In Huddle

Did Donaire underestimate Cuban foe?


Many boxing writers and experts were on the same wavelength recently. They all believe that Nonito Donaire Jr. lost the fight last Sunday because he had underestimated Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux.

“Nonito underestimated Rigondeaux,” said scribe Abac Cordero, who covered Donaire’s previous fight with Jorge Arce in Texas last December.

“He did not study him well enough, that’s why he was totally lost with the Cuban’s hit-and-run style. Nonito was tested, he got frustrated and he lost the fight. No excuses.”

Donaire admitted on television that he did not watch a single videotape of Rigondeaux’s previous fights. He came to the fight not knowing how to deal with his foe.

Not only was Nonito unprepared, he was also not in perfect physical shape. He claimed he had fought Rigondeaux with a hurting shoulder that needed surgery.

How on earth could he fight with such a supposed handicap? And I thought his brittle knuckles were his only problem. He hardly used his fists during the fight, anyway.

* * *

“That’s because Donaire never thought Rigondeaux was that good,” said writer Nick Giongco. “He underestimated him. Rigondeaux won clearly. He was a lot smarter than Donaire who is a thinking fighter.

“Rigo’s hit-and-don’t-get-hit style simply proved the big difference.”

Online boxing scribe Teddy Reynoso said  Rigondeaux fought like a prized amateur boxer and Nonito never (had the chance) to impose the pro style.

“He got sucked instead into a fight similar to an Olympic bout,” added Reynoso. “In that situation, a two-time Olympic champ like Rigo had him in his hands like putty.

“Note that Nonito did not even pass the United States Olympic trials as he lost to fellow Fil-Am Brian Viloria.”

* * *

Boxing expert Ed Tolentino was also puzzled by Nonito’s claim that he did not bother to study the tapes of the Cuban boxer.

“I find that rather perplexing, because for a cerebral fighter like him, that is standard procedure,” Ed said. “He looked sluggish in the fight and the absence of his strength and conditioning coach Victor Conte was felt. For a scientific fighter, Donaire applied a primitive approach in this fight.

“I believe he underestimated Rigondeaux thinking that the Cuban was already shopworn.”

* * *

How disappointing! There will be no show business stint for Maynilad’s top executive Ricky Vargas after all.

“Management decision. I’m to remain in my post as president-CEO of Maynilad,” Ricky said during the unveiling of the 27th Fiba Asia Championship logo last Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Ricky did not mention who will head TV5, but he said the PBA games as well as the Fiba Asia tournament will be aired in this station.

Earlier, TV5 head honcho Manny Pangilinan announced that the network’s block-time contract with IBC 13, which expires in May, will no longer be renewed.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Jose Cruz

    HBO’s unofficial boxing judge Harold Lederman mentioned sometime ago that Donaire has stagnated as a fighter because he was relying too much on his power and someone else commented that Donaire’s performance in his fight with the tall Aftrican Mathebula exposed the Fil-Am fighter as a bit one-dimensional. Although his impressive accomplishments can’t just be discounted because of a single loss, I tend to agree with the above comments. I’m still a Donaire fan but I see Rigondeaux as the better fighter until proven otherwise in the ring.

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