By Vitali Shaposhnikov: With every day more and more people leave and enter the world of boxing. Some join as fans and others as participants. The best thing about this is that it’s a co-dependent cycle, where one directly depends on the other: fans are attracted to the sport by a certain fighter, and most fighters dedicate themselves for the benefit of the fans. This past Saturday December 4th, I was in attendance at the Top Rank’s event dubbed “In Harm’s Way,” and this cycle was in full blaze. While the attendance numbers were low, the card proved to be well worth the while. All fights were stuffed with action, pleasing the fans from bell to bell.
While not being the main event on paper, certainly the majority of the fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, came to see Nonito Donaire display his unparallel talent and speed once again. His challenger, Wladimir Sydorenko fighting out of Kiev, Ukraine, was no practice run. With only 2 losses out of his 22 wins, Wladimir has never been knocked out. When the first round bell rang and the seconds began counting down, it became clear that Nonito simply outclasses Sydorenko with his speed and reflexes. Nonito scored a knockdown in round one with a sharp left-right combination right on the button. In round three, Donaire landed a superb left hand, sending Wladimir to the canvas. Nonito had earlier predicted a 5th round knockout of his opponent, but he was unable to wait, knocking Sydorenko out in round 4. Nontio’s talent has been voiced all over the world, and his stardom is on a sharp rise. His name and his logo is becoming a real passion for many boxing fans. While currently Manny Pacquiao holds the title of the ultimate Filipino sports star, Nonito Donaire is right behind him to keep his country people proud. On February 19th, Nonito takes on Fernando Montiel in the biggest fight of his career so far. For those who don’t know about this fight, or dismiss its importance and potential, I urge you to reconsider, as many expect it to be nothing short of spectacular.
Post Fight Interview with Nonito Donaire:
– After this fight, how high up in weight do you think you can go?
– Right now I think I can go as high as 130lbs. I feel really good. But right now I am not even touching the weight. 118lbs is a bit of a struggle, I think 122lbs is really good. I know I can go 126lbs pretty decently.
– How much influence if any, did Manny Pacquiao have or has on your boxing? Will you try to imitate his success by aiming at higher weight classes?
– I will do the best that I can. I believe that part of him did inspire me to do my best and to make it happen. If he can do it, I can do it. He inspired me to keep going and to win. We are definitely good friends. We don’t talk about boxing much, we just hang out.
– Since your win over Darchinyan, how much do you think you have progressed?
– I definitely got better, and I will keep getting better that’s just it! I’ll continue to get better and stronger from every experience. That’s what I aim for, to keep learning and to be better.
– What would you tell Vic right now, what message?
– There is really nothing. We had a fight in August and he backed out of it. The guy is something that just happened. History. Its past, it’s done. I gave him a rematch, he didn’t want it. I am ready to move on and Montiel is my next fight.
– You have been on the p4p list for some time now. What do you think earned you a place on that list?
– I think it’s just the victories. Each time I have a victory. All the fights got me there. All the people have seem what I am capable of, and all the fights after the Darchinyan fight got me to that level. I am knocking guys out. Only one guy I didn’t knock out, and he came into the ring 12lbs or so higher.
– Did you expect this fight with Sydorenko to go the way it did?
– I expected the guy to be tough but I felt really strong and motivated, and trained really hard for this fight. I predicted a 5th round knockout, but I got him early.
– What fighter in boxing history can you compare yourself to?
– That I don’t know. Right now I am still making my way up, trying to do the best that I can. I can’t really compare myself to anybody. I haven’t yet achieved where I want to be, but I will get there.
– How has your relationship with your father been?
– He came out with another article bashing my wife, and I thought that we have made up. Apparently not, so it will take time. I am always open with my family. If you cant get along with my wife, then it hard for me to make things happen. I do love my parents and my family; they were actually here to see me fight. Aside from that, time will tell. That’s all I can really say.
– Who came up with the nickname Filipino Flash?
– In school I was pretty fast. I was always into cartoons and animation. I like the name Flash. The Filipino came along become I am Filipino. I was just supposed to be Nonito ‘Flash” Donaire. My brother was The Filipino Bomber, and once we fought and I can after him, and they introduced me as Nonito “The Filipino Flash.” That’s when it got stuck there.
– Any message to your fans?
– Thank you guys for all the support. It was awesome and I hope you guys enjoyed the fight. I am just going to get better from this point on. Please keep supporting me, keep praying for me, and I will keep winning. So thank you guys!
WBC lightweight champion Humberto Soto (54-7-2, 32 KOs) has the fight of his facing Urbano Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs). While both boxers posses very good technical skill, this fight turned out to be a challenge of heart. Both fighters threw a barrage of punches, and giving up was not on the map. Antillon was able to prove that despite losing, he is a forced to be reckoned with. They gave fans what they came for. Arum talked about some possible future opponents for Antillon, but nothing solid was disclosed. Scores were 114-113, 115-112, 114-113, for the winner, Humberto Soto.
The fight that surprised most, was the middleweight bout between Pawel Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs) and Jose Pinzon (19-2-1, 13 KOs). Initially Wolak was planning on sharing the ring with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. who pulled out of the fight due to a reported case of the flu. Wolak did not believe this to be true, but made no excuses and did not complain. This fight showed that Pawel has the heart of a true champion, a fighter with something to prove to himself. In round two, Wolak was sent to the floor by Pinzon, and did not show much hope when back on his feet. Pinzon proceeded with a wide spectrum of non-stop offense, while Pawel was attempting to weather the storm and get through the round. Many fans were voicing their concern as the round was happening, yelling and demanding this fight be stopped. Most, including me counted Pawel out, believing he was badly hurt. This theory turned out to be a complete dud, and Pawel showed his tremendous recovery skill. Wolak came back the next round, and dictated the pace of the fight with an incredible offensive force every second of every round. In round seven, at the time of 2:24 on the clock, referee Jack Reiss waved off the fight. Pinzon was barely standing on his feet, showing a clear case of defeat.
– Pawel Wolak, why boxing?
– I just love the competition and want to be the best.
– After the knockdown, there was a period of time when it seemed like the fight could have been stopped at any moment. The referee let it go, and of course it turned out to be of benefit to you. What did you feel when you got up from the knockdown, and a barrage of punches came your way?
– I got knocked down flat out; I can’t make any excuses about that. But when I got up I was fine. I know he came a little hard at me, but I was just trying to weather the storm. I knew that if I could survive, and get my legs back in round three, I was going to come strong and win. Almost every fight I lose the first round. I know that once the middle rounds come, it will be all me. I always stay positive in my heart that sooner or later I will catch them.
– I haven’t seen too many of your fights, but do you think that this was one of the more beneficial fights in your career? The reason I say this, is because you made a very powerful statement in this particular fashion.
– It was a good fight. I had other better fights where I could dominate and break down the opponent, but this fight really showed my heart. It showed my preparation as well.
– When can we see you back in the ring?
– I am not too sure right now, but as far as I know, March time is when we are planning it.
All in all, this was a great event that paved a very hard yet prospective road for many of the participating fighters.