Nonito Donaire Jr.: The Long Road to Pacquiao

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Nonito Donaire Jr.: The Long Road to Pacquiao
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

We all heard about a story of a young Filipino fighter who fought his way up and won titles in return. The unprecedented eight different weight division titles were a feat no one could ever replicate in this lifetime.

Manny Pacquiao has done it, and he has paved the way for aspiring fighters. He made it possible─ from the slums to the bright city lights of Las Vegas.

Nonito Donaire, who had recently won his fourth weight division title against the sturdy Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., is certainly on the right track. The Filipino flash had his eyes set on winning titles all the way to the light-weight division.

Four years before, people would laugh at the thought of a fighter in the lower weight, knocking out bigger oppositions and collecting belts on his way up. Pacquiao did it and Nonito with his skills and knockout power had followed Manny’s footsteps and had so far been successful in his quest.

Four down and hopefully four more to go, which means after his acid test in the super bantamweight division, he will move up to featherweight, super featherweight, light weight and light welterweight which is 20 pounds bigger than his fighting weight now.

So Nonito would be on collision course with Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley and a lot more hard-hitting fighters.

You would have to think about how will Nonito handle everything? How would he handle the bigger fighters without injuring his hands again? Questions will have to be answered with more questions…

Will Nonito make his own unprecedented eight? Yes and no.

Manny Pacquiao is an anomaly, a fighter that fought in the minimum weight who had an 8-inch wrist similar to Mike Tyson and Joe Louis. (Pacquiao's wrist) It just goes to show why he carried that power all the way to super welterweight without getting his hands injured.

Donaire on the other hand, generates so much power and force on his size that the impact usually leaves his hands getting injured. It needs to be corrected, but he also needs to fight smarter.

In his fight with Vazquez, he could have dominated him easily, but he was so keen on giving everybody a good fight that he always looks for a knockout. It did come in the ninth round, but his left hand was already injured and bloodied.

Going back to the question…would he make his own eight division world titles? Yes, if he fights smarter and no, if he doesn’t.

However, Nonito doesn’t have to follow Pacquiao. He doesn’t need to create his own pressure. He is equally great and he already made his own legacy.

Muhammad Ali says it better: “I know where I'm going, and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want.”

Nonito Donaire’s legacy will always be his…we don’t create directions for other people. They are free to choose their own paths.

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