A highly tactical fight is expected when Nonito Donaire Jr. squares off with unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in world super bantamweight unification title bout on April 13 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Known for his natural quickness and strong fists, the WBO champ tweeted yesterday that he has already started training for his fight against Rigondeaux, whose camp had earlier vowed to unleash a “monster” against the Filipino Flash.
But Donaire (31-1-0 with 20 knockouts), who has just snagged a third Athlete of Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association, countered that he’s ready for what the WBA champion will bring in the fight.
The 32-year-old Rigondeaux (11-0-0 with eight KOs) is considered a technical fighter with solid footwork and superb counterpunching ability, which is far from the “raging bull” styles of Vic Darchinyan and Jorge Arce who both paid the price by kissing the canvas.
The match, which Top Rank boss Bob Arum promised to announce in a big way next week, was finalized after both camps had an altercation last December when Donaire fought Arce in Houston.
That escalated into a full-blown word war over the Internet after Rigondeaux accused Donaire of dodging him by pursuing a more profitable fight against Mexican WBC champion Abner Mares which eventually fell through.
Rigondeaux, who resides in Miami after defecting from Cuba for which he won two Olympic golds, has yet to prove how bankable he is and is reportedly getting $750,000, the biggest paycheck of his pro career.
Donaire, on the other hand, is a certified crowd drawer, having fought in the Big Apple when he shut out Omar Narvaez in a full-packed Theater of the Madison Square Garden in 2011.