MANILA, Philippines – Sports analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz said local fight fans are on the lookout for a new Filipino boxing hero as Manny Pacquiao approaches the twilight of his colorful boxing career.
He said Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. could inherit the attention which millions of boxing fans give the eight-division champion.
“Nonito doesn’t hide the fact that he is determined to follow the path that Pacquiao has tread which means continuing his quest for more world titles, possibly six,” Nathanielsz said in his Philboxing column.
Donaire has already won four world titles in as many weight classes.
Aside from winning the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title, he is also the former WBO and World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight, World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super flyweight and International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion.
Nathanielsz said Donaire wanted to become a junior lightweight champion just like his idol, the original “Flash,” Gabriel Elorde.
“In fact Donaire, in a visit to our home several months ago, reviewed some of the fight tapes of Elorde in our library of classics and watched intently before imitating some of the slick moves of ‘The Flash’ even as he noticed that the shoulder roll which Floyd Mayweather Jr. is famous for was actually perfected by Elorde in the 1960s,” he said.
Donaire is scheduled for a title unification bout against IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula on July 8 in Carson City, California (July 8, Manila time).
Nathanielsz said it will be a different challenge for Donaire as he faces an opponent much taller than him.
“Mathebula is some 3-4 inches taller with a longer reach and has said he plans to use these advantages to the hilt. Donaire is unfazed as trainer Robert Garcia welcomes the opportunity,” he said.