NONITO DONAIRE “FROM EXCITING TO NOT”
San Francisco, CA- After Nonito Donaire nearly decapitated Fernando Montiel back in 2011 in the second greatest performance of his career, HBO began to showcase him as the heir apparent to Manny Pacquiao; a multi-dimensional superstar with speed, intelligence, and two fisted power. Donaire ran through his opponents in dominant fashion but there was one problem: he was boring. The executives at HBO quickly found out that the “Filipino Flash” was more boxer than puncher and unless his opponents were coming straight at him as Montiel, Jorge Arce, or Vic Darchinyan, whom Donaire rematches this evening, his bouts were more likely to put viewers to sleep rather than his opponents.
MATCHMAKER NIGHTMARE IS TWO COUNTERPUNCHERS!
The best example of this came a little over a year ago, during Donaire’s bout against Japanese legend, Toshiaki Nishioka. Both men are counterpunchers by nature who wait for their foe to take the initiative before striking. Their reluctance to engage one another resulted in a staring match between the two fighters, drawing boos and catcalls from the fans at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca. What made their dance with one another even more agonizing to watch was that they were following a Fight of the Year candidate in Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado 1, a barnburner that saw neither men shy away from war.
DONAIRE NO LONGER “VIEWER’S VIAGRA”
Rios-Alvarado drew the fans to the arena that night and I’m willing to bet that most viewers switched channels after their unforgettable war. This bout easily should have been made the main event on that October 13th, 2012 card by HBO. There was nothing else to remember that night. When Donaire finally knocked Nishioka out in the ninth round after the Japanese fighter decided to take a chance and press the action, it was more relief than excitement.
AND THEN CAME RIGO!
Earlier this year, HBO and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum ran into another problem in their Donaire marathon: he was schooled, and out boxed easily by Cuban Olympian, Guillermo Rigondeaux. In a continuing trend, this bout was anything but exciting or action packed. But for some odd reason, Rigondeaux was to blame for that by most of the media. Donaire was quickly forgiven and is being given his own HBO headline against a man he already destroyed in the best performance of his career. Meanwhile, Rigondeaux was told that he was unwelcome back on HBO where, according to Bob Arum (who lied yesterday but is telling the truth today) the executives throw up at the mere mention of his name.
NOT MAIN EVENT WORTHY HERE
Once again Donaire is wrongly being made the main event on a card where he is not the draw. The reality in boxing is that a Filipino boxer not named Pacquiao against an Armenian does not draw crowds to a fight in Texas. You know what does? Latinos. You know who is fighting on Donaire’s undercard? Two Latinos.
PUERTO RICO V. MEXICO IS SECOND BANANA
Not just any Latinos either. A Mexican versus a Puerto Rican, the greatest cultural rivalry in boxing. Mikey Garcia, Donaire’s stablemate, and Roman Martinez have 59 wins and one loss between them. Garcia has been fundamentally and technically complete so far and according to many within the industry it is he, not his Filipino colleague who is also trained by his brother Robert Garcia, who will be the next one at the top of the ‘pound for pound’ list. In every bout he has had on HBO so far he has looked brilliant if not close to perfect.
HBO FEEDING UP CRAP INSTEAD OF STEAK!
Chances are he will look just as good this evening. But he’s just the appetizer even though he is facing the more credible opponent. For the entree, we get to see Donaire face a 37 yr old who has lost two of his last four fights and is at least two divisions past his prime.
Jason B. Nava