MANILA, Philippines – A boxing analyst believes the pressure is on world super bantamweight Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire to prove that he is worthy of becoming a successor to Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
Speaking on ANC, boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said the pressure is "building up” for Donaire to prove that he can fill Pacquiao’s shoes as the next great Filipino boxer.
“To be honest, Pacquiao is Pacquiao and Donaire is Donaire,” Tolentino said. “Pacquiao has accomplished way too much – eight weight divisions.”
“Donaire is only in his fourth, and it’s going to be a tough climb. There’s nobody like Pacquiao... But being the first Donaire ain’t that bad,” he added.
Last Saturday in California, Donaire unified the WBO and IBF super bantamweight world titles by defeating South Africa’s Jeffrey Mathebula in a title unification bout.
But Tolentino said Donaire still has a long way to go in terms of becoming the next pay-per-view attraction in boxing.
“I thought he had that quality after he knocked out Fernando Montiel in February 2011, but he has not scored a knockout win since then,” Tolentino said.
“The Mathebula fight was a goof performance, but for boxing fans, they want an electrifying performance.”
Donaire has won world titles in four different weight divisions and is aiming to become the undisputed champion at super bantamweight. He is currently rated in the top five of most pound-for-pound lists.
But Tolentino believes there is more pressure on Donaire to become not just a pound-for-pound great, but a box-office star as well, especially as Pacquiao is already on the downswing of his career.
“Admittedly, Pacquiao is also winding up his career, and in the opinion of many, if there is one fighter who can continue to carry the mantle for Philippine professional boxing, it is Donaire,” Tolentino said.
“So there is that big pressure on Donaire, because he is on the verge of filling up some very big shoes, in the event that Pacquiao decides to walk away,” he added.
“The pressure is on Donaire to prove that he is capable of filling the mantle that Pacquiao will entrust to him.”
Pacquiao suffered a stunning upset in his most recent fight – a welterweight clash against American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr.
Despite dominating the bout, Pacquiao lost the fight on the judges’ scorecards, dropping his WBO welterweight belt to Bradley in the process.