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Tuesday, 10 July 2012 20:22

Nonito Donaire: "Modern Day Mighty Mouse"

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Nonito Donaire photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Nonito Donaire photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Nonito Donaire - He's no ordinary crime caper. There's no "See You Next Saturday" to keep us hanging on for a week or more. Why try to leap the tallest building in a single bound when you can just chop it down at its very foundation and watch it crumble at your feet?

Nonito Donaire, the "Filipino Flash," has inexplicably flown under the radar of the same intergalactic stardom that has been heaved upon perhaps much less deserving fighters. Through no direct fault of his own doing, Donaire and his efforts have needed the help of the steadily unpersuasive methods of a certain cable network that doesn't always land on triple sevens when it comes to artificially producing the most convincing talent.

Nevertheless, the Philippine native has shown all the right moves in and out of the ring. He's a four division champion and could easily have his eyes on yet another weight class to further intensify the success of his eleven year career. Nonito seems to have the right management team around him, not to mention a hard as nails wife whose stare could burn through a diamond.

All things considered, he easily deserves to be mentioned in the mythical yet pointless pound for pound discussion.

Passing of the Torch?
As previously mentioned, Nonito Donaire holds the distinction of not only capturing world titles in four weight classes, but also is only the second fighter of Asian descent to do so. The guess as to who joins him in this type of elite company is nothing short of a straight putt. His Philippine counterpart and a certain American yapper have unfortunately held the arrow through the Achilles heel of boxing for some time, yet their light is fading ever so quickly and fighters such as Donaire should be ready to relay the torch up a staircase that has shown signs of ending into a brick wall.

Pictured: Floyd Mayweather, right, and Manny Pacquiao.
Will Nonito Donaire be the heir to the Mayweather-Pacquiao legacy?


Attendance Disappointing
Little green men. Perhaps they were from Mars or elsewhere. Wait...apologies are due for any deception. The green in the crowd at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California this past Saturday evening were actually empty seats. There were plenty of them. Some of the boxing purists may be at a loss to explain the deserted appearance of the building. Perhaps the event was held too close to a major holiday. It certainly wasn't the postcard perfect weather.

Who cares?

Redeemed from October
Whoever was wise enough to either witness, view, or record it was treated to quite the goodie bag. Nonito Donaire makes for good TV, provided his opponent brings a viable challenge to the evening's festivities. He's forgiven for the humdrum that was last October's matchup versus Omar Narvaez.

In the first defense of his WBC and WBO Bantamweight titles, the boy wonder faced an Argentine fighter who went by the name of "El Huracan"...must have been a slow season. El Huracan seemed more like "El Caracol" and never came out of his protective shell.

The previously undefeated Narvaez must have been weary of Donaire's recent savage TKO victory over Fernando Montiel from February of last year.

Pictured: Nonito Donaire, left, floors Fernando Montiel in February 2011
Courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank


The native of Los Mochis was whacked so hard by "The Flash" that upon spilling to the ring apron, his legs squirmed as if he was trapped under something heavy.

Donaire snagged his two world championship straps in weight class number three. 

Bruce Lee
Jump back to last Saturday night. Nonito Donaire's outfit was beyond cool.


True fans of any fighting sport as well as all fighters of any disciplines under the sun should be the first to admit that there is no "pound for pound greatest of all time" discussion in which every name is a distant second to Bruce Lee. He's been dead almost 39 years and he's still the baddest ever.

Pictured: The legendary Bruce Lee in Game of Death (1978)


Nonito marched to the ring adorned in the colors made popular by Lee in his popular film, "Game of Death".

Forget the "Kill Bill" nonsense, if that's what anyone had been thinking.

Additionally, Nonito Donaire had Dan Inosanto as part of his ring entourage. Inosanto was not only a longtime student and dear friend of Lee. He was also the first villain encountered by Bruce in the end scenes of "Game of Death", when Lee faced off with three masters of as many schools of fighting as he attempted to get to the top of the bad guy's lair.

Bruce Lee was a small man, as is today's standards. His efforts against Jeffrey Mathebula would have led most to believe that any height or reach disadvantage was not a burden, but an endowment of sorts.

The Fight

Once the opening bell sounded, Nonito wasted no time and took the battle straight to his opponent from South Africa. There were even times that he left his feet completely as he sought to land the tsunami-like wallop for which he has gained so many new fans. He was perhaps lucky to have not hit himself with any of his barnstorming uppercuts that cut through the California night air.

The "Magnificent Mongoose" from Africa's southernmost country was made the cobra and Donaire was the brave and aggressive carnivore who pursued his foe into the snakepit and came out swinging. Granted, Mathebula may have landed more punches (or not), yet the three ringside judges understood that punches that appear to only be a faint attempt at brushing something off of one's face wouldn't sufficiently cut the pie.

By contrast and despite what loomed to be more than a half foot or more difference in height, Nonito Donaire fought like only the size that truly mattered was that of the heart. Mathebula, a former Olympian had never been knocked down in his professional career.

With less than ten seconds to go in the fourth round, Jeffrey had one more box to check. He of course beat the count, but in many ways he was up against it for the rest of the fight.

As previously stated, Mathebula remained mostly active, but Donaire landed the harder and certainly louder shots. Something certainly got the attention of the South African towards the end of the bout. It wasn't the introduction of his opponent's left jab, to be sure. Something in the form of a thudding shot to the chops made him clam up and not show much for the last couple periods.

Pictured: Nonito Donaire, left, batters Jeffrey Mathebula
Courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank


The time has long passed for Donaire to be given the respect he richly deserves. He fights in such an entertaining fashion that hopefully more than a sparse wasteland will show up for his next bout. He is making history and he's nowhere near the end.

Nonito Donaire. Man or mouse? A bit of both..."Valiant Man" and "Mighty Mouse".



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