By Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo
Before I could even finish my question regarding the upcoming match-up between Drian “Golden Fists” Francisco (20-1-1,16 KOs) and Michael “Bruce Lee” Domingo (41-15-2, 19KOs) on Friday, September 23 at the Makati Coliseum, WBO and WBC bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr. immediately cut me off like one of his quick counter left hooks, and started raving about how good a match-up this clash between two solid Filipino fighters is going to be.
“Thats going to be a good fight! Those guys are opposites in terms of their style; Francisco is offensive, while Domingo is defensive. Defense and offense fighting,” opened Donaire, who himself has a fight coming up on October 22 at the Madison Square Garden in New York against Omar Narvaez.
While mimicking how Francisco and Domingo fights, Donaire broke down each fighter's styles, both of whom he's seen first hand after sparring with the two on separate occasions; Domingo during his preparations against Jose Maldonado, and Francisco for his camp against Raul Martinez.
“Francisco kind of reminds me of Luisito (Espinosa); he throws his punches pretty awkward. I've sparred with him, he's pretty good,” said Ring Magazine's #3 Pound for Pound best fighter to me, in regards to the 28-year-old Batangeno slugger.
“Domingo's going to come in there, he's going to pressure him, he's going to have good defense. One thing Francisco has is his body shot, but if he stays in front of Domingo, then Domingo's going to take care of him, because he's shorter, muscular, and he's just right there in front of you. He reminds of Winky Right,” Donaire said in describing the ALA stable fighter Domingo.
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Asked who hits harder, Donaire sided slightly with Francisco, but wasn't really certain who truly tagged him harder in sparring. Donaire also believes that since both guys are world class athletes, he doesn't necessarily think this war will end inside the distance, but acknowledges the fact that when two top caliber Filipinos go at it in the ring, fireworks will surely fly.
“It's going to be a good fight [...] These two Filipinos are world class athletes. They're going out there to prove who's better; who's the better Filipino fighter, who's the better fighter individually. They're going to go out there to destroy each other, and that's how it's going to be,” said Donaire, and added, “It's not like their like other Filipinos out there who haven't been in the world stage. These guys have been. I think their going out there to prove themselves. They know the taste of fighting here in America. They want to be back here. They want to fight internationally and get renowned internationally.”
And if this match-up isn't enough to get any true Filipino boxing fan up on his feet, Saved by the Bell Promotions president Elmer Anuran and Solar Sports announced recently that the fight card will be free to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. ‘‘Solar Sports and SBB decided to open the gates for free on a first-come, first-served basis. We believe that ‘‘Pinoy Warriors’’ will be a huge step in boosting the sport’s popularity because of its exciting roster,’’ said Anuran as quoted by Dennis Eroa of Philboxing.com.
Doors will open at 6pm, and free tickets will be handed out at the box office beginning at 5 pm. This scribe will be ringside covering the action, and can not wait to witness this truly exciting match-up together with all the true hardcore Philippine boxing fanatics this weekend.