Donaire facing shoulder surgery

April, 15, 2013
4/15/13
1:41
PM ET
Nonito Donaire hadn't tasted defeat in 12 years, and he sipped from the bitter cup on Saturday night, at Radio City Music Hall, as Cuban native Guillermo Rigondeaux showed amazing command of the sweet science and took a unanimous decision from the 2012 BWAA Fighter of the Year.

Donaire's wife Rachel told me on Monday afternoon that she and the fighter are keeping proper perspective on the loss. First things first, the Cali resident will be visiting doctors to fix torn ligaments in his right shoulder, which hobbled his gameplan and removed a most potent weapon against a lefty. Rachel told me that the shoulder was diagnosed in late January and a doctor recommended surgery. But the fighter said he wanted to put it off, to have one more bout before he took some time off. Their first child is due in July, and the wife said the fighter is looking forward to decompressing. First, there will be a surgery, maybe by the same healer who did Andre Ward's recent shoulder surgery, perhaps within a week or so.

Difficulties making 122 also weighed on the boxer, she told me. He had difficult making it out of the 130s in camp, she said, and on Thursday, was at about 126 pounds. Making 122 pounds is no longer a solid option, she said.

So, is there a rematch in the future, near or far, with Rigo? The Donaires don't seem to be that enthused by the prospect. Nonito has fought a bunch of risk-averse types recently, and some foes who will take it to him, like a Juan Manuel Lopez, for example, would make for more fan-friendly encounters, and play better to his style. "We're taking nothing away from Rigo, but that style of fighting is mostly for the purist fans, which are something of a dying breed," she told me. "He can fight that way his whole career, that's fine, but that's not what a lot of the fans want."

Donaire is likely to appear back in the ring, she said, in late fall.
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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