BY boxing’s standards, Nonito Donaire is an old man. At 39 years of age and having fought professionally for 20 years, the odometer reading is quite high for “The Filipino Flash.”

Along with Gennady Golovkin, he shares the distinction of being the oldest among the sport’s current world champions.

GARBALLO. Last Sunday, he defended his WBC bantamweight crown against compatriot Reymart Gaballo who came into the fight undefeated with a record of 24-0, 20 KOs.

Never mind that Gaballo had not fought anybody of significance prior to Donaire. Because of the myriad number of alphabet bodies nowadays, some of these mandatory challengers aren’t exactly top tier in caliber. Nothing against Garballo, who I think still has a bright future ahead at only 25 years of age—he just had no business being in the same ring with Donaire.

During the first two rounds, both fighters exchanged a lot of power punches. There wasn’t much movement as Garballo opted to stay right in the pocket and take his chances.

That would prove to be a big mistake as Donaire slowly and surely figured out his distances and set traps for the younger challenger. There were some good exchanges in the third, but Donaire had the upper hand.

The end came in the final seconds of the 4th round courtesy of a lethal left hook to the liver that floored Garballo. The latter fell to one knee but could not summon his body to continue as the ref called for the denouement of the fight.

OLD MAN POWER. There’s an adage in boxing that your power is the last to go. Ergo, take a power puncher like say, Mike Tyson. He could be in a wheelchair in his 70s but if you mess with him, he can still knock a few of your teeth out with a single punch.

Reflexes and speed are the first to go as they get diminished as time goes on. Then stamina and conditioning are next and you see some of these older fighters emptying their tanks quite early in a fight. In the case of Nonito, he is still quite an excellent fighter at 39, and that’s because he has retained for the most part his speed and reflexes. Juxtapose those with fight-ending power in both fists and you get why he is still a world champion at this age.

Because of his advanced fighting age, he has what is fondly referred to as “old man power.” When Wladimir Klitschko (himself a feared knockout artist in his prime) knocked down Anthony Joshua in a losing effort, boxing pundits referenced that as “old man power.”

Old man power isn’t raw strength. It comes from a place of experience and familiarity. It’s not so much the torque behind it as the confidence it carries once it launches. Donaire has that and more. His opponents better beware because he still has fresh legs to carry that power deep into a fight.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my cousin, Liza Tiu who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!