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» » » » » » Rigondeaux stops Donaire via unanimous decision


JR Lopez Gonzales 1:46 PM 0

Radio City Music Hall, NEW YORK - Cuban pugilist Guillermo Rigondeaux snatched the win from Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire, Jr. via a controversial unanimous decision, 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111, in order to defend his WBA title and seize Donaire's WBO and The Ring Bantamweight titles, hours earlier. Donaire had been undefeated for 12 years since 2001.


 

At the start of the round, both seized each other’s power and had occasional clashes in the first round intensity is shooting up as the Filipino’s early flurry was answered with Rigondeaux’s counters.

Whirlwind second round came but “The Filipino Flash” seemed to be prompted to lose his rhythm due to Rigondeaux’s hit-and-run style. A clean hit was unleashed by the 2012 Fighter of the Year Donaire in 2:20 of the second round but the sly Rigondeaux was quick to clinch in order to break the former’s momentum. It was only on the early first rounds where the Cuban puncher actually engaged with Donaire in a stand-up fight.
At the third  round, Donaire unleashed his combinations with 14 seconds remaining in the round, chasing after the always backpedalling Rigondeaux. The crowd disliked Rigondeaux’s defensive style of avoiding fighting toe-to-toe with the Filipino tactician which led to a series of boos in between the middle rounds of the fight.

In the seventh round, however, Rigondeaux tactically connected with a jab 1:16 in the bout as a counter to a Donaire left hook. No clear engagements between the two ensued in the following rounds due to the Cuban’s ‘backtracking’ style.
The shock to everyone came in the tenth round where, thirty seconds after the slip which led the Cuban to fall to the floor, Donaire unleashed his straight left to knock the former Olympic gold medallist down. Rigondeaux maintained his composure and continued to walk around the right to avoid Donaire’s punches.


Rigondeaux maintained his “hitting-and-running” style which led to the frustration of the stalking Filipino pugilist. In the last round, a strong left counter of Rigondeaux landed on the right eye of Donaire which led the latter to use the ring in order to prevent more damage. With the clock winding down, Rigondeaux finally engages with Donaire who dances out of trouble and lifted his right glove to protect his impaired eye.

“I don’t think he won the fight. That [10th round knockdown] was enough to win the round or a draw. He didn’t have power”, says Donaire in a post-fight interview by HBO. But he was quick to admit that he was careless and did not focus enough.

Rigondeaux improves his record to 12-0 (8 KOs) while Nonito Donaire slips to 31-2 (20 KOs). It was Donaire's second loss since 2001.


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