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Azad Championship Report - Rigondeaux outboxes Donaire to win WBO title

(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)
(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)

By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing

32-year-old WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux proved his amateur pedigree was no mirage by outpointing 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire over 12 rounds at The Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY.
All three judges had Rigondeaux the winner by 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111.
Doghouseboxing scored the bout 116-112 for Rigondeaux.
Rigondeaux is now the WBO and WBA champion.
The fight was the headline bout on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.

Rigondeaux easily controlled the first two rounds. His quicker hands and feet kept him out of harms way. A hard left rocked Donaire backwards. A razor quick right also landed. Donaire found some success with bodyshots. Rigondeaux came over the top with a right that surprised the defending WBO champion.
Donaire continued to search for answers in the next three rounds. He ate a few more right hands. Rigondeaux raked him with a combination. Donaire was reaching with his shots and paying the price. A right hand found the hip of Rigondeaux. A left also landed. Rigondeaux, the shorter fighter, was landing the harder punches. Donaire continued to pressure his elusive opponent. His one shot mentality was hurting him.
In rounds seven and eight, Rigondeaux continued to showoff his impressive boxing skills. He was winning the fight, but not the crowd. His movement and counterpunching kept Donaire off balance. The 30-year-old champion was a hair slow and an inch short with most of his shots. Rigondeaux clocked him with two stinging left hands. His strategy going into the bout was to keep the action on the outside. His execution was flawless. Donaire, with both eyes beginning to swell, continued to stalk and occasionally throw a punch. Rigondeaux’s movement was making it almost impossible for Donaire to find any kind of rhythm.
Donaire tried to pick up the pace in next few rounds. He was still looking to land his left, but his jab clipped Rigondeaux. His aggressiveness was making the fight. Rigondeaux moved away from the left hand of Donaire. He’d dart in with a left to the body and disappear. His boxing skill was too much for Donaire to counter.
In round 10, Donaire finally connected with his money shot. As the fighters wrestled each other, Donaire broke free and unleashed a jolting left. Rigondeaux went down on the seat of his pants. He looked surprised, but not hurt. The two-time gold medalist was up at the count of six. Donaire landed another heavy left hand. Rigondeaux took it well - and countered with his own left.
In rounds 11 and 12, Donaire swung for the fences. But like former New York Yankee Reggie Jackson, who played at nearby Yankee Stadium, he missed more than he connected. Rigondeaux used side to side movement effectively. A hard left in the last round busted the right eye of Donaire. The soon to be former champion moved away - his right glove plastered near the damaged lobe.
“I told you I was going to do my job and I did it,” said the victorious Rigondeaux in the ring after the fight.
“I made him look bad and I looked great,” he added.

Follow and visit John on Twitter:!/johnboxing1

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