As good and as spectacular was Nonito Donaire’s KO victory over Jorge Arce, it cannot take away the pain of the many who are still grieving over the shock defeat of Manny Pacquiao to Juan Manuel Marquez.
To proclaim that it redeemed the pride of the Philippines is to rob away the honor from Donaire who, while he is no Pacquiao, is already a class of his own.
In boxing, the only payback is a reversal of one’s loss against the one who inflicted it.
After taking the risk by accepting a fourth fight, the only way Pacquiao can exact revenge is to seek a fifth fight and take care of business. I think it was premature for his handlers to print a T-shirt which said “FINISHED BUSINESS.” Whatever they meant by it, the loss took away its intended message and meaning.
It is not Donaire’s business to take revenge for Pacquiao’s defeat.
Donaire was there Sunday to continue building his own name and be the man of his own.
Pacquiao would surely understand that Donaire will eventually have to step out of his shadow.
Donaire is a fine boxer. One of the finest the Philippines has ever produced.
In another time and generation, everybody would have noticed his slow ascent to stardom.
It was difficult but everybody now seemed to notice him – if only to take away the pain of Pacquiao’s loss.
It was both fortunate and unfortunate for him to come in an era dominated by Pacquiao’s own spectacular rise to boxing immortality – the loss to Marquez included.
Pacquiao opened the door to all Filipino would be champions. He revived the careers of some veteran boxers, the way he convinced Gerry Peñalosa to come out of self-imposed retirement.
Not many made the grade.
Donaire came as a promising Filipino-American flyweight who shared the same childhood roots with Pacquiao.
Slowly, Donaire emerged as a feared KO artist in weights that many American TV and cable viewers shy away from.
But he eventually triumphed against all odds. He demolished many established names in his weight classes and became a multi-division champion.
But he was still relegated to late night TV fares. He toiled in fight cards that are seen only by hardcore boxing fans.
In an era where champions can choose to be selective with fights and can afford to take longer breaks in between, Donaire fought four times in 2012 despite a pesky injured left hand – the more potent of his boxing hands.
There was a time he became impatient because his promoter failed to give him fights.
And until lately, promoters have shied away from top billing him in a fight card.
He is not yet a tested PPV headliner. At least for now.
But with the need for Pacquiao to take a rest and ponder on his future, Donaire has forced his promoter to re-channel efforts to market him a PPV bankable marquee fighter.
As we continue to watch Pacquiao’s boxing saga, we also cannot but help ourselves enjoy Donaire’s odyssey.
It looks like Philippine boxing is here to stay.