All three judges scored it for the former Olympic gold medalist and World Boxing Association titlist, with the scores reading 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111.
Donaire scored the bout’s only knockdown in the 10th when he landed a crunching left that dropped Rigondeaux for the first time in his professional career, but the Cuban came back storng int eh last two round to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Rigondeaux proved to be an elusive target for the hard-hitting Donaire, frustrating the Filipino with his speed and body movement. The Cuban, who was fighting in just his 12th professional bout, took control early and never gave Donaire a chance to get into rhythm.
The Filipino Flash appeared to have turned things around with that 10th-round knockdown, but instead of capitalizing on his newfound momentum, slowed down in the 11th and allowed Rigondeaux to steal the round. In the 12th, Donaire injured his right eye after both fighters fell to the canvas, and whatever chance he had to steal a win evaporated as he spent the rest of the round covering his right eye and unable to go on the attack.
The punch statistics showed that Rigondeaux was the more active and accurate boxer: he threw 396 punches and connected on 129 of them for a 33% rate, while Donaire threw 352 and landed only 82 for 23%.It was the first loss in 30 fights for the Filipino Flash, and comes just eight days after Brian Viloria lost his flyweight belts via split decision to Juan Francisco Estrada and four months after Manny Pacquiao lost via knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Donaire fell to 31-2 with 20 knockouts, while Rigondeaux stayed undefeated in 12 bouts. Around an hour after the bout ended, Donaire posted a message on his official Twitter account, thanking his supporters and congratulating Rigondeaux.
“I just want to thank God for keeping me safe, my guardian angels for protecting me, my Team for standing behind me, and my fans for their support. I tried to give my all and push the fight but we'll be back. I’ll come back and do better. For now, I congratulate Rigondeaux.”