Where does Donaire rank among the Philippines' legendary fighters?

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2021 09:58 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Nonito Donaire Jr.'s sensational knockout victory over Nordine Oubaali over the weekend has proven that the "Filipino Flash" remains a potent fighter even at age 38.

With the victory, Donaire made history by becoming the oldest three-time bantamweight champion. This is aside from joining a rare few by winning world titles in four weight classes.

Where does Donaire rank among the country's best legendary fighters?

"Definitely top 5 or top 4 na siya ng aking listahan," said long time fight commentator Atty. Ed Tolentino.

"Maaaring tumaas pa lalo na kung magiging maganda ang ending ng kanyang career. At hindi pa naman closed ang book ni Donaire."

Tolentino said Donaire by now is in the company of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, and Luisito "Lindol" Espinosa.

Other Pinoy greats included in Tolentino's list are Pancho Villa, Ceferino Garcia, and Donnie Nietes.

The analyst praised the revival of Donaire's career especially after it took a dip following a string of defeats against elite fighters.

"Nung siya ay ma-knockout ni 'Axeman' Nicholas Walters, when he was outclassed by Guillermo Rigondeaux, nung matalo siya kay Jessie Magdaleno, akala natin tapos na ang career ni Nonito Donaire Jr.," said Tolentino.

"Pero when he want the distance against Naoya Inoue, even though he lost that fight, I thought that his performance in that fight convinced Donaire, 'mayroon pa akong ibubuga.' He gave Inoue his toughest fight."

Donaire did prove he can still dish out a hard beating against a champion younger than him. He did that with Oubaali whom he destroyed in four rounds.

"Ipinakita ni Donaire age is just a number... it's a really important victory para sa kaniya," said Tolentino.