Beating Donaire is bigger then gold, says Rigondeaux
This Saturday WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire takes on WBA holder Guillermo Rigondeaux in a highly anticipated unification fight at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, live on BoxNation.
Rigondeaux (11-0) was widely regarded as one of the classiest Cuban boxers of his generation when he won Olympic gold at bantamweight in both 2000 and 2004, as well as two world amateur titles. But it is his amateur exploits for which he is still best remembered, even after him beating Rico Ramos to take the WBA strap in just his ninth pro outing.
"I want to repeat my amateur achievements on a professional level. Beating Nonito would be a great achievement and people will stop talking about me as an amateur. A win would be a bigger accomplishment than the gold medals." Rigondeaux said.
Donaire (31-1) is widely regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, his career was kick-started when he shocked Vic Darchinyan in five rounds and has since grown and grown. Knockout wins over Moruti Mthalane, Hernan Marquez and most impressively Fernando Montiel have transformed him into a boxing superstar.
The winner of this fight will not only decide who is the best 122 pound fighter in the world but could go some way towards deciding the successor to Floyd Mayweather's position as the world's top-ranked pound for pound boxer.
A win for Donaire will not only give him a strong chance of moving up to second in the P4P rankings, but if Mayweather somehow slips up against Guerrero or retires following the fight, top spot could be his for the taking.
Rigondeaux meanwhile finds himself in the company of other potential top-10 fighters including Saul Alvarez and Austin Trout, who meet in a light middleweight unification fight next Saturday, not to mention Gennady Golovkin, Adrien Broner and Abner Mares (who moved up to featherweight when he failed to get a unification fight with either Donaire or Rigondeaux). The scalp of Donaire would skyrocket him perhaps as high as fifth or sixth.
Filipino Donaire knows he needs to be fully prepared for the undefeated Cuban. "He is a really tough guy. Not only does he have the speed and power but he does well mentally, so I am really excited about this fight. When you have done this for a while, like I have, you tend to be motivated by having a good fighter in front of you. He has a lot of talent and that's why I am training hard for this fight."