Despite a widely perceived poor performance from Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) in the most part of his rematch against former KO victim Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs) last November 9th in Texas, USA, the former super bantamweight world champion managed to land his vaunted left hook to the Armenian’s cranium in the 9th round.
It was clearly visible that Donaire struggled in the fight against a more active and smart Darchinyan, who dictated the pace for most of the fight. The Filipino was overly cautious and timid with his punches, whereas Darchinyan pressed on the offensive and landed a good number of clean shots. Even Robert Garcia, Doanire’s trainer, showed concern and asked his pug to concoct combinations instead of looking to score big with one shot.
But he did and he won.
But though he expressed his desire for a rematch against Cuban champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs), Top Rank big boss Bob Arum has announced he wants WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (23-0, 19 KOs) to be Donaire’s next opponent. Aum told RIngTV that though Walters is not finely tuned in the technical aspects of the sport, he is someone who could give any fighter a run for his money.
Rigondeaux defeated Donaire via unanimous decision last April 2013. While the boxing world was stunned when Rigondeaux did the improbable, many boxing fans were turned off by the fight’s lack of action, as the Cuban’s strategy consisted mostly of running and evading.
“It would be bombs away,” Arum said referring to a potential fight between Donaire and Walters. “We’ll have to talk to Donaire to see when he’s ready to fight again.”
Another probable opponent for Donaire at this stage of his career is the heavy punching Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs) of Mexico. Salido currently holds the WBO featherweight belt. On top of that, he has higher market value and has significant star power compared to Walters, who has not yet faced top tier competition in his career.
Prior to his rematch with Darchinyan, Donaire has sent feelers for a possible match against Salido.
“I have great respect for him,” Donaire said about Salido. “He holds the belt (WBA) and I would like a shot at it.”
Many boxing pundits are divided whether or not Donaire should face Rigondeaux again. Donald Wood of Bleacher Report, for one, described the Donaire-Rigondeaux fight as lackluster although from a purist’s point of view, Rigondeaux’s approach was immaculate and beautiful as far as the technicalities of the game are concerned.
It is hard to say if the boxing world will ever bite a Donaire-Rigondeaux rematch. But for now, Donaire needs to repair his credibility and re-amplify his value against top opposition and not against paper champions.