “It might be a chess match, because we’re both defensive fighters. We’re defensive because we can see punches coming at us, but when it comes down to it, we’re both aggressive and we’re both offensive guys. I don’t think it’ll be anything near [the Narvaez] fight and I think the people in New York and people watching will have a treat.”
The 32-year-old Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has been criticized for being boring at times during his four-year pro career and skeptics predict he’ll be reluctant to exchange with the heavy-handed Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs), who hasn’t lost since his second professional fight 12 years ago. But Rigondeaux has knocked out three of his four foes since he recorded a suspect split-decision victory over Panama’s Ricardo Cordoba (39-3-2, 25 KOs) in November 2010 and also promised to provide plenty of entertainment Saturday night.
“I will try to engage a lot more than I have in the past,” Rigondeaux said. “I want to give the fans what they want to see. Nonito’s an aggressive boxer. I’ll be very aggressive and I’m coming to win. I expect the same from Nonito. He’s a great boxer, a great technician, and he’s going to be aggressive, also. So I think there’s going to be a lot of fireworks.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.