Guillermo Rigondeaux retained his WBA super bantamweight championship and added the WBO super bantamweight belt, unanimously outpointing Nonito Donaire on Saturday night at Radio City Music Hall.
Rigondeaux improved to 12-0, receiving winning scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111 in the unification bout. He failed to knock out his opponent for only the fourth time since turning pro, but overcame being knocked down twice in the opening minute of the 10th round in a performance that had some booing the lack of action.
Rigondeaux’s speed appeared to be too much for Donaire (31-2), who was trying to defend his WBO super bantamweight belt for the fifth time. Donaire, the Professional Boxing Writers Association fighter of the year for 2012, was handed his first loss in 30 fights since 2001.
The Cuban defector, a two-time gold medalist believed to have fought over 400 amateur bouts, landed 129 of 396 punches. Donaire landed only 82 of 352 punches and by the time the fight ended, he was trying to avoid further swelling on his right eye.
Donaire appeared to knock down Rigondeaux in the opening seconds of the 10th, but referee Benjy Esteves ruled it a slip. After being dropped with a left hand, Rigondeaux quickly got up.
Rigondeaux ended his biggest victory as a pro by opening the 12th with three hard lefts and then began punishing Donaire with a series of punches along the ropes.
The fight was the second in the 82-year history of the building. The other was in 2000 when Roy Jones Jr. retained the light heavyweight championship against David Telesco in 2000.