Not long ago Nonito Donaire was making an epic charge up the P4P ladder. For the first time in my knowledge, there were two fighters born in the Philippines in the top five pound for pound. The Filipino Flash was destroying people with a combination on devasting one punch knockouts, blazing hand speed, and impeccable patience. Donaire lost his second pro bout and from the point on put together a hall of fame worthy career. Running through the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Fernando Montiel, Omar Andres Narvaez, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce. As well as a list of other top caliber fighters. The Flash had run the table from 112-122lbs taking out all worthy challengers and had done something not many are able to do. He created himself into a marketable little man. His fights created buzz, and he was exciting. He was becoming a crossover star and his knockouts were becoming youtube gold. Not just among boxing fans or his Filipino base but sports fans. He was becoming another “superstar ” in the sport. It was even being rumored that if they could beef him up like they did to Pacquiao an all Filipino show down was going to be made with him and Pac, and Nonito had no objections.
But Something Strange happened on the road to superstardom. In a venue where superstars shine, Radio City Music Hall, New York, NewYork. One star shone brightly it just wasn’t Donaire. It was Cuban master boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigo took the Flash to school that day. It wasn’t due to a lack of effort. Donaire gave it hell, knowing he was down on points Donaire scored a late knocked down on the defensive wiz in the 10th. But the master pugilist regained control and won a wide decision. Since then Donaire just hasn’t been the same. He bounced back with lackluster wins over Darchinyan and Simpiwe Vetyeka. Then got dominated to Nicholas Walters, who can crack, but in all seriousness should not be in the same ring with Donaire. Again came back, ran off some more wins including looking pretty good against a decent fighter in Zsolt Bedak before losing a lopsided UD to Jessie Magdaleno last November at the Thomas & Mack in Vegas.
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will make his return this time on September 23, taking on unheard of Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez in a featherweight bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Donaire hasn’t fought since losing the slug fest to Jessie Magdaleno that cost him a 122 lb strap. This will be the Filipinos first fight at 126. Donaire has since signed to Ringstar Sports, a new promotional company headed by former Golden Boy boss Richard Schaefer, in a bid to return to world title contention. To which Donaire said “I’m ready to return to the ring and show that I still have what it takes to be a world champion and face the best in this sport, I’m thankful to Ringstar Sports for helping me in this next chapter of my career and I know with them in my corner, I’ll be back to where I belong soon,” he added.
Donaire, made Youtube a verb back in 2007 when he Youtube’d Vic Darchinyan. He was 24 then. That was over a decade ago. Donaire is now 34 and on his last leg. He is still going to have tremendous power and a fighters IQ. Donaire went from the verge of being boxings next superstar to being dominated by Nicholas Walters in a flash. Perhaps Mickey Goldmill (Rocky’s trainer) was correct, women weaken knees. Rachael Donaire was the little spunk, happy, bubbly, better half behind Nonito and the sports favorite first lady. Maybe, Nonito had other priorities, maybe boxing took the back burner. I don’t mean that as an insult, family comes first and maybe Donaire meant it. Then came Jarel Doanire the couple’s child at that point it seemed Donaire had other interest. That’s, not a knock, my priorities changed after marriage and a having kids. Something changed quickly for Donaire and at 34 he is on his last legs, but he has the punching power and the ability to rebuild quickly. He will always be a draw but at 34 he will have to move quickly.