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List of Articles by Rich Mazon


 

NONITO DONAIRE TAKES STEP TOWARDS STARDOM

By Rich Mazon
PhilBoxing.com
19 Feb 2011



LAS VEGAS -- The location is the capital of boxing fights. The fight is covered by boxing giant HBO. The rivalry is set, Philippines versus Mexico once again. The opponent is a worthy one, a champion, a future hall of famer. The stakes are high. A championship belt is at stake, two championships belt in fact, but more so is the possible reward of a win after this fight.

And Nonito Donaire knows this. Since his much heralded upset of then favored and undefeated Vic Darchinyan in 2007, Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire has been in a string of mostly forgettable fights. The anticipated rematch with Darchinyan did not materialize after the Filipino fighter bolted out of former promoter Gary Shaw's stable in 2008 who promotes both fighters at that time.

His move to Bob Arum's Top Rank in June of the same year produced six fights in the span of two years but without the big name fight that one would expect him to be in following his big win over Darchinyan. The rematch with Darchinyan which was planned for the summer of last year did not produce any results. He then fought two more times in 2010, ending the year with a 4th round KO of Ukrainian's Wladimir Sidorenko to capture a title in the bantamweight division. A division which features the big name fight that he has long aspired for.

Enter WBO and WBC Bantamweight world champion, Mexican, Fernando "Cochulito" Montiel. Not only a big name fighter, a dangerous one too. With a record of 44 wins with only 2 losses. Montiel won't be any of the caliber of the fighters Donaire has fought since Darchinyan. Thirty four of Montiel's wins came in the way of knockouts. The latest was a 2nd round destruction of fellow Mexican Jovanny Soto in December of last year.

This would indeed be his biggest fight to date, both in foe, scope and importance. And Nonito is ready for the spotlight. He has been training since December of last year in the Oxnard California gym of Robert Garcia. He also has hooked back with the infamous Victor Conte for a strength and conditioning program geared to prepare him for the February 19 battle. He also has been heavily involved in the promotions of the fight. As the spotlight gears back to Las Vegas this week for 2011's second big fight of the year, Nonito knows the spotlight is also on him. The expectations are high for him from his countrymen who has grown accustomed to Manny Pacquiao's successes in the squared ring. No one but Donaire is close enough to achieving stardom amongst the current breed of Filipino fighters who desire to be the next Manny Pacquiao. And Donaire has both the skills, talent and now an opponent and a fight to prove it.

Boxing is again abuzz with a potential great duel today. A fight featuring fighters who both own winning streaks of their own culminating to this one big event. A fight promising great rewards for both and Donaire is all happy to be part of it.

These are the matches a prizefighter dreams for... big stage, big coverage, big attention. Today that stage will be ready. And as the Filipino Flash takes his first steps towards the ring come fight night, he also will be ready to take his first step towards boxing stardom.

Top photo: Donaire during the official weighin Friday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank.


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