Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Prediction
I think power is the difference-maker in this fight.
One of the boxing axioms that you may hear from the old-timers is: "Power is a great equalizer." In the typical use of this term, this would imply that if Fighter B is outmatched by Fighter A in terms of skill, speed, etc. those advantages could be mitigated by power. Obviously, being able to hurt your opponent at any moment could negate all the rounds that may have been lost previously either through knockdowns or a stoppage.
In this instance, I think a lot of the categories over which a match is typically determined are fairly even between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Whoever breaks through the "chess match" first and hurts the other will likely lean on that advantage until the end. From what I've seen of Donaire's ability to wobble, drop, or stop various opponents with punches coming from wild angles and while on unstable footing give me comfort in suggesting that the power department is one in which he has the clear advantage.
Make no mistake, Rigondeaux is EXTREMELY skilled despite having only about a third of the professional experience that Donaire has (in terms of number of fights). Regular readers here may remember that I've previously stated that Guillermo is one of my favorite fighters and that I've been very impressed by his mastery of the technical aspects of boxing as well as his poise. Consequently, I don't expect much to happen in the early rounds while Rigondeaux is fresh. Rigondeaux's defense and reaction time are superb, and it may take Donaire some time to figure him out or find an opening.
I'll be at Radio City for this one and hope to hang out with Nonito afterwards (depending on the results).
The pick here is Donaire to win. Possibly by stoppage.