Nonito Donaire - A Genuine Star In The Making

nonito donaire James Slater - It was thrilling viewing watching "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire do his stuff yesterday on the site that played host to the greatest heavyweight title fight of all-time (The Thrilla in Manila). The way the once-beaten (on points in just his second pro fight, way back in March of 2001) IBF flyweight champion took care of the unbeaten and talented Raul Martinez of Texas showed how fine a fighter he is.

Wanting very much to put on a spectacular showing against "The Cobra," the 26-year-old champion did just that. Known for his power more than anything, Donaire pretty much abandoned the boxing skills he also possesses. Coming out and instantly letting his amazingly powerful and accurate hands go in the opening two rounds, Donaire put his man down three times and seemed to be on the verge of victory. He was, it just took a little longer than 2 rounds due to the bravery and sheer guts of his 27-year-old challenger..

We saw some of Donaire's classy boxing ability in the 3rd round, as he switched tactics for a time, probably as astonished as the rest of us that Martinez was still there. But then the thing he is both best known for and the thing that makes him such a thrill to watch - his numbing KO power - came back into view, and Martinez was sent crashing one more time. The peach of a left uppercut that put the challenger down in the 4th round was really something to see, and without bothering to count after having seen it, the third man in the ring waved the fight off.

One of the most dangerously effective weapons in all of boxing, Donaire's left hand, either thrown as an uppercut or as a hook, was really clicking in yesterday's bout. The display he put on was exciting, dominant and great fun to watch. The question now is, what next for "The Flash?"

Fans have already spoken about who they want him to fight next - and Donaire would surely go along with calls for him to rematch the man he so sensationally flattened in 5 rounds back in July of 2007, in Vic Darchinyan. But there seems little chance of this part-two taking place. For although Donaire spoke yesterday about moving up to either super-flyweight or bantamweight for his next fight - thus following the Armenian-born "Raging Bull" to his new weight class in the process - Darchinyan and his people have already made it clear a rematch is not a priority.

This is a real shame, because the two rivals could really help to make the super-fly and/or bantamweight division a real marquee weight class. Donaire is a genuine star in the making, though, and he may well get his due status without Darchinyan's cooperation. Watching him earlier today (and, props go to Setanta Sports for showing the fight on delayed tape over here in the UK), Donaire made it clear to me he is a man we all need to see more of soon.

Judging by the footage Setanta showed of yesterday's action, the entire Manila bill was absolutely first-rate. The fight between Brian Viloria and Ulises Solis may have been the fight of the night, but Nonito Donaire's display was also a joy to watch. More please!

Article posted on 19.04.2009

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