MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire does not think his April 13 opponent, Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba, is better than the boxers he fought and defeated in 2012.
Donaire, who was named Fighter of the Year by various media outlets after winning all four of his fights in 2012, will step inside the ring for the first time this year against Rigondeaux, an amateur boxing legend who won two Olympic gold medals.
But “The Filipino Flash” doesn’t see the Cuban as a tougher threat than the four men he beat last year.
“I don’t think he’s a better fight than any of the last four opponents I beat – [Wilfredo] Vazquez, Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka and [Jorge] Arce,” Donaire told Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star.
“Rigondeaux’s smart but not slick,” he added. “He’s only fought guys who stood up straight in front of him. He hasn’t fought anyone who counters or shows movement.”
Rigondeaux is undefeated in 11 professional fights, with eight victories coming by knockout.
Yet Donaire insists he is not impressed by the Cuban, atlhough he revealed that he has watched only one of Rigondeaux’s fights.
“I’ve watched him fight only once and that was on TV. He was knocked down by (Ricardo) Cordoba with a jab,” Donaire said, referring to Rigondeaux’s split decision victory over Cordoba in 2010.
Should he be successful against Rigondeaux, Donaire plans to stay at the super bantamweight division for two more fights and may climb another weight class by the end of the year.