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By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Sat, 20 Oct 2012

If the tremendous ratings of the WBC Diamond Belt and WBO super bantamweight/junior featherweight title fight between Nonito ?The Filipino Flash? Donaire and Japanese southpaw and WBC champion emeritus Toshiaki Nishioka at the Home Depot Center in Carson City last Sunday is any indication, there are many lessons to be drawn from them.

The first ? and perhaps most significant is ? Donaire has embedded himself in the consciousness of Filipino boxing fans who now look forward to his fights against who they perceive to be worthy opponents who could challenge Nonito in a real sense.

Nishioka who had superb wins over Jhonny Gonzalez and Rafael Marquez, brother of Juan Manuel Marquez, was deemed a tough opponent based on his record of not having lost a fight over the past eight years and being a southpaw known as ?Speed King? as well as a resilient fighter with a big punch.

The credentials helped build up the fight even as fans searched for an explosive performance by Donaire and he certainly didn?t disappoint them, scoring a devastating 9th round TKO victory after dropping Nishioka in the 6th round and dominating the fight while it lasted.

Kantar Media reported that the ratings for Total Philippines was 33.88 percent while the Total Urban figure was 31.61 percent and the Total Rural percentage 36.90.

That the fight was telecast over the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN and carried by its pre-eminent Channel 2 surely helped but such numbers on a Sunday morning speak volumes of the Filipino love of boxing and their rapidly growing admiration for Donaire.

They have another opportunity on Sunday to watch the telecast of the battle for the vacant WBO bantamweight title between No.1 ranked AJ ?Bazooka? Banal and No.2 rated Thai, Pungluang Sor Singyu at 10:15 a.m. on Channel 2.

No less than WBO president Franciso ?Paco? Valcarcel told us ?this fight is huge? even as he urged Filipinos to show their support for Banal and the sport itself by flocking to the spanking, new Mall of Asia Arena today, recognizing the fact that the famed ALA Promotions and its president Michael Aldeguer with the cooperation of ABS-CBN has spent a small fortune in giving the Filipinos a world title fight of this caliber. Surely its time for Filipino fight fans to show their appreciation for the gamble ALA Promotions has taken. They could do no less.

Getting back to Donaire who will be one of the commentators on television, there are many who believe that he is most definitely the heir-apparent to the ?Fighter of the Decade? Manny Pacquiao which, we consider a given. However, we disagree with those who believe that Donaire is better than Pacquiao which, aside from being debatable, reflects a distressing habit among many, of junking someone when they feel he is going down or is in the twilight of his career.

We regard this as disrespectful to both Pacquiao and Donaire and terribly unfair to Pacquiao who, by his incredible achievements in the ring and his compassionate and caring nature outside, deserves to be honored and respected all his life.

In fairness to Donaire he has often said that he respects and admires Pacquiao and there?s only one of his kind. Nonito will follow the path opened up to many aspiring young fighters like him but has made it clear, he will chart his own course and retain his own identity which is as it should be.

Of course the most welcome statement of Donaire has been that he has absolutely no interest in politics. While setting him apart from Pacquiao which many have welcomed, it does not aim to disparage either Pacquiao or those involved in politics. Its Manny?s calling, just like his transformation into a Bible studying preacher man and we must respect him for his choices.

However, there is one crucial aspect he needs to learn and perhaps the many pastors who have flocked around him for whatever reason, should guide him about. It's the importance of keeping commitments and of appreciating the fact that the time of others is precious to them and he must not treat it lightly.

Taken within a Biblical context, we read a passage which said that continually being late does not communicate zeal or diligence in serving Christ by loving others as he loves us.

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