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article imageReview: Pacquiao and Donaire — Heading in different boxing directions

By Antonio Figueroa     Jan 26, 2013 in Sports
Eight-division boxing champion Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao and four-division kingpin ‘Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire share at least one thing in common: both are proud Filipino warrior.
The two ring gladiators trace their parental roots to Central Philippines, and both list their place of origin as General Santos City, in Southern Philippines.
In 2012, Pacquiao was honored as the WBC ‘Fighter of the Decade’, while Donaire, less than a month ago, was crowned ‘2012 Fighter of the Year’ by the world’s most prestigious sports publications.
But 2012 was also a ‘year of contraction’ for both boxers.
That year Donaire fought four times, won four times, snared four crowns, and humbled four nationalities. Additionally, he also won his bouts through four different decisions, namely: split decision (SD), unanimous decision (UD), technical knockout (TKO), and knockout (KO)!
On Feb. 4, Donaire won the vacant WBO bantamweight crown by defeating Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. via SD at the Alamodrome in Texas. Four months later, he annexed the IBF bantamweight tiara by UD over South African Jeffrey Mathebula on July 7 at the Home Depot Center in California.
On Oct. 13, the Filipino Flash demolished Japanese Toshiaki, also at the Center, via a ninth-round TKO, in the process annexing the newly-created WBO ‘emeritus’ championship belt, and followed this triumph on Dec. 15 when he kayoed WBO super bantamweight titleholder Mexican Jorge Arce in three rounds at the Toyota Center in Texas.
For Pacquiao, 2012 was a year of disaster. He only fought twice and was defeated two times by two foreigners.
On June 9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, American Thomas ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley took away Manny’s WBO welterweight belt via SD, thanks to spurious decision. That was the boxing icon’s career third loss. In the BoxRec book, Bradley’s win is marked with a red question mark, meaning “unverified.”
Half a year later, on Dec. 8, in a stunning fashion, Mexican Juan Manuel ‘Dinamita’ Marquez, in his fourth encounter with the future Hall of Famer, demolished Pacquiao in six rounds by kayo.
Manny’s 2013, on the other hand, sports analysts predict, will be no different from his dismal performance the previous year. If plans do not miscarry, he will be fighting “recycles,” the same two guys who handed him defeats in 2012, i.e., Bradley and Marquez.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum sets the Pacquiao-Marquez V tiff in September, and most likely Bradley before the year ends because Top Rank has already handpicked a yet-unnamed opponent for him in April.
For Donaire, the proposed fights so far mentioned in the media would be against undefeated opponents. On line, according to either Golden Boy Promotions or Top Rank Promotions, are Mexican Abner Mares who holds the IBF superbantamweight tiara, and Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, holder of the WBA version of the same division title.
Both possible Donaire contenders fought twice in 2012.
Mares defeated Puerto Rican Eric Morel in winning the IBF crown via UD, and went on to defend it once against Panamanian Anselmo Moreno, also by UD.
On the other hand, Rigondeaux won his title by demolishing Rico Ramos in six rounds by KO, and went on to defend it against Teon Kennedy by fifth-round TKO, and against Robert Marroquin by UD. All three losers are Americans.
If previous performances are an indication, then Pacquiao is on a downhill, while his compatriot Donaire is on a spectacular rise.
Whichever way we see it, the next boxing superstar, or best pound-for-pound fighter, according to Mexican boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, will be a Filipino—that is, the Filipino Flash.
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