By Ronnie Nathanielsz
LAS VEGAS - Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire won the WBC/WBO world bantamweight titles with a breathtaking second round knockout of Mexican champion Fernando "KO-Chulito" Montiel before a wildly cheering crowd of some 5,000 fans at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino Events Center tonight.
The heir-apparent to pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao virtually duplicated Pacquiao's second round annihilation of Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton with eerie resemblances to what happened that night.
Just like Hatton who was seperated from his senses with a devastating left hook that saw his legs quivering, Donaire nailed Montiel with a similarly awesome left that sent the Mexican veteran crashing to the canvas with both legs quivering uncontrollably.
Montiel, demonstrating the typical courage of a Mexican warrior somehow rose to his feet and staggered around as referee Russel Mora asked him whether he wanted to continue as he gave Montiel a mandatory eight count. Donaire immediately pounced on the hapless Montiel who was in no condition to continue forcing Mora to call a halt.
Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee who took a private jet to Las Vegas from Los Angeles to watch the fight were a little too late to savor the stunning performance of Donaire as the fight ended just as Pacquiao and his wife arrived at the entrance.
After the fight Donaire went to Montiel who congratulated him before being whisked away to hospital for a complete checkup.
Hours before the fight and even in his dressing room a supremely confident Donaire predicted he would win by a knockout in two rounds but the manner in which he did it was simply awesome.
Both fighters sized each other up in the opening round which Donaire won because of his effective left jab which stung Montiel while one right hand saw the champion stop dead in his tracks and take notice.
In the second round Donaire, one of the smartest fighters in the ring, dropped his left hand in order to invite Montiel to throw a right hand which he did enabling Donaire to nail the Mexican with a cracking counter left hook that lifted him off his feet and sent him crashing to the canvas flat on his back.
It was the same deadly punch that ended the cocky Vic Darchinyan's reign as IBF/IBO flyweight champion on July 7, 2007 in the "Knockout of the Year" as well as the hopes of former bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko who was dropped three times in four rounds and was knocked out by Donaire in his last fight on December 4, 2010.
As Donaire rushed to hi corner with a wide grin on his face it was clear that Montiel wouldn't last but even as he tried gamely to continue Donaire pounced on his wounded prey and put him out of his misery.
In many respects Donaire's performance was typical of Pacquiao in whose footsteps he wishes to follow.
The noisy Mexicans who were hoping that Montiel would help restore some pride among his countrymen who have been the continuing victims of Pacquiao who is regarded as the "Mexicutioner" were stunned into deathly silence as another Filipino showed up to carry out as complete an execution as one would ever witness.
A large group of Filipinos many wearing their Donaire jackets jumped up and roared with delight as the Mexican fans who had booed Donaire as he entered the ring could only marvel at his performance with both Mexican legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Jesus Chavez Sr who did the TV coverage beamed to Mexico saying it was an amazing performance.
In a post fight interview Donaire told this reporter and Dyan Castillejo who covered the fight for ABS-CBN "I feel that nobody can beat us now because I believe in myself. I thank God for this victory and all the Filipinos who supported me."
Donaire said he studied Montiel's movements in the early stages of the second round and figured out what Montiel would do and where he would go and that "when I caught him he would be knocked out."
Asked who he would like to face next the ecstatic newly crowned champion said he is "prepared to fight anybody" including WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr who earlier told the Inquirer he would be "honored to fight Donaire" to which Donaire responded "then I'll be honored as well."
Donaire's soft-spoken trainer Robert Garcia said he didn't expect the fight to end so soon because he "knew the kind of fighter that Montiel is. I expected a tough fight but the skills that Nonito has. Everybody said Sidorenko was so easy because he made it look easy. Now what do they have to say? He took him out in the second round. This guy is unbelievable."