By Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Organization president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel has described WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire as a "shining star in boxing" and a top fighter in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Valcarcel had, even prior to Donaire's demolition of Japanese southpaw Toshiaki Nishioka as an exciting fighter with a great future. After Donaire's rousing 9th round TKO,Valcarcel was even more lavish in his praise for Donaire.
He told the Manila Standard that it is clear Donaire is the successor to "Fighter of the Decade" Manny Pacquiao and that aside from having amazing hand-speed and power, "he is a very intelligent, thinking fighter" reflecting on how Donaire broke down Nishioka, luring him to come in as he lay on the ropes and then nailing the southpaw with a lethal right straight that sent him crashing to the canvas seconds before internationally respected referee Raul Caiz Sr. halted the bout at 1:54 of the ninth round.
Valcarcel said he is confident that if Donaire moves up to the feathrweight division of 126 pounds he would handily beat reigning WBO champion Oscar Salido of Mexico.
At the same time Vlcarcel took the opportunity to congratulate the father and son tandem of Tony and Michael Aldeguer of the famed ALA Promotions for staging the first world title fight at the Mall of Asia arena in Pasay City on Saturday, October 20 when AJ "Bazooka" Banal battles Thailand's sturdy and hard-hiting Pungluang Sor Singyu for the vacant WBO bantamweight title in a fight card to be telecast at 10:15 a.m. on October 21 over ABS-CBN Channel 2.
Valcarcel said he expects a great fight but warned the No. 1 ranked Banal that the No.2 rated Pungluang is an aggressive fighter who likes to keep coming forward and has power. He said and the best way to beat him would be for Banal to out-box the Thai.
The WBO president said he had seen Banal fight before and was impressed by his talent. He expressed regrets that he will not be in Manila for the title fight because of the WBO Convention which opens in Florida on October 22 but wish the promotion all success.