By Dar Mead
Lately, there has been a debate on which current Filipino boxer is more skilled; Manny Pacquiao or Nonito Donaire?
From a technical boxing standpoint one would have to go with the “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire, he is a slicker and more calculated counter puncher who uses smarts and timed punches to defeat his opponent. Manny Pacquiao is what is called an unorthodox awkward fighter, he isn’t a typical boxer and his style is unique and shouldn’t be emulated because he makes too many technical mistakes that other young fighters shouldn’t follow. Pacquiao’s style is his and his alone and would get any other fighter knocked out if they tried to copy him.
Both Donaire and Pacquiao are great fighters, although different in fighting style, both are effective in the ring. The biggest difference comes outside the ring, Nonito Donaire has the charisma and friendly personality that makes it easy for him to communicate with fans from America all the way to Philippines. When you watch Nonito Donaire during interviews and press conferences he is very comfortable around an audience, he is also a good speaker who has quick wit and an inviting personality to the fans around him. Manny Pacquiao is a humble fighter, but at times he can be very socially awkward, and not comfortable when meeting people for the first time, maybe it’s a language barrier but he just doesn’t respond to fans in the same way that Nonito does.
Nonito greets fans with open arms and a huge smile. He is always hugging, shaking hands, and talking to them as if he was greeting a long lost friend he hasn’t seen in years. Manny stares away and gives no smile just an awkward silence and a hand shake when he meets fans for the first time. When you watch Manny Pacquiao who is a big sports superstar doing interviews on ESPN or other national TV shows, the interviews become very awkward and confusing. Maybe Manny doesn’t enjoy doing these interviews because he repeats the same lines over and over as if he was reading from a script, “I want to give a good fight,” “I trained hard for this fight,” “My opponent is strong,” “I feel I am 100 percent conditioned,” and many other repetitive lines.
Charisma doesn’t mean much in terms of accomplishments, but give a skilled and charismatic fighter like Nonito Donaire the opportunity to shine, he could be one of boxing’s next crossover stars. What boxing needs is more fighters like Nonito Donaire who are well spoken and comfortable in front of the cameras, it helps make the sport more mainstream in places like America and Canada.
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