Donaire's star on the rise
By Eddie Alinea
Wed, 23 Feb 2011
It looks like newly-crowned World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire doesn’t need to fight the winner in the elimination encounter between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares Martinez to be adjudged the best 118-pound fighter in the world today.
If ever, that fight against whoever emerges victorious in that April bout would just be an icing on the cake to unify the division before the newest Filipino boxing sensation move to the super-bantamweight or featherweight class.
The Ring Magazine, long-time acknowledged as the “Bible” in the sport of sweet science, has named the 28-year-old Filipino-American the no. 1 in his division following his quick second round disposal of erstwhile Mexican belt-owner Fernando Montiel last Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas.
Not only that, the prestigious Magazine, likewise, elevated the new champ to no. 3 in its pound-for-pound ranking, next only to compatriot and eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao and undefeated controversial American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Donaire, rated no. 5 before Saturday’s sensational win, overtook Sergio Martinez and Juan Manuel Marzquez, ranked no. 3 and no. 4 before that day as he moved closer to completing a 1-2 Philippine ranking for the honor, which will be a first for the country in the history of boxing.
A possibility not far-fetched since Mayweather has no scheduled fight this coming March, which marks one full year of inactivity that, according to the Ring rule, will cost him his lofty ranking.
The Ring Magazine editors’ decisions were unanimous in both categories.
The fact that, as in the top bantamweight verdict was concerned, Montiel, the vanquished, was ranked no. 1 among the 118-pund fighters, a position he held a couple of years, helped.
Where to rate Donaire in the mythical (and very subjective) pound-for-pound ratings was not that easy though. Some writers, in fact, were of the belief that the no. 5 ranking Donaire enjoyed was too high considering that his only worthy accomplishment in his budding career was his fourth round KO triumph over Vic Darchinyan in 2007, a feat that earned the “KO of the Year” honor.
Martinez, Ring’s middleweight champ and 2010 Fighter of the Year, for his part, owns a similarly solid second-round KO of the Year win over Paul Williams, while Marquez, THE RING lightweight champ, is coming off a ninth-round stoppage of No. 1 contender Michael Katsidis in a 2010 fight-of-the-year candidate.
“It took more time to discuss where Nonito Donaire would be rated in the pound-for-pound rankings than it did to update the entire divisional rankings,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of Ring Magazine.”
In the end, however, Donaire’s overpowering performances in his last 10 fights, nine of which he won via knockout or TKO, tilted in his favor.
If Donaire gets his wish and continues his winning ways, his idol Pacquiao, who’s taken on huge underdogs in his recent bouts, and Mayweather, who has nothing scheduled in 2011, better start looking over their shoulders.
The Filipino Flash is coming and closing in a fast pace.
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