ABS-CBNnews.com | 12/17/2012 3:30 PM
MANILA, Philippines – A boxing analyst believes Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire should be named the Fighter of the Year after a highly successful 2012 campaign that saw him fight four times, with all fights coming against highly rated opponents.
In an era wherein most of the top fighters fight only once or twice in a calendar year, Donaire was extraordinarily active and repeatedly took on the top fighters in his division.
According to boxing analyst Al Mendoza, this makes him deserving of the Fighter of the Year award.
"Pinag-uusapan ngayon sa boxing circles kung sino ang itatanghal na Fighter of the Year. Ako, hindi naman sa dahil Pilipino si Donaire, pero ako, automatic na si Donaire," Mendoza said on radio DZMM Monday.
"Apat na laban, one fight every three months, matindi 'yan," he said. "Four fights in one year, apat na panalo, 'yung last two by knockout."
Donaire kicked off his 2012 campaign with a split decision victory over Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in February, followed by a unanimous decision win over South Africa's Jeffrey Mathebula in July.
He then knocked out Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka in October and then ended Jorge Arce's career with a third-round knockout in December.
Mendoza said Donaire's main competition for Fighter of the Year is Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, who stormed his way into the ballot after a sensational sixth-round knockout of Filipino icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.
"Hindi naman sa pagmamaliit, pero 'yung kay Donaire, three rounds. Six rounds kay Marquez," Mendoza said.
Mendoza also pointed out that Marquez landed a "lucky punch" that led to his knockout of Pacquiao, while Donaire clinically broke down Arce over the course of three rounds before landing his left hook to end the fight.
"Si Arce, hindi rin basta-basta. Four-time world champion, 61 wins, 46 knockouts," Mendoza added.
If Donaire is tabbed as Fighter of the Year, he becomes only the second Filipino to win the award. Pacquiao was named Fighter of the Year by The RING Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2006, 2008 and 2009.