MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire is not actively seeking a boxing match against his compatriot, Filipino fight king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.
Donaire and Pacquiao are both included in the top five of most pound-for-pound rankings, with Pacquiao considered as one of the two best fighters in the world aside from unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But Donaire has been steadily climbing the pound-for-pound ladder, and his latest victory against top Japanese boxer Toshiaki Nishioka has led some analysts to believe that he is closing in on Pacquiao's pound-for-pound rank.
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Donaire stressed that he is not in any way seeking a fight against Pacquiao, especially as they campaign at different weight classes anyway.
"He's like five divisions higher than I am," Donaire said.
Pacquiao fights at the welterweight division, with a weight limit of 147 pounds. The super bantamweight division has a weight limit of 122 pounds.
"As a fighter, we are not afraid to fight anyone. But we are friends, and it has to be mutually agreed. But we don't seek for it, and it's not in my head," Donaire emphasized.
Donaire said that instead of looking for a fight with Pacquiao, he wants to “fight the best in this division.”
Still, "The Filipino Flash" is honored to be compared to Pacquiao.
"That's another step to where I want to be. You're being compared to one of the top guys, one of the top guys in history," he said. "That means I'm doing something good."
Donaire said being compared to Pacquiao is similar to a basketball player being compared to Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
"That's the exact same feeling, the feeling of 'I think I'm making it,'" he said.
Donaire is hoping that he and Pacquiao will continue to inspire Filipinos to take up boxing, especially after watching the Pinoy Pride event at the Mall of Asia Arena last Saturday.
"There's so much talent in the Philippines in terms of boxing, because of Manny, Gerry Peñalosa, who inspired me as well to keep trying," he said.