Nonito Donaire Jr. is taking a second bite at the Big Apple.
The Filipino WBO super bantamweight champion this time promised a blockbuster fight when he locks horns with WBA titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in a unification bout on April 13 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
A presser formally announcing the fight between two of the most exciting boxers these days will be held in New York Thursday (Friday in Manila).
But this early, the 30-year-old Donaire (31-1-0 with 20 knockouts) vowed to score a knockout win in NYC, a feat that escaped him in October 2011, when Argentine champ Omar Narvaez refused to engage the Filipino “Flash” during their title fight at Madison Square Garden.
“We want to show up the second time in New York and make a statement this time. And not have Rigondeaux run from me when he gets hit hard,” Donaire told espn.go.com. “We already have a remedy and answer for that style from what I learned in the Narvaez fight. We have a blueprint already.”
Though the MSG was fully booked on the date, Top Rank’s Bob Arum told espn.go.com that the 82-year-old Music Hall carries the history and prestige befitting Donaire’s stature, which skyrocketed after an amazing four-win run last year.
“There’s no question that fighting at Radio City Music Hall is like coronation for the fighter of the year, fighting on that historic stage,” Arum said of his ward who has won Fighter of the Year awards from top media outlets including Philippine Sportswriters Association and the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Arum added: “It is expensive to do a fight there but it’s worth it.”
It will only be the second fight staged in the iconic venue, known for hosting concerts and shows like the Grammy’s, after Roy Jones Jr. defeated David Telesco in January 2000.