Why Nonito Donaire Can Be as Loved as Pacquiao
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Every utterance, every quick syllable that falls from Nonito Donaire’s mouth when it comes to fellow Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao comes with a heavy dose of deference. “The Filipino Flash” knows where he stands when it comes to his elder.
But who’s to say Donaire can’t one day stop the Philippines as Pacquiao does each time he fights? Who’s to say Donaire can’t be as beloved as the future Hall of Fame great?
Donaire can be.
For one, Donaire is the future of the sport. He’s among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world under the age of 30, joining Tim Bradley, Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. And while Donaire is on the upward portion of his career arc, Pacquiao seemed to be slowly, gradually, spiraling downward.
There are some considerable cracks in Pacquiao’s once-invulnerable veneer. Most agree he beat Bradley in his last fight, but Pac-Man came under heavy criticism for his performance against Juan Manuel Marquez in their third bout, with most observers feeling Pacquiao lost.
Meanwhile, Donaire keeps surging forward. The WBO junior bantamweight champion won a split-decision over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., though Donaire clearly dominated the fight. He’s stopped four of his six opponents and his stunning knockout of Fernando Montiel in the second round was the 2011 Knockout of the Year.
Pacquiao hasn’t stopped an opponent since Miguel Cotto in 2009, and hasn’t won by a devastating knockout ever since he vanquished Ricky Hatton in May 2009.
We hear what sounds like rehearsed comments from Pacquiao these days. It's as if he’s become bored with the sport, the words becoming stale and sterile, more like someone who’s afraid to say what’s really on his mind.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The Filipino Flash has an effervescent personality, and his wife, Rachel, is among the most beautiful and outspoken spouses in boxing. With Rachel by his side, Nonito gets an added boost in the crossover cache.
Donaire is also at a stage where he’s very tangible. Whereas success has built a wide berth of insulation between Pacquiao and his fanbase, Donaire still has that luxury of being able to wade into a crowd and sign autographs and take pictures with fans. Pacquiao has reached the stage where his entourage is the size of a small army, whisking everyone away that comes near.
The day is coming, and coming fast when Donaire unseats the great Pacquiao. The gap between the two was once as wide as the Grand Canyon. That's not the case now.
Given some time, and a good push by promoter Top Rank, who represents both Pacquiao and Donaire, the Filipino Flash can take his rightful place at the top of the Filipino boxing world. He’s played the deferential role long enough; it’s now time to take the mantle Pacquiao once held.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?