Donaire clinches Fighter of Year honorBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s no stopping Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. from being hailed as universal Fighter of the Year.
This developed after Yahoo! Sports jumped on the bandwagon by picking the World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion for the accolade over Manny Pacquiao conqueror Juan Manuel Marquez.
ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CNN and Ring Magazine have earlier chosen Donaire as their FOY by virtue of his four convincing wins— capped by a third-round knockout of four-division world champion Jorge Arce on Dec. 15 in Houston, Texas—over the past 12 months.
The 30-year-old Donaire started his banner campaign by convincingly beating Wilfredo Vasquez, then followed it up by dominating Jeffrey Mathebula and stopping Toshiaki Nishioka in the ninth round.
Nishioka subsequently retired and Arce followed suit.
Only the Boxing Writers Association of America has yet to make its choice, but Donaire also heads its five candidates that also includes Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Danny Garcia, and Fil-Am Brian Viloria.
If negotiations with fellow titlists Abner Mares (World Boxing Council) and Guillermo Ringondeaux (World Boxing Association) fail to prosper, Donaire will likely tangle with a lesser light in March or April.
According to reports, there’s even a chance that Donaire will fight out of the United States next, with Singapore and Macau being considered as possible fight venues.
The BWAA picked Pacquiao, who got knocked out cold by Marquez in the sixth round on Dec. 8, its FOY in 2006, 2008 and 2009. It later named the eight-division world champion as its Fighter of the Decade.