Source : Philippine Star Sports
MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire Jr. is playing mind games with Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Whether it works or not will be known on Saturday evening (Sunday noon in Manila) when they dispute the WBO and WBA super-bantamweight title at the Radio City in New York.
Donaire, the WBO champion, said he has faced tougher opponents before as he tried to belittle Guillermo’s skills as a professional fighter.
“He has a lot of amateur experience,” Donaire told ESPN, “but amateur experience is different from professional fights.”
Then the 30-year-old Filipino said there are tougher opponents out there than Rigondeaux. He mentioned the name Fernando Montiel.
“I think Montiel is a much tougher fight. There are a lot of guys out there,” added Donaire, who knocked Montiel out in the second round of their fight for the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles in February 2011 in Las Vegas.
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“I think (Abner) Mares is a tougher fight,” added Donaire of the Mexican, the former WBC super-bantamweight champion who moved up to featherweight after failing to land a unification fight with Donaire.
Rigondeaux was quick to react.
“If he thinks I’m easy then I’m going to win. He has not fought anybody and playing a guitar then playing the violin is not the same thing. I’m going to shut that stubborn Filipino’s mouth and I will unify the titles,” he said.
Rigondeaux is a two-time Olympic champion, winning the gold in 2000 in Sydney and in 2004 in Athens for Cuba. But he defected in 2007 and has been a resident of Miami since.
The 32-year-old Rigondeaux only turned pro in May 2009 and is unbeaten in 11 fights with eight knockouts.
Donaire missed the chance to represent the United States in the 2000 Olympics and turned pro in 2001. He has a ring record of 31-1 with 20 knockouts.
Donaire hasn’t lost since March 2001, and is far more experienced as a pro.
If Donaire beats Rigondeaux, he can also move up to 126 lbs and take on Mares.
Back to Rigondeaux, Donaire said it all depends on how the Olympic star would fight him.
“I can’t say how he will be, but only inside the ring we’ll find out,” he told ESPN.