MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire Jr., back on the warpath after his repeat victory over archnemesis Vic Darchinyan, regained his status as one of the Philippines’ top boxers of 2013 who will be honored during the 14th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards on March 25 at the Sofitel Hotel.
Donaire, who won all four title bouts in 2012, was WBO superbantamweight titleholder in 2013 before he lost on April 2013 to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, who ended his 12-year, 29-bout winning streak.
The Filipino Flash moved to the featherweight division where he defeated Darchinyan, whom he dealt his first ever loss on July 7, 2007. The big win atoned for Donaire’s loss in the first quarter of the year and brought him back to the megabuck fights.
Also to be honored during the Elorde Memorial Awards are WBO lightflyweight titlist Donnie Nietes, IBF light flyweight champ Johnriel Casimero, and WBO minimum weight titleholder Merlito Sabillo.
Manny Pacquiao, who also made a big comeback in November with a 12-round unanimous decision over Brandon Rios, has already been enshrined in the Elorde Hall of Fame.
He will lead world, international and Philippine champions in the annual rites held in honor of the late Gabriel “Flash” Elorde whose seven-year-reign as world junior lightweight champion remains unmatched.
To be given special awards are Naris Singwancha (promoter-manager), Danrex Tapdasan (judge), Mark Anthony Barriga (best amateur fighter). Other special awards will be given to the best referee, promoter, matchmaker, trainer, most promising fighter and best fight of the year.
Citations will be given to individuals and entities that contributed to professional boxing in the 2013. Posthumous awards will also be bestowed to outstanding boxing personalities who passed away last year.
Laura Elorde, wife of The Flash, will present the awards in behalf of the Elorde Family.
The event, staged by the Johnny Elorde International Management, is sponsored by COBRA Energy Drink , Rotary Club Manila 101, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Pagcor and Elorde Sports Center.