Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nonito Donaire- Boxing's Next Big Thing

Fernando Montiel was never a bum fighter. In his long and distinguished boxing career, he's never been knocked out. In his native Mexico, he is mentioned at the same breath as Marquez, Morales, Barrera and Chavez, having won three world titles in three different weight classes. His two loses were a split and a majority decision against formidable opponents. After Montiels 2nd round KO courtesy of Nonito's brain concussing left hook to the temple, several of "The Filipino Flash" doubters were silenced , this time turned believers.

Some questioned that he shouldn't be in the Ring's pound for pound list (presently at number 5, Montiel is at number 7) because aside from Vic Darchinyan, whom he floored in the 5th round of their 2007 Bridgeport encounter, he never fought any other elite opponents. His recent knockout victory against the the Armenian Olympian Sodirenko was not enought to impress his critics. But this time around, they were awestruck with his performance over Montiel. They are shouting his name to the top of their lungs and proclaiming him as the "Next Manny Pacquiao".

I met Donaire in more than two occasions when we were in Dallas last year for the Pacquiao-Margarito fight. Contrary to what some fans are saying, I find him to be humble and very approachable. There is not a mean bone in him, no star complex whatsoever. He gladly talks to anyone who comes his way and eagerly have their photo taken with him. Being born in the Philippines but raised in the US, he is often misunderstood by Filipino fans and often comes as arrogant because of the way he walks and talks. But this is just Donaire being himself. Now, he is learning to speak Filipino more frequently. In his recent conquest over Montiel, he greeted and thanked the Vegas fans in Tagalog. He should be speaking his native tongue more often to gain acceptance with the Filipino masses. However, unlike Manny Pacquiao who adores her mother and loves his father even though he abandoned his family when Manny was just a little boy, Donaire is not on speaking terms with his mom and dad. This is mainly due to his family's interference over his marital affairs. Nonito is guilty of loving his wife too much. He should reconcile with his family 'cause "too much love might kill him" and eventually his career.

Nonito is here to stay, hopefully for long. At 28, he still has several fighting years ahead of him. Like the Great Pacman he'll soon be a household name in America and all over the world. Great performance Nonito, until the next fight......