What I mean by the title is why have fans been pushing for Donaire to fight Rigondeaux more so than Donaire to fight Abner Mares. The fans want both fights to happen, but the call for Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux to fight each other has been going on for a lot longer.
Perception is everything in American culture. However often times, perception comes in close conflict with reality. What we think is real, or the honest assessment of the matter doesn't always add up to the facts, if at all. Well, maybe sometimes our perception proves to be the case, although in this case of top 122 pound champions: Why does the boxing public consider "Cuban Rifle" Guillermo Rigondeaux the #2 in the world at super-bantamweight instead of WBC champion Abner Mares of Mexico?
Even though I was disappointed in the fact that Mares beat one of my favorite fighters in boxing today, Anselmo Moreno; I never disliked Abner Mares. He's quite the accomplished young fighter, winning titles at 118 and 122 pounds. His level of opposition compared to that of Guillermo Rigondeaux is like comparing Labron James' stats over a twenty game period to Jeremy Lin's stats over a twenty game period. And yet, still fans for the most part, and the media for the most part consider Rigondeaux the chief rival to super bantamweight king and current WBO/Ring champion Nonito Donaire.
Rigondeaux's best win was Rico Ramos, who is turning out to be a top twenty fighter, not a top ten fighter. Willie Casey perhaps is another good win on Rigondeaux's record but who would Willie Casey beat in the top ten in the world at 122 pounds? Casey's not even the best Irish super bantamweight in the world, that honor goes to Carl Frampton.
Teon Kennedy was no real threat to Rigondeaux, and I suspect Victor Terrazas would put up a more stiff challenge to Abner Mares, even if you believe Mares will still beat him. Robert Marroquin is a good young fighter who gave Rigondeaux some fits here and there, but again would he stand to prevail against any top ten super bantamweight?
Point being, the more I consider the facts, the more I toss this question around in my head coupled with said facts, the more I start to rethink how highly I've placed Guillermo Rigondeaux. As an amateur there's no doubt he's one of the greatest Cuban amateur boxers ever; but that has no reflection on his professional resume. Joseph Agbeko, Yonnhy Perez, Eric Morel, Vic Darchinyan, and Anselmo Moreno warrant far more praise in terms of opposition than Teon Kennedy, Robert Marroquin, Willie Casey, Ricardo Cordoba, and Rico Ramos.
Can Nonito Donaire best Guillermo Ringondeaux? Who knows, maybe not. But I wouldn't be so sure that Rigondeaux could beat Abner Mares. To me Mares is proving himself to be a huge problem in the super bantamweight division: Part technician, part dirty scoundrel, part raging bull, makes for one bad combination of fighter.