MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fight fans are banking on Nonito Donaire Jr. to deliver against Mexico’s Jorge Arce this weekend after seeing their beloved champion Manny Pacquiao suffer a heart-breaking defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez.
The “Filipino Flash” admitted that he feels he’ll be under the microscope when he defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title against Arce.
“There's a lot of people saying, ‘Get your revenge,’ and, ‘You gotta do it for Manny,’ and ‘You've gotta lift our country back up again.’ I understand and all of that, because, I mean, people are just heartbroken,” Donaire told Lem Satterfield of RingTV.
Donaire said he understands that some Filipinos wanted him to pummel Arce, who is also a Mexican like Marquez.
He felt the same pressure when he was lined up to fight Vic Darchinyan, who battered his brother Glenn.
“Like when Darchinyan beat my brother, or when a friend of mine has gotten knocked out by somebody, I've seen it all. But it's at a completely different level with Manny,” said Donaire.
“It's like you have thousands of people, even millions of people who are watching, and who are affected, and who are feeling the pain. They're coming to me and saying different things,” he said.
But Donaire, who remained unbeaten since 2001, said he’ll try not to let the emotions get the better of him, pointing out that fighting angry might cause him to make mistakes and this could put him in danger against a brawler like Arce.
“We're just focusing on our game plan and on not letting any negativity into my head. I'm not looking past Arce or anything, because things like that can be costly,” said Donaire.