MANILA, Philippines – Four-division champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. added another feather in his cap by clinching The RING Magazine’s 2012 Fighter of the Year award for his impressive wins the past year.
Donaire, who had a successful campaign as a super bantamweight in 2012, was the fans’ top choice, garnering 55.2% in RingTV.com’s year-end polls.
"The 30-year-old veteran fought four times in 2012 and in the process of doing so the former flyweight and bantamweight titleholder established himself as the best 122-pound fighter on the planet, as well as the Fighter of the Year in the eyes of the fans who took part in RingTV.com’s year-end awards poll,” reported RING editor Doug Fischer.
The California-based Filipino bested Juan Manuel Marquez, who got 27.3% of the fan votes.
Fischer said Marquez may have knocked Manny Pacquiao out in what many considered as the Fight of the Year, but he said fight fans saw Donaire accomplishing more than Marquez inside and outside the ring.
Donaire’s accomplishments include his victories over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce.
Fischer said the Filipino was the busiest among today’s elite fighters.
“Elite fighters – those precious few who fans and boxing media view as the pound-for-pound best, seldom fight more than twice a year. Donaire was the exception to that rule in 2012,” he said.
Adding to credibility was Donaire’s stance on drug testing.
The Filipino Flash became the first boxer to voluntarily undergo year-round random drug testing at a time when performance enhancing drugs use has reportedly become rampant in boxing.
“Donaire, who doesn’t require that his opponents undergo the same testing and makes the results of his drug tests public, was commended by fans and media alike in 2012, the year that performance-enhancing drug use became a hot-button issue in the sport after Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto, Antonio Tarver and Erik Morales were each found to have banned substances in their bodies either prior to or after major fights,” said Fischer.