Building a legacy that stands the test of time is particularly difficult in this era where high-quality matches are so difficult to arrange. But over the past couple of years Nonito Donaire has bucked the trend and as a result sits near the top of every expert's pound-for-pound list. Donaire has won 30 straight fights over 12 years and the gauntlet of opponents he has faced of late -- Hernan Marquez, Wladimir Sidorenko, Fernando Montiel, Omar Narvaez, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce, champions all -- is arguably the toughest any fighter has faced. Many say that Donaire, not Juan Manuel Marquez, was the rightful Fighter of the Year for 2012.
The beat -- and Donaire, a 3-1 favorite, hopes the beatings -- will go on Saturday when he faces two-time gold medalist and WBA counterpart Guillermo Rigondeaux, (who hasn't lost a fight in nearly ten years) perhaps the greatest amateur fighter who has yet lived. This will be Donaire's second unification fight in nine months and had Nishioka not been stripped shortly before facing Donaire it would have been "The Filipino Flash's" third such match. Fights like Donaire-Rigondeaux are to be savored like a grade-A steak.
Still, there are statistical factors that may separate these high-level fighters.