Nonito Donaire Jr., the ‘Filipino Flash’ fights again, Pacquiao vindicated-A A +A
By Nars Padilla
Saturday, June 23, 2012
FIL-AM boxing great Nonito Donaire Jr., who four months ago grabbed the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight crown against Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in a title showdown held at Alamonde in San Antonio, Texas, goes up against International Boxing Federation (IBF) title holder Jeffrey "The Marvelous Mongoose" Mathebula of South Africa in a unification blockbuster on July 7 (July 8 Manila Time).
The 12-round or less slugfest is scheduled at the Home Depot Center in Carson City, near Los Angeles, California.
"I have a lot of respect for Mathebula. He is a slick and skilled boxer. The fight is a big challenge for me," said the Filipino Flash, who at 29 has collected at least four weight championship belts in the flyweight, junior flyweight, bantamweight divisions including his present WBO accolade. He prides himself with a 28-L career card.
On the other hand Mathebula, 32, a Sydney Olympian has a pro score of 26-3-2 with 14 KO's. He is five feet 10" tall, about three inches taller than Nonito.
The Ring Magazine rated the Fil-Am ringster as the fifth best pound-for-pound boxer in the world to date.
"Right now, I am focusing on Mathebula. My focus is winning by fighting my fight. I've to be at my best to beat Mathebula," said Donaire, who is in deep training at the undisputed gym in San Carlos City.
On Valentine's Day in 1909, our boxing icon became an adopted foster son of the Baguio elderly Assembly (BEA) under my humble leadership. A simple yet impressive ceremony held in front of the Architect Daniel H. Burnham Monument at Burnham Park was the beehive of the special event.
Among others, BARP President-CEO Prof. Federico Balanag, OSCA Head Engr. Leopoldo Escano, Sportsman Boy Catolico and senior citizen association presidents gave luster to the occasion.
The affair was also attended by Nonito's beautiful wife Rachel and former WBA bantamweight champion Doddie Boy Penalosa.
The NIIT cultural ethnic dancers led my good friend Vlademir Cayabas added glow to the once in a life time experience. Nonito and Rachel also planted ornamental trees at the Rose Garden.
It's time we join hands and offer prayers for Nonito's success in his forthcoming encounter.
While I was writing my weekend column Thursday afternoon, I was gladdened by the TV flash report that the five select fight judges by the WBO authorities who reviewed the Pacman-Bradley tape showdown at MGM Grand recently were unanimous that our own Pambansang Kamao, the gentleman from Sarangani won the fight.
Their decision was received with overwhelming pride and happiness by fight fins all over the world, especially among Filipinos. The Pacman has been vindicated. And so are we who were cheated by the split decision in favor of Bradley. Sorry na lang, the original verdict in the July 8 fight cannot be overturned. The least thing that could happen is if Bradley will voluntarily return the crown to the real winner.
Mr. Pacquiao was very emphatic that he is not going to take action against Bradley. He said Bradley should not be faulted. It is more than enough that the truth about the controversial encounter is out in the open, thanks to the special boxing panel organized by the WBO. This early, I have my fingers crossed that a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch would happen hopefully by November to determine the real "who is who!" Let's give Mr. Bradley a second chance to prove his worth.
A week after the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, I wrote a poem in acrostic form as usual. It is dedicated to Freddie Roach and to his horde of admirers particularly the Pinoys. I hope you will like it.
F - Freddie Roach, famed head coach of Filipino International boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will be.
R - Remembered in the history of sports for his exemplary leadership, superior perfomance and for his.
E - Expertise in molding "The Pacman" for being the only boxer ever to capture with pride and distinction eight world championship crowns in eight different weight divisions.
D - Devoted intensely to his glorious career, he carefully honed and guided Manny's rise to prominence as the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world to date.
D - Dearly love by Filipino's the boxing guro himself is a multi-awarded sportsman; a five-time "coach Trainer of the Year" awardee by the prestigious Sportswriters Association of U.S.A.
I - In the gallery of sports luminaries, he is a "Hall of Famer" in core of boxing mentors in Uncle Sam's country of gold and honey.
E - Excellence and loyalty to duty is his ultimate goal to producing world class boxers under his wings.
R - Roach is also ranked as an outstanding sports personality by the time-honored "The Ring Magazine," considered the Bible of Boxing, worldwide.
O - On the leaderboard, he helped popularized the city of Baguio as a premier sports-tourism center especially for high altitude training, cardio vascular and strength development for athletes.
A - And on several occasions, he proved his point by showcasing the chain of victories of our Pambansang Kamao over Mexican Antonio Margarito, African-American Sugar Shane Mosley, his three-time tormento Juan Miguel Marquez and recently the controversial Pacquiao-Bradley rumble.
C - Charismatic and ever friendly, Freddie is the epitome of hardwork, patience, teamwork and success!
H - Heaven up above knows fight fans all over the universe admire and idolize him for what he is, a simple man armed with very impressive credentials, worthy of praise and emulation for all seasons.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 23, 2012.