MANILA, Philippines - A boxing analyst from Sports Illustrated believes Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire has all the tools needed to be the next big-time attraction in boxing, following the footsteps of Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said Donaire has the power, crowd-pleasing style and charisma that will help him become a superstar.
"Donaire has 18 knockouts in 27 professional fights, and there are no indications that a rise in weight will take anything off the pair of cannons on his shoulders," Mannix said. "With a thick arsenal and a killer instinct that many Robert Garcia-trained fighters seem to have, Donaire should have the pop to put opponents down in whatever weight class."
Mannix also said that Donaire has the same crowd-pleasing style employed by Pacquiao, with both fighters always wanting to put on a show and "give the paying customers fireworks."
"Donaire is perfectly willing to take two punches if it means he can deliver three, the kind of throwback mentality that made Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Pacquiao and others so popular," he said.
Finally, Donaire has the charisma that can capture the attention of casual fight fans.
Mannix noted that Donaire even sang a few bars of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" after the bout with Omar Narvaez last weekend, and conducted an impromptu interview with Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
"He's smart, well-spoken and has a very quotable FHM model for a wife," Mannix said.
Mannix was among the many boxing analysts who defended Donaire for the uneventful fight against Narvaez, saying that 'The Filipino Flash' pulled everything out of his arsenal in order to get Narvaez to engage.
"Yes, Saturday night was a stinker. But give Donaire another shot against an opponent willing to punch back, and it's almost a lock he won't disappoint," Mannix said, adding that "Big things are ahead for Donaire."