By Don Donatello
I like Nonito Donaire, I’ve been waiting for this young man’s boxing career to fully blossom and become a PPV star. But his style is too cautious for the casual fan, the biggest block of fans in boxing.
His chance to shine is coming this Saturday when he fights Fernando Montiel from Mexico for the WBC and WBO Bantamweight Title. Fernando Montiel has 44 wins, 34 by KO, and 2 draw. Nonito Donaire has 25 wins, 17 by KO. His only loss was in his second fight on March of 2001 against Rosendo Sanchez via unanimous decision. Montiel’s last loss was against Jhonny Gonzalez on May of 2006 for the WBO Bantamweight Title via split decision. Previous to that loss, his other loss was against Mark Johnson in a WBO Super Flyweight Title fight on August of 2003 via majority decision. Montiel has a better knockout ratio than Donaire, 70.83% for Montiel and 65.38% for Donaire.
Knock out Fernando Montiel in the similar fashion when Nonito Donaire knocked out Vic Darchinyan, and Donaire goes a notch below Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in marketability. For Donaire to do that, he must get out of his comfort zone as a cautious fighter, he must become much more aggressive and look to finish Montiel, the earlier the better. Nonito Donaire is going to beat Fernando Montiel, it’s as simple as that. It is not a matter if Donaire is going to win or not, it’s going to be in how he beats Fernando Montiel. This is Donaire’s chance to catapult himself into one of the stars of boxing.
In my previous article regarding the Amir Khan/Marcos Maidana fight, I said that Khan can place himself right behind Pacquiao and Mayweather in status if he can beat Marcos Maidana convincingly in spectacular fashion. I also said if Khan fails to do that, he will have to wait a while longer. Khan failed and is in the process of getting another opportunity; his next opponent, Paul McCloskey, is not the kind of fighter that will give Khan an upgrade in status. McCloskey is undefeated but relatively unknown and he has not fought anyone worth mentioning.
Donaire is now at the same place that Khan was in the Maidana fight. Donaire is a cautious fighter, that cautious style is what prevents Donaire from delivering spectacular fights that attracts the biggest block of fans, the casual boxing fan. The casual fan does not care much about techniques and the nuances of a fight, they want to be entertained by two guys throwing punches, the more the better; better yet if there is a knockout.
The first 2-3 rounds of the Montiel/Donaire will indicate how the rest of the fight will be. I actually see this fight as similar to the Devon Alexander vs Timothy Bradley fight; it might even be more disappointing if Donaire is reluctant to take more chances than usual. I see Donaire waiting for Montiel to attack so he could throw counter punches. Montiel on the other hand will be looking to land a big punch like the one he clock Hozumi Hasegawa with in their WBC Bantamweight Title fight on April of 2010.
I’m ambivalent whether Donaire will choose to remain in his comfort zone and put on a tepid showing against Montiel, If Donaire chooses to show aggression that many have been hoping to see, he will reap many rewards providing he knock out Montiel.
Donaire is predicting to knock out Fernando Montiel. If he can do that, he will be on his way to becoming a household name in boxing. Like I said, it’s not a matter if Nonito Donaire can beat Fernado Montiel, it will be a matter in how he does it.
If Fernando has the balls to stand up and go man to man with Nonito Donaire, he will be knocked out. If Fernando does a Mayweather Jr. number and run, look for an African American style of boxing like that in the Devon Alexander vs Timothy Bradley fight and it will be a boring win for Donaire!
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