Donaire, Marquez vying for Fighter of Year plum


NONITO Donaire Jr. delivers the punch that stopped Jorge Arce in the third round. AFP

HOLLYWOOD—If consistent performance is the basis, then Nonito Donaire Jr. should win Fighter of the Year honors hands down, according to fight experts.

But if impact is given more weight, then Juan Manuel Marquez should frustrate “The Filipino Flash” once again.

These possibilities shaped up following Donaire’s devastating third-round knockout of Mexican Jorge Arce Saturday night at Toyota Center in Houston.

A week earlier, Marquez shook the world with a devastating one-punch knockout of Manny Pacquiao, arguably the best offensive boxer of his generation, in their fourth meeting in Las Vegas.

While Marquez shattered the Pacquiao mystique, built through years of explosive stints in the United States, with that dynamite right to Pacquiao’s chin, Donaire built up his reputation in the lower weight classes by dominating Arce, a four-division world champion.

While the left hook remained his main weapon, Donaire showed his right straight can also topple down opponents, using the same shot to knock down Arce in the second round.

Despite his frail-looking physique, Donaire also owns the most powerful and fearful punch among the lower-division fighters. His one-punch knockout of the then unbeaten Vic Darchinyan in 2007 and his one-punch stoppage of Fernando Montiel in 2011 are now part of the boxing lore as Knockout of the Year winners.

The left hook he unleashed against Arce was nearly as powerful, sending the Mexican motionless and senseless for about a minute.

Coupled with his earlier triumphs over former WBA titlist Wilfredo Velasquez in February, IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula in July and former WBC super bantam champ Toshiaki Nishioka in October, the Arce stoppage should be the clincher for Donaire.

But experts have also rated highly Marquez’s unexpected knockout of Pacquiao, who neglected his defense for a second and paid the price.

For days, it was hot topic not only among boxing aficionados, but among sports fans, reaching the dugouts of the National Basketball Association and the National Football League, where Pacquiao is idolized by many superstars.

Promoter Bob Arum said Donaire’s masterful juggling of tactics and power against Arce has no equal.

“Fighter of the Year” was all Arum could say of Donaire Monday morning.

The Boxing Writers Association of America picked Andre Ward as Fighter of the Year over Donaire last year.

“If I win this time, that would be a great Christmas gift,” Donaire said.

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  • martingo18

    You people our dreaming, JMM would put him asleep too. Nonito does not have enough experience to get in the ring with JMM, or a Mayweather that’s a no brainer……
    I’m just saying, after thirty years watching this sport, Nonito would have no chance against JMM or Mayweather at this point of his career. He hasn’t fought anyone at their level.
    As for the JMM and Manny fight, how about the third round was Manny careless too? Keep making all the excuses, JMM would have caught Manny sooner or later, it was just sooner.

  • Henry, Jr.

    Nonito has all the skills in the world to send Marquez for his retirement! It would be a very interesting fight if Top rank would put up this fight [Nonito vs JM Marquez].

    Bring it on!

  • Albert Einstien

    DONAIRE yan kasi LUCKY PUNCH lang ke marquez…   : > )

  • Uragorn

    Between Donaire and Marquez, it’s a no-brainer. Donaire, definitely, should get FOTY. I agree with Add’s comment below – if not for Manny’s carelessness, Marquez should have been a goner in round 7. Meanwhile, Donaire was very clinical in stopping not only Arce but most of his opponents.

  • Nick_Fury

    Dapat lang si Donaire ang maging Fighter of the Year dahil sa galing niya. Never kay JMM kasi walang naging fighter of the year ang mga abangero na naka Peds. Iba talaga ang nagagawa ng Peds. If not for Manny walang tao gustong manood ng boksing na ang laro ay abang. Kaya walang following si Marquez. Never naging aggressor ang laro ni JuanMa. Abang dito, abang doon, abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

  • ADD

    Marquez for the fight of the year, WTF, if not for manny’s overconfidence and marquez’s perfect timing, the fight could have been to manny with dinamita’s face in shambles.

    Donaire fought 4 times against world-rated challengers and beat them at will, not a lucky-timing punch. If Donaire loses the fight of the year, that’s a sham.

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