Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rigondeaux Outpoints Donaire in Game, Set, Match

Okay, I like Rigondeaux. I like Donaire.  I agree with the decision, though I thought the HBO announcers did indulge themselves too much in their overly enthusastic account of the match--crediting Rigondeaux with more than he displayed.

Roy Jones was the best of the three, providing an honest account.  Max Kellerman used to be better when he was new to the sports announcing game.   Lampley was just OK.  They had it right.  Rigondeaux did jump out to an early lead.  Donaire appeared listless, unfocused, and his body looked a little soft if you ask me.

Rigo displayed a lot of really great stuff, a sense of timing that Donaire couldn't counter, power in the straight left, and power in the right hook (he's a southpaw).  His punches were unpredictable and truly explosive, as he described himself.  But what Rigo didn't display was a determination to get Donaire out of there.

Getting Donaire "out of there" is a boxing fan decision, and it was in contrast to what Rigo wanted to do--which is to win.  To win against Donaire, what do you do?  You avoid getting knocked out, for one thing. You use your legs to control the distance between the fighters.  Rigo's great at that, moving like a shadow, and interrupting Donaire's rhythms.  Rigo's own rhythms set the pattern of the fight the whole night long.

Donaire expected more fighting, so did the fans, but Rigo blasted powerful shots and then ghosted away.  Donaire was following him all night, and walking into blasts as he tried to score the kill shot.

There was a look of great satisfaction on Donaires' face during the later round when he put Rigo on his ass.  But a moment of private satisfaction did not lead to victory for the Filipino champion.

True Confession:  I'm one of those guys who appreciates a technical fight.  If I had such skills, I'd do it the same way as Rigondeaux did.  You get the belt and the money that comes with the title matchups.  It's a business.  Rigondeaux worked too hard in his life to be a fool now at the moment of his greatest opportunity.

Donaire?  He spent too much time figuring out what to do about Rigo's style.  The clock ticked.  The punches hurt.  His corner might have been a little meaner with him and told him he lost too many rounds early.

It's a pussy thing to say but I like it that he was waxing so large about his pretty wife and expected baby.  You couldn't say that Rigondeaux took the fight to him--he didn't.  You couldn't say he lost so much as you could say he didn't win.

Rigondeaux, what I know of him, is good.  Good to have him in America.  He's gifted with skills you can't pick up from training, no matter how hard you train.  He looks like a guy with good work habits, great focus, a winner. 

Down the road, I see exciting fights, more exciting than last night.

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