The bickering sound of fans around Houston’s Toyota center conspired and decided to chant a three syllable sound. No-ni-to, no-ni-to… as the “Filipino flash” Nonito Donaire Jr. raised his arms up and praised everybody after a very impressive knockout victory against Jorge Arce.
With Manny Pacquiao’s two straight losses from Timothy Bradley (controversial win) and Juan Manuel Marquez (KO from the 6th round), it looks like Donaire would be the next to bear the flag.
The fight with Arce became a crucial fight for all the Filipino fans. After all the pain and frustrations there’s no more room left for another setback. And Nonito simply obliged by knocking out the Mexican cold in the canvass.
The time has come, and beyond all the praises and adoration, Nonito will carry a different burden ─“National icon” a label that pays a very hefty price. Everybody expects you to win, and everybody wants to take a piece of you. That’s how it is to carry millions of hopes around a 122-pound slugger’s shoulder. The next fight and after would be vital to Donaire’s success. There is Abner Mares, the undefeated Mexican who also campaigned in the super bantam weight division. However, with Mares promoted by Golden Boy Promotions it would be very hard to book a fight with Donaire’s Toprank. Nonito could go up to the featherweight division and challenge Juan Manuel Lopez or Orlando Salido. He could also go further up in the super featherweight division and challenge the sturdy and undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa. The options are limitless. Our path will never be confused as our destination. Whatever he chooses he will always be destined to greatness.
Funny how one knockout changed everything. From Manny Pacquiao’s sixth-round knockout loss to Donaire’s third-round KO victory – One great fighter that is on his way out to one who just started.
Beyond the three syllable sounds echoing in the center, one fighter stood it all. This is his time, his victory… and now his people.