By Ronnie Nathanielsz
LAS VEGAS – Newly crowned WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire has moved up to No. 3 in the prestigious Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings behind fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Donaire’s devastating 2nd round knockout victory over three-division world champion Fernando “KO-Chulito” Montiel at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino Events Center on Saturday moved him up two notches from his previous No. 5 ranking in the process overtaking WBC lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez.
Ring Magazine editor-in-chief Nigel Collins told the Inquirer “I’ve always been high on Donaire and have considered him one of the world best fighters for several years now. The Ring was criticized by some so-called experts for putting him in our pound-for-pound ratings, but the kayo of Montiel has silenced the cynics.”
Collins who visited the Philippines some years ago to personally hand over the Ring Magazine’s featherweight championship belt to Pacquiao after the southpaw demolished Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera in eleven rounds in November 2003 informed us that Donaire’s smashing victory over Montiel “elevated Donaire in both the bantamweight and pound-for-pound ratings.”
He said the heir-apparent to Pacquiao in the view of most boxing writers and even fighters such as Roy Jones Jr who was on the HBO Sports TV panel that covered the fight “is now The Ring’s number-one bantamweight, which means that any match to fill our championship vacancy at 118 pounds must include Donaire. Nonito also advanced from number five to number three in The Ring’s pound-for-pound ratings.” hen asked by the Inquirer how long an inactive Mayweather will remain at No. 2 on the pound-for-pound rankings, Collins replied “If Mayweather does not fight or sign for a fight by the one-year anniversary of his most recent fight, which was on May 1, 2010, he will be removed from both the pound-for-pound and divisional ratings.”
Meantime, former champion Montiel returned to his hometown in Mexico to lick his wounds and ponder over his future after the brutal knockout at the hands of Donaire.
The Mexican warrior was rushed to hospital after the fight and underwent a series of medical examinations which revealed a hairline fracture on his left cheekbone and an unusual dent on the side of his head where the vicious left hook landed.
Boxingscene.com quoted Montiel as saying “It has hurt my pride the most. I sacrificed a lot in training but people know boxing is like that..you have to live through the good times and the bad.”
The former champion plans to take one month off before talking to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum about his future. While Montiel is thinking about a rematch it is certainly not a viable prospect. With Donaire’s interest in unifying the 118 pound titles before moving up to super bantamweight and WBA champion Anselmo Moreno’s statement that he wants to also unify the titles, a Donaire-Moreno showdown appears likely if Arum can get together with Moreno’s handlers.
Moreno has an impressive record of 26-1 with 18 knockouts and while he is supposed to fight Lorenzo Parra TV network conflicts have resulted in postponements.
Moreno won the WBA title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Wladimir Sidorenko on May 31, 2008 and beat him by a split decision in a rematch on May 2, 2009. Donaire on the other hand dropped Sidorenko three times en route to an unmerciful beating in a fourth round knockout victory last December 4 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.