Donaire Comments on Proposed Rigondeaux Clash

By Ryan Maquiñana

Junior featherweight world champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. spoke to Thursday afternoon regarding a proposed April 27 HBO-televised showdown with Cuban 122-pound titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux.

“Everyone’s saying April 27 is the date, and it’s Rigondeaux, but I don’t know anything about it yet, so I can’t say if it’s for sure,” Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) said.  “I know HBO is wanting to get that fight now.  I’m good with it, but I still need to confirm it with [manager] Cameron [Dunkin].”

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, told’s Ronnie Nathanielsz on Wednesday that such a bout would take place in Las Vegas, and not in Macau, as was previously speculated.

The 30-year-old Donaire, who was named Fighter of the Year by several media outlets including and, initially pursued a clash with beltholder Abner Mares to open his 2013 campaign.  However, negotiations have stalled mainly as a result of Top Rank’s raging rivalry with promotional archrival Golden Boy, who represents Mares.

"If we can free up Mares, that'd be a good fight,” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told Ryan Songalia of GMA News on Wednesday. “If not, then probably Rigondeaux.”

With the Mares matchup wishful thinking at this point, Donaire was then offered three names by Dunkin—Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), Vic Darchinyan (38-5-1, 27 KOs), and featherweight titlist Chris John (48-0-2, 22 KOs).  In 2007, Donaire brutally stopped Darchinyan in the fifth round, but rematch talks never materialized into something substantial.

From his home in Las Vegas, Donaire broke down his choices with this writer on Thursday, stating his preference to take on the unbeaten two-time Olympic gold medalist.

“I wanted the Mares fight, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to make that, so I said, ‘Give me Rigondeaux and then Darchinyan, one after the other.  Then after that, Chris John at 126 [pounds],’ ” Donaire said.  “These are the three guys I want to fight this year.  Let’s make it happen.”

A fight with Rigondeaux would also answer Donaire’s critics, as many of them have pleaded for the “Filipino Flash” to finally give the quick-fisted Cuban a shot at the crown.

“They said at the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to handle Darchinyan, and I proved them wrong,” Donaire said.  “They said I was going to have a hard time moving up to 118 [pounds] with [Fernando] Montiel especially, and I took him out early.  I always challenge myself to prove people wrong.

“All my life, I’ve always been that way.  People said I couldn’t be anything, that I was too weak, or too small, and look at me now.  It just motivates me to train harder.  I guess now it’s more a matter of, ‘Let’s get it over with.’ I know what lies ahead of me, and I want to get there.”

The 32-year-old Rigondeaux last defended his belt in September 2012 against Roberto Marroquin.  Though the flashy southpaw floored Marroquin twice and won a wide decision, he displayed tentative stretches and was on the receiving end of several hard shots from the challenger.

“I didn’t see the [Marroquin] fight, and when my fight is finalized, whoever it is, we’ll go study the tapes, but I haven’t seen too many of [Rigondeaux’s] fights,” Donaire said.  “The last fight I saw him fight was against [Ricardo] Cordoba or whoever it was, I can’t remember."

In November 2010, Rigondeaux struggled to look spectacular against Cordoba, even rising from the canvas in the sixth round en route to a split decision victory to secure his first title.  Keep in mind, however, that it was only Cuban’s seventh pro bout after a lengthy amateur career.

“I tuned in because everyone was raving about him, and this was the guy they were talking about?" Donaire said.  "The guy gave Rigondeaux so many problems, and [Rigondeaux] kept running and running, so that’s when I said, ‘I’m not interested.’  Ever since then, I never really looked back and moved on to other guys.  But now that he’s on my radar, I’m going to take his belt.”

Donaire’s wife Rachel is three months pregnant with their first child, and as a result, he will not fight from June through August—the period when she is scheduled to give birth.  While Donaire is looking forward to his April ring return, the father-to-be couldn’t help but gush over the couple’s incoming addition.

“You should have seen the ultrasound,” he said.  “The baby was jumping and jumping, throwing a right hook.  I think we have another fighter in the family.”

The Donaires, who will celebrate their fifth anniversary in August, have already decided on a name for the baby.

“If it’s a boy, his name will be Jarel,” he said.  “The letters in the name stand for Jun (Junior) and Rachel, Everlasting Love.  If it’s a girl, it’ll still be Jarel, but we’ll add something to the end of the name.  Either way, I’ll be happy.  We wanted a baby this year, and it happened.  I feel blessed.”

Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Cubanborn87 on 01-18-2013

the only image of rigondeaux isx the cordoba fight thats good it will work in favor of rigo

Comment by .:: JSFD26 ::. on 01-18-2013

Lol the only people who wouldn't give Donaire his credit would be his haters who are NOT Rigo fans. Guaranteed every Rigo fan would give Donaire props. [SIZE="1"][I]Posted from App for Android[/I][/SIZE]

Comment by Chups on 01-18-2013

Jarel KO12 Rigo

Comment by Hougigo on 01-18-2013

Dang.... Ronnie N. got everybody revving over something he made up

Comment by Pan-Africanist on 01-18-2013

Nonitos just better than Rigo. After he wins people will find a way to discredit it.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (43)
Top Headlines Jeff Horn Helping Hogan Prepare For WBO Eliminator With Kelly Video: Hearn on Dana White Aiming To Sign Anthony Joshua Floyd Mayweather in MMA - Not Betting Against It Sanchez Questions 'Meat' - Says Golovkin Wants To Punish Canelo Ryan Garcia To Return on Canelo-Golovkin Card After KO Win Jose Ramirez Must Fight Regis Prograis, Says WBC Prez Team Estrada Hope To Get Sor Rungvisai Rematch in The Fall NSAC On Golovkin's Claims: No Favoritism For Canelo in Vegas Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan May Land in Bay Area or LA Ruben Villa, LaRon Mitchell Return To Action on April 14 Erislandy Lara: If Hurd Gets Reckless, He'll Get Knocked Out! Michael Grant vs. Michael Sprott Set Down For MBS Arena Max Ornelas vs. Tony Lopez on April 20 in Vegas, BeIN Sports Paul Spadafora Pleads Guilty To Resisting Arrest, Simple Assault Magdaleno vs. Dogboe Event Set, Undercard Details Revealed Pedraza Targets Lozada Revenge Clash, Arum Likes The Fight Haye Admits: I Thought There Was No Way Bellew Could Win Golovkin To Present Trophy at $1 million Santa Anita Derby Joshua: Hopefully I Can Get Parker Out of There Between 6 and 8 Canelo Vows To Kick Golovkin's 'F***ing Ass' For PED Comments James DeGale: On My Best Day, No One at 168 Can Beat Me! Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne - Face-Off at Final Presser Parker Had Two Elbow Surgeries Amid Negotiations for Joshua Fight Logan Yoon vs. Juan Carlos Salgado in Hollywood, Florida Hearn: Whyte Was 'Poor' Against Helenius, Fight Was a Stinker Parker: Joshua, His Team Are Underestimating Me From Fury Fight Abel Sanchez: Golovkin Pissed Off, Tired of Being Pushed Around! Joshua: Expect Blood; Hope Parker Fight is Like Bowe-Holyfield Carlos Molina on Being Cautious With Mexican Meat, 365 Testing Stephen Simmons Contemplating Retirement After Askin Loss Frampton vs. Donaire - WBO Interim-Title Now at Stake Willie Limond Inks With MTK Ahead of His Comeback Joshua Explains Why Parker is Tougher Fight Than Wilder Golovkin: If Canelo Rematch Falls Out - I Want Billy Joe Saunders! Otto Wallin vs. Adrian Granat: Robin Safar Added To The Card Hearn: Whyte vs. Browne Winner Will 100% Get a Title Shot Joshua: I'm Not Overlooking Parker, Not the One Talking Wilder Golovkin Promoter: GGG Wants Canelo, NOT Looking For Way Out! Pacquiao Camp Standing Firm That Top Rank Contract Expired Joshua Interested in UFC Deal, But Says He's 'Riding With' Hearn

Latest Active Forum Threads