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By Maloney L. Samaco

23 Apr 2009

Filipino-Americans Nonito Donaire, Jr. and Brian Viloria lived up to the expectations of their countrymen when they clobbered separate rivals last Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. Donaire (21-1, 14 KO's) successfully defended his International Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organization flyweight titles. While Viloria (25-2, 15 KO's) won the IBF light-flyweight title and became world champion again.

“The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria dealt a knockout punch on long reigning IBF champion Ulises Solis in the eleventh round. The Mexican champion successfully defended his IBF title eight times before succumbing to the Viloria punch.

“The Filipino Flash” Donaire showed little effort in handing previously undefeated Raul “Cobra” Martinez his first loss and his first knockout in four rounds. Martinez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Side by side they fought for the country and side by side they were honored in a fitting motorcade and ceremonies. Together they were handed awards and incentives by Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim.

The Senate through Senator Manny Villar passed a resolution commending the feats of the two boxers who inspired Filipinos to excel in worldwide competitions. Their combined victories placed the nation again in the world sporting map.

Viloria for a while had wanted to challenge Donaire's title if there is an opportunity. He defeated both Nonito in the finals and brother Glenn in the semi-finals of the 2000 US Olympic Trials. The decision against Nonito was disputable.

In protest, Nonito refused to leave the ring after the defeat to Viloria, and said “I felt that my brother and I won our fights, but with the favoritism towards Viloria, it made it nearly impossible to secure a victory."

Last Sunday we saw them fighting together to give a boast to the Philippines' billing as a dominant country in the world in the field of professional boxing. It showed our superiority anew against Mexican fighters as evidenced by Viloria's triumph over Solis. And Donaire won convincingly over an American fighter of Mexican lineage in Martinez.

The country needs the two world champions holding their respective title belts, not fighting each other to prove who's the better fighter. Let the stigma of the 2000 US Olympic trials die down with the latest resurgence of the Viloria diadem and the consistency of the Donaire power.

Donaire is now reigning on the flyweight division and is even planning to move up to superflyweight due to weight problems. While Viloria could continue dominating the light-flyweight category, his natural weight division.

Promoter Bob Arum predicted that there could be ten Filipino world champions in the years ahead. He said because there are several terrific and talented Filipino boxers and with great loyal following, not only in the country but with millions of countrymen abroad.

We need Filipino world champions holding their crowns for a long long time. Not Filipino champions cutting each other's throats. Let bygones be bygones. No more Donaire vs. Viloria. Let Donaire fight side by side with Viloria again.

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