By Dexter Reyes
I know that I might receive some hate comments from the extreme Manny Pacquiao fans for this, but I believe Nonito Donaire is the more talented Filipino boxer of the two.
I have nothing against Manny Pacquiao or his fans, I am not a Pacquiao basher, so I hope you Pac-Fans reading this can at least respect my opinion even if you don’t agree with it.
When you are a student of boxing and continually watch it over the years, you gain an appreciation for the technical aspects of the sport that you probably didn’t appreciate when you were younger.
I admit, I used to be only interested in Mike Tyson and Arturo Gatti when I was younger and found little interest in guys who were not power punchers or super aggressive.
As I got older I began to understand the sweet science more and appreciate the actual technique involved.
Just because I say Nonito Donaire is a more technically sound and skilled boxer than Manny Pacquiao doesn’t mean I am saying that Manny isn’t skilled.
Manny will basically throw a flurry of fast punches and jump out of the way. Nonito will time his opponent super aggressive style with perfectly timed counter punches like he did against Vic Darchinyan in one of the best knock-outs of all time. Nonito is more refined while Manny is more wild. Nonito doesn’t waste punches, like a cobra he calculates the right time to strike. Manny throws lots of wild punches hoping some of them land and gets hit in the process.
I do feel Manny gets away with his flaws only because he is being paired with fighters whom complement his style. Manny cannot make those same mistakes against someone like a Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Andre Berto because a fast boxer and counter puncher will exploit those flaws and attack Pacquiao’s openings.
Manny has skills, but he is not a classical boxer in the sense of doing things by the textbook. Manny Pacquiao is a pure fighter, who relies on his god given speed and athleticism, once those physical traits begin to diminish with age Manny will no longer be able to compete at a high level anymore because he lacks the boxing fundamentals and defensive skills to let him fight without speed and agility.
Roy Jones Jr. relied on explosive athleticism and once his speed and agility diminished with age he started losing by knockout and wasn’t the same dominant fighter he once was. Manny Pacquiao will probably face the same fate as Roy Jones Jr. because Manny mainly relies on his speed and agility to beat opponents, once that is gone he will get hit more often and won’t be able to move out of the way of punches like he used to.
Bernard Hopkins is older than Roy Jones Jr. but he is still competitive at 45 years old, Nonito Donaire is like Bernard Hopkins, because even if Nonito loses his speed an agility he still has his boxing skill and fundamentals to fall back on.
Boxing isn’t all about speed and explosiveness, it’s not a track meet where the fastest runner wins, it’s about timing and inches, a guy who doesn’t have the fastest feet or most athletic ability can beat a fighter with his boxing skills, ring smarts and fundamentals if he knows how to exploit their mistakes. Nonito Donaire possesses these traits and that’s why I consider him a better boxer than Manny Pacquiao.
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