Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux meet Saturday night on HBO, with the WBO and WBA super bantamweight titles at stake. More important than the trinkets though is the right to be legitimately called the king of the 122-pound division. The fight starts at 11:00 p.m. ET.
Donaire (31-1, 20 KO) hasn't lost a fight since 2001, when he was defeated in his second pro bout. Since 2007 he has been on a tear, starting with an upset win over Vic Darchinyan for a flyweight title. Donaire, now 30, has won world titles at 112, 118, and 122 pounds, as well as an interim title at 115.
Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO) may not have a lengthy history as a pro, but he's no novice. The 32-year-old Cuban is a legend in the amateur ranks, winning gold medals at the Olympics in 2000 and 2004. Had he not attempted a defection in 2007, when he was taken into custody in Brazil, returned to Cuba and eliminated from participation with the Cuban boxing program, it is quite possible -- maybe even probable -- that he would have won gold medals in Beijing and London, as well. Rigondeaux ultimately did defect successfully in 2009.
The betting odds are as tight for this fight as they've been for any Donaire fight since February 2011, when Donaire wound up knocking out Fernando Montiel in two rounds.
For those interested in an undercard filled with prospects, Top Rank will be streaming those fights online, going live at 7 p.m. ET.
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