Quijano: A travesty if Nonito is not 2012 FOTY

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By Aileen Quijano

Last Round

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


ONCE again, Nonito Donaire Jr. proved why he’s one of the most feared punchers in the sport today.

Pound for pound, the torque behind those blows is simply prodigious.

He punches so hard his hands hurt and bleed and his opponents cower into meek dilettantes, unable and unwilling to open up in utter fear of being caught by a Donaire counter.

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THE FIGHT. Jorge Arce was no exception. Contrary to his pre-fight bluster of bringing the fight to Donaire and make his mark as a memorable opponent, he came out cautious and tentative.

Instead, he will be consigned to the dustbin of mediocrity in so far as performance is concerned as he was never in the fight.

In fairness to Arce, he isn’t exactly known for being a fast starter and he probably was following a pre-conceived game plan of feeling out his opponent’s vaunted power.

Donaire was only too willing to oblige. At about the 2- minute mark he landed an overhand right that got Arce’s attention.

Donaire stalked Arce for the remainder of the round, while the latter was reduced to throwing innocuous jabs.

The second round saw Donaire initiating the exchanges and baiting Arce to open up. This netted him immediate success as a short right hand found its way into Arce’s jaw, registering a flash knockdown.

Perhaps sensing that he needed to prevent Donaire from running away on the scorecards, Arce became more emboldened in the third, and even landed a couple of clubbing right hands.

But Donaire was just getting warmed up.

With less than 30 seconds to go, he landed a left-right combo that had a wobbled Arce dangling on the ropes.

A few seconds later, he set up his stunned opponent for his picturesque left hook.

Just as Arce was throwing a weak left and following it up with a right, Donaire saw the opening for his patented left hook- perhaps the best punch in boxing today.

It was a punch that ended both the fight and Arce’s accomplished career.

FOTY. To my mind, there is no doubt that Nonito should win the Fighter of the Year Award for 2012.

Also for consideration is Andre Ward, the super-middleweight king who won his own seminal duel with light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson via an impressive 10th round TKO.

Last year, it was also a toss up between these two, but if Ward is the only other candidate, then Donaire should win it handily this time simply on account of sheer production.

Ward was battling back from an injury and fought only once. In contrast, Donaire fought four times and against top-tier opposition:

SD win over Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. UD win over Jeffrey Mathebula. TKO9 over Toshiaki Nishioka and of course the Arce KO.

Of course, another fighter in the running is none other than Juan Manuel Marquez who was responsible for the shot heard around the fistic world more than a week ago.

Even now the detritus from that nuclear fallout can be felt as Pinoy fans are still
reeling from the after-effects of that short, brutal right hand.

My gym buddies, entrepreneur Allan Saballa and Kalunasan Barangay Councilor Rudy Badiang are no exception.

Rudy went on an extended drinking binge (not that he needs any prodding), while a dejected Allan took more one week to recover, losing his rather robust appetite.

But thanks to the efforts of doting wife Doris, some of that rosy tinge has now returned to Alan’s cheeks.

Don’t’ fret guys. Maybe Manny can come back next year, but for now, let’s toast the Filipino Flash’s dominant win over “Travieso”.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my lovely niece Bianca Q. Hubahib for concluding her Top Model Management Workshop with aplomb. Cheers Ate Bam!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 19, 2012.

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