By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
April 15, 2013
NEW YORK –Even hours before the big Donaire-Rigondeaux showdown at the Radio City Music Hall in New York over the weekend, Nonito Donaire Jr. fans who came from as far as Canada to show their support for the Filipino Flash, could smell victory.
“I think it will not be more than 8 rounds ,unless Rigondeaux will run. If he engages it will be (over) early,” Santi Cahilig from Scotch Plains, NJ said.
“I’m excited to watch the fight live, because this is my first time that to watch the live fight of Donaire, and he’s my idol.” Flushing Queens, NY resident Lance Reyes said.
“If he won’t make it, he’s still my winner,” said Ashburn, VA fan Aileen Nacua.
The event was sold out — a Filipino family who came from Viriginia Beach, VA decided to go home after they failed to score tickets to the fight.
“Naubos eh, baka sa TV na lang, uwi kami sa bahay, sa TV na lang kami manunuod,” Daniel Delumba said.
But after Rigondeaux took away the WBO Superbantam Weight belt from Donaire, Filipino fans had mixed reactions.
“Yeah, of course, I was waiting for something really good to happen, I was waiting for him to knock him out but,” said Toronto, Canada boxing fan Daniel Delumba.
“To me you win fights by fighting forward but running backwards I don’t know how he would win.”
Filipino – Canadian fan Beverly Wynne said, “Disappointed, especially after we went to the last Manny fight too and lost but we’re still proud of him and what he does.”
But for Phillipe Nover, the “Filipino Fighting Nurse” from Brooklyn, who just won the Bellator MMA Light Weight Division Belt last week said, Rigondeaux deserved the new title.
“I was leaning towards it as far as damage is concerned, he was busted up,” Nover said, “He got hurt and that’s what it looks like.”
“I’m a Nonito fan but I gotta give it to Rigondeaux, to Guillermo ‘coz he did put up a good fight… although the dragging was a little dirty, you know,” said Sherry Sioson of Jackson Heights, NY.
Donaire may have lost this time, but many consider this a minor setback to his boxing career.
Fans expect him to make a comeback after wife Rachel gives birth to their first child and after he gets his shoulder injury fixed.