A couple of sunny but cold days recently in the Bay Area were reminiscent of the November Saturday in 2009 on which Nonito Donaire announced he would be fighting Gerson Guerrero that winter at the Las Vegas Hilton. Not Fernando Montiel. Not Vic Darchinyan, not Yonnhy Perez or even Jorge Arce. Gerson Guerrero.
If you’re disappointed that Donaire is fighting Guillermo Rigondeaux instead of Abner Mares on April 13 in New York, perhaps the preceeding flashback will offer some perspective.
Rigondeaux is unbeaten and has looked impressive. Donaire tends to looks his best when he’s confronted with a true challenge, and Rigondeaux is the real deal. The bout will air on HBO. And the fight is in New York, for gosh sakes.
The chance to give Donaire (31-1, 20 knockouts) a better showcase than his boring October 2011 shutout of Omar Narvaez provided at the smaller arena of Madison Square Garden exceeds anything good you could say about Donaire’s spring 2010 fight in Vegas, which turned out to be against someone even less estimable than the originally scheduled opponent.
For some of us, Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 knockouts) after an illustrious amateur career, was the ultimate super-bantamweight opponent for Donaire, albeit not as glamorous as Mares. I think Donaire is going to have trouble with Rigondeaux, and watching his response will be fascinating.
The backdrop at Radio City Music Hall won’t hurt, either.