We all saw what happened. After dishing out as much as he got in their first encounter—prompting Naoya Inoue to call it his most difficult fight to date—Nonito Donaire got waylaid in the rematch and was knocked out in just 284 seconds.
Age? Inactivity? We were all left scratching our heads as to why the second battle was nowhere near as competitive as the first.
The retirement option was quickly brought up, but I thought he was still good enough to defeat some of the top 10 bantamweights out there although I saw no point in staying there with Inoue as his personal roadblock.
DOWN. Now it was reported that “The Filipino Flash” was eyeing a move down to the super flyweight division and seeking bouts with Kazuto Ioka or Roman Gonzalez.
To me that is the right move career-wise, assuming his body can withstand a drop in weight without sacrificing his innate power and strength.
The natural progression for a fighter as he ages is to move up as the body’s metabolic rate declines, but some do move down as long as the drop is not too much.
One notorious example of an elite fighter who fought at a weight too low for him lending to disastrous results is Oscar dela Hoya who decided to fight Manny Pacquiao at a catchweight at 147 lbs, despite not having fought at the welterweight limit for more than seven years and having moved up to the middleweight division to fight Bernard Hopkins.
In Donaire’s case, I think he should do fine as he keeps himself in excellent physical condition and the drop of three pounds is quite doable.
PREFERENCE. To this Last Rounder, the “Chocolatito” Gonzalez matchup makes the most sense.
Ioka (31-2, 15KOs), who recently defeated our very own Donnie Nietes is a good fighter but nowhere near the stature of Gonzalez.
Of course, the motivation for this fight would be winning another world title, but at this stage in his career, I think Nonito might be good for three or four fights at the most depending of course on how he performs.
Beyond that, I think the odometer reading will show too much mileage and his value drops.
Gonzalez on the other hand is a certified ring icon and you can just imagine the excitement this matchup will draw when you play up the gravitas of both fighters as they face off at the twilight of their careers.
Depending on the outcome, both of them could still command huge purses for a rematch. I think fighting Ioka might be too risky because if he loses, the demand for a Gonzalez fight might dissipate a bit.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Sue Pausanos Villanueva who recently celebrated her birthday, gloriously serenaded by doting hubby Lee with his version of “Heaven.” Cheers!
August 06, 2022
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