By Ludwig O. Daza
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire’s win over Fernando Montiel was a flashback to that moment of glory in Philippine boxing years ago brought by Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s win over Marco Antonio Barrera. That win by Manny brought him to the consciousness of the boxing fans the world over. That win ushered to Manny financial gains he would never have imagined possible and fame that brought him recently to the steps of the White House.
The Filipino Flash is a complete package. When Manny Pacquiao won over Barrera, he could barely speak English. Donaire having been raised in San Leandro, California is articulate and confident (not in a cocky way) and has more of a fan base than Manny when he beat Barrera. Filipino fans consider him as their own just like Manny, and California fans consider him likewise as their own having been raised there. And if he continue winning in Pacman-like fashion he will endear himself to the whole of USA boxing fans in no time, and the probability that he will eclipse the Pacman’s fame and fortune is not far-fetch.
As with Manny, Nonito’s skills are truly his own and own alone. Donaire possesses fluidity, while Pacquiao has that rough style combined with uncanny ability to time his target. The Filipino flash is fluid with his power because of his amazing footwork, while the Pacman has foot speed. This is the reason why these fleet-footed fighters are able to dart in and out against their opponents.
When Manny won over Barrera, the boxing world still considers him as a one-dimensional and left fist trigger-happy fighter. It was only in his fight with Oscar De la hoya that the boxing world saw a complete fighter. It took a while for trainer Freddie Roach to mold his prized fighter into one who would capture unprecedented 8 weight division titles.
But Donaire’s skill as a complete fighter was already evident when he starched the loud-mouth Vic Darchinyan. He was winning the fight from start up to that moment he flashed that counter left-hook that took the wind out of Darchinyan. And so it was the same scenario with Fernando Montiel several years later.
When Manny Pacquiao was the same age as Nonito Donaire’s age now, his fistic existence had already seen better days. His two battles with Juan Manuel Marquez, his first with Erik Morales, and the draw with Agapito Sanchez are all hard fights, and those fights can take a toll on Manny later in life. Donaire’s mettle, however, hasn’t been tested as all his fights can be considered as relatively easy – this is because of his outstanding skills. The only fight that can be considered hard is his fight with Rafael Concepcion who scaled the weight several pounds heavier and entered the ring as featherweight in a fight for flyweight title. Donaire could have backed out of the fight, but his toughness was proven when he allowed the fight to happen nonetheless.
His public spat with his family and some press people will in time be forgotten as he rises to superstardom. As philosopher Machiavelli said: “when you’re victorious, your enemies are consigned to the dungeon of oblivion”.
I would like him to unify the bantamweight division first before taking on Yuriorkis Gamboa in the higher division, for him to acclimatize more his body to that weight before moving up, and to drum up that fight that Bob Arum is now possibly thinking as Donaire gets bigger and famous.
Nonito’s got the whole boxing world in his hands now, and the places where his skill can take him are waiting to be seized by his devastating check hook. Don’t be surprised if Donaire wins diadems at 122, 126, 130, and 135 weight divisions.
There are important fights out there waiting for Donaire aside from Yuriorkis Gamboa: Rafael Marquez, Orlando Salido, Abner Mares.
The fight with Gamboa will still take a while as he announced his intention to fight in higher weight division, even calling the Pacman. It should be noted that Juan Ma Lopez is still very much in the equation, and I believe Juan Ma can win the rematch against Salido.
After Donaire upends Omar Narvaez in Big Apple, Bob Arum needs to start thinking of a way to transform Donaire and repair the self-inflicted damage done as regards to his Filipino fans. The Filipino fans are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to pay per view sales, and as Manny Pacquiao’s retirement looms, Nonito Donaire remains the only viable option as the next pride of the Philippines.
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