By Jackie Kallen
Besides the fact that I used to manage Nonito Donaire, I am also a huge fan of The Filipino Flash. I was with him when he got that one loss on his record, back in 2001, and I still think he should have gotten the win. At any rate, he has been unbeaten ever since and is P4P one of the best fighters in the sport.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
At 30 years old, Donaire is still fresh and has all the speed and power he ever had. He is fearless and will fight anyone. His upcoming bout on the 13th against undefeated Guillermo Rigondeaux at the Radio City Music Hall will be proof of that.
The Cuban southpaw is a tough guy with a solid punch, but after only 11 pro fights, Rigondeaux will most likely get taken to school by Donaire, who is a veteran of 32 fights. Donaire has beaten the likes of Jorge Arce, Vasquez, jr., Narvaez and Vic Darchinyan. He has banked 182 rounds and knows every trick in the book.
The 32 year-old challenger for Donaire’s WBO and WBA belts, has a lot of confidence and a lot of optimism going for him. He is coming off of wins against Rico Ramos, Teon Kennedy and Robert Marroquin. He feels unbeatable. He didn’t stop Marroguin, but he beat him soundly on all three scorecards.
Good things come in small packages and I have always loved watching the smaller weights battle it out. Their speed and agility never fails to entertain and amaze fans. I doubt that Donaire is anywhere near the stage where he will get beaten by a guy with less than a dozen fights.
However, we have seen some interesting upsets recently and I was with Michael Moorer back in 1988 when after only 11 pro fights he challenged WBO Light Heavyweight champ Ramzi Hassan. Hassan was 25-4 at the time. Moorer stopped him in the 5th round. So anything is possible and I know that Donaire is not taking his opponent lightly.
My heart and my brain tell me to go with Donaire all the way. But there is that little nagging thought that Rigondeaux could be the one to derail the Donaire train. He certainly has the power (8 KOs out of 11 wins) and he wants it every bit as badly as Donaire does.
If we are lucky next weekend, we will get another bout as exciting as Rios/Alvarado II.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen