Donaire to receive Elorde belt in awards rites

The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 10 2013 09:57 AM | Updated as of Feb 10 2013 05:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire, the busiest and winningest among Filipino boxers in 2012, will be honored with the Elorde Memorial Award, the highest recognition in professional boxing, in ceremonies to be held March 25 at the ballroom of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

The 13th Flash Elorde Boxing Awards and Banquet of Champions, sponsored by Cobra Energy Drink, PCSO and Pagcor, will be held in memory of the 78th birth anniversary of Da Flash, the first Filipino International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, who was undefeated world junior lightweight champion from 1960-67.

Donaire, 30, will receive the accolade, to be conferred for the first time in the annual rites, for his singular achievement in 2012 – a stunning four straight wins that ranked him fifth in Ring Magazine’s 2012 roster of pound-for-pound fighters of the world.

For the first time, Donaire was ahead of former pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (No. 7) and was behind Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez and Sergio Martinez.

Laura Elorde, wife of one of the country’s three boxing legends – which include Pacquiao and 1923 world champion Pancho Villa – said Donaire will be the first honoree to receive the Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Belt, a very rare recognition bestowed upon by the Elorde family to a Filipino world champion who has shown extraordinary performance in the ring.

He outpointed Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. for the vacant WBO super bantamweight crown in February last year. He retained the WBO title and claimed the IBF crown via a decision over Jeffrey Mathebula in California in July.

He halted former WBC champion Toshiaki Nishioka to keep his WBO title in California in October and retained his WBO crown with a third round conquest of Jorge Arce in Houston in December.

Others who will be honored as boxers of the year for winning world crowns in 2012 are WBO/WBA flyweight king Brian Viloria, WBO light flyweight titlist Donnie Nietes, IBF light flyweight ruler Johnriel Casimero and WBC flyweight champ Sonny Boy Jaro.

“Despite the loss of Manny Pacquiao, the greatest boxer of this generation, in December, the year had its big boxing hero in Donaire who gave us something to cheer about as the year was about to end,” said Laura Elorde.

“His four straight wins during the year truly make him a deserving recipient of boxing’s highest award, which we are honored to present,” she added.

Others to be honored are the year’s best promoter, trainer, judge and referee, the best fight of the year and most promising boxer, as well as citations to sportsmen whose contributions made an impact on professional boxing during the year.

This will be the 13th straight year the Elorde clan, led by the legend’s wife, will be conferring the honors to world, international and Philippine champions.

To spice up the event, exciting boxing bouts will be held before the awarding ceremonies with WBC No. 7 light flyweight contender Jonathan Taconing, Philippine bantamweight champion Monico Laurente, Phl No. 7 jr. lightweight contender Juan Martin “Bai” Elorde, grandson of Flash Elorde, Gimuel Magramo and Fritz Bolinquet seeing action against tough rated fighters.

For more info about the event, call up Beth or May 09162423657 or 8250625.