Donaire excited by possibility of Rigondeaux rematch
MANILA, Philippines—Nonito Donaire could still avenge the bitter loss that’s taken his career on a different trajectory for the past seven years.
After signing with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, Donaire has the chance to once again face Guillermo Rigondeaux—the man who put a stop to his incredible 30-fight winning streak back in 2013 with 12 of those fights all for a World title.
Donaire was named the 2012 Boxer of the Year and held World titles in four weight classes from 2007 but his loss to Rigondeaux, a unification bout for the WBA and WBO World super bantamweight titles, ended the Filipino Flash’s momentum.
“You know me, I’m a fighter. I’ll fight anybody,” said Donaire in an interview with The PBC Podcast on PremierBoxingChampions.com. “But mainly bantamweight is my territory, so I’m excited with that one as well, the thought of it.”
A second fight between Rigonedeaux (20-1) and Donaire (40-6) could be easily done with both fighters under the Premier Boxing Champions banner and both are now fighting in the bantamweight division.
Donaire stood his ground in that loss, dropping Rigondeaux in the 10th round, but The Jackal eventually earned the nod of the three judges after the fight.
That loss also derailed what would’ve been Doanire’s rampage as he went 9-4 in his next 13 fights with a three-fight stretch between November 2016 and April 2018 proving brutal when he won just one in three.
Donaire, 37, got his career back on track and on elite level when he beat Ryan Burnett for the WBA Super World and WBC Diamond bantamweight titles in November of 2018 and retaining those belts in April 2019 when he knocked out Stephon Young.
Despite a unanimous decision loss to Naoya Inoue in November 2019 for the WBA and IBF titles, Donaire’s performance was still of note as it was considered as the most difficult fight of the Japanese star who is the no.3 fighter in The Ring’s pound-for-pound list.
Before Donaire could square up against Rigondeaux, though, he first has to defeat Nordine Oubaali (17-0) for the WBC World bantamweight title as the sanctioning body’s mandatory challenger.
They were supposed to fight on May 16 but the COVID-19 put a stop to the proceeding.
“I hope so,” said Donaire regarding the fight getting a new date. “I believe so, nothing is really clear at this time. It was for May 16th, and it just went out the window. And, you know, they’re trying to figure out what’s going on with boxing, and how they’re going to in the next phase and doing it. So I’m hoping that it’s still the same thinking and I’m still kind of training for that.”
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