By Hans Marin
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, is the man who recently outclassed “The Mexican Cowboy” Jorge Arce, the soon to be hall of famer, who was dominated in two rounds until being caught by a devastating left hook in round three that made him kiss the canvas and put him into retirement.
This bout happened after the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 fight that shocked the world as Juan Manuel Marquez avenged himself with a sneaky right straight in the sixth round over a lunging Manny Pacquiao that put him to sleep, face first on the canvas.
Donaire eventually vindicated the Filipinos over the Mexicans in a convincing fashion and received $1 million dollars, the biggest paycheck of his career.
Let’s face it, age does matter in boxing. Our bodies don’t lie as we grow older. It’s not always the case that what our mind conceives, our body can achieve. Boxing is a physical sport. There will always come a time when a boxer’s body is not responding as much as before.
This is their nadir, the period when retirement is the only option leaving all the legacies behind. It’s the perfect time to give way to others and for them to step-up and show to the whole world what they are truly capable of in their prime. This is when the prospects are emerging and when the next big thing is coming.
In today’s era, Donaire, who is Filipino-American, is currently making waves being a four-division world champion and the reigning WBO, The Ring and WBC Diamond Super Bantamweight Champion. He is capable of fighting either southpaw or orthodox, making him unpredictable and vicious to his opponents. Current ranked as the number six pound-for-pound boxer in the world, it is expected that he will reach the top 5.
Donaire is also a leading candidate for Ring Magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” after winning all four of his fights in 2012 including a masterful TKO win against Toshiaki Nishioka, who was the No. 1 ranked Super bantamweight at that time. Being a 7-1 underdog, his name was known throughout the world after pulling off an upset against the then undefeated Vic Darchinyan with a one-punch, fifth round knockout on July 7, 2007. The victory requitted his brother, Glenn Donaire’s loss to Darchinyan. It was ultimately awarded as Ring Magazine’s “Knockout and Upset of the Year.”
Donaire, being a Bohol native, also started from scratch like Pacquiao. He even went to the same school as Pacquiao.
In his childhood, he was a frail, asthmatic and wimpy kid that was often bullied and frequently coming home crying. As a middle child, he was not getting the attention that he wanted from his parents.
Wanting his parents to notice him and be proud of him, at 10-years old, Donaire went into boxing and got the respect he needed like his brother Glenn. As a kid, Donaire watched videos of his hero Alexis Argüello, using them to learn how to throw his powerful left hook.
Also, as brothers, they won regional and district amateur boxing championships while studying in San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California. They lived in California because of his father, who is working in the Philippine Army. It was also revealed that during his early career, Donaire hated, dreaded and never enjoyed boxing because of excessive pressure. Not wanting to disappoint his father, he decided to stick with boxing and as the years went by, he later loved the sport.
So now the big question is:
Does Donaire deserved to be on the big stage now and be placed with the likes of Manny Pacquiao?
I think so. Being 0-2 in 2012 including that devastating loss to Marquez, a lot of questions are being raised and doubts are being made about Pacman’s future.
He may not be the same Pacman now that we knew before. Pacquiao is not becoming any younger and his prime days are now behind him. With the legacy he created and helping put the Philippines on the map in the eyes of many, he will still remain the “Pambansang Kamao” of the Philippines and an icon, as he is the only boxers to win a championship in eight different divisions.
He truly inspired a lot of Filipino boxers including Donaire to make their names known throughout the world and to pursue boxing for the glory of the Philippines. We, Filipinos, are really thankful for Pacquiao’s contributions and we’ll always be no matter what happens. But even the greatest must fall down as they say, Manny Pacquiao is not immortal.
Nobody at this moment could live to the hype that Pacquiao possessed. Brian Viloria is a candidate, but with the buzz that Donaire created this 2012, he might be on the verge of taking the throne from Manny Pacquiao as the Philippine’s new standard bearer in boxing.