Win Lose or Draw Where Does Donaire Go After the Rigondeaux Fight?

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    This Saturday WBO Junior Featherweight Champion Nonito Donaire may not be fighting the biggest name opponent that he’s ever faced, but arguably the toughest in terms of skill, when he takes on WBA Super World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux at the Radio City Music in New York.

    Donaire had a stellar year in 2012 beating the likes of former WBO Junior Featherweight Champion Wilfredo Vasquez Junior, former IBF Junior Featherweight Champion Jeffrey Mathebula, former WBC Junior Featherweight Champion Toshiaki Nishioka, and former light flyweight, flyweight, super flyweight, and super bantamweight champion Jorge Acre. As a result of his impressive list of victories, Donaire won the 2012 Fighter of the Year Award from the Boxing Writer’s Association of America.

    Although Rigondeaux may not have faced the same level of opposition and doesn’t have the same amount of experience at the pro level that Donaire has, it’s awfully hard to not acknowledge his skills and what he is capable of doing in the ring. He has a slick counterpunching style that could present problems for Donaire. On paper this looks to be a 50/50 match-up.

    Regardless of what happens on Saturday, what is left for Donaire at 122 pounds? He has pretty much cleaned out the division. The only other name opponent that was left in the division was Abner Mares, and he has chosen to move up to the featherweight division and take on WBC Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon. Even if Mares decided to stay at super bantamweight the fight would have been hard to make because of the issues that Donaire’s promoter Top Rank has with Mares’ promoter Golden Boy Promotions.

    If Donaire ends up moving up to featherweight and a fight with the Mares-De Leon winner can’t be made, he would also face another problem. His trainer Robert Garcia trains two of the other featherweight champions Mikey Garcia and Evgeny Gradovich, so those fights would not be an option. He could face WBA Featherweight Champion Chris John but good luck trying to make a fight with him, given the fact that he rarely leaves his home country of Indonesia, and it’s doubtful that Donaire would chose to fight him over there. Plus, John isn’t exactly a household name over in here the US, so it wouldn’t exactly be a big money fight for Donaire either.

    We have an extremely interesting match-up coming up this Saturday, and it will be even more interesting to see what happens afterward.