Pacquiao, Donaire, Viloria: Year-end fights to see
SINGAPORE - Pinoy boxing has had its highs and lows this year from some good wins by Nonito Donaire and Brian Viloria, to under-the-radar accomplishments by Johnriel Casimero and Sonny Boy Jaro, to the downright ugly Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley tiff.
But things are looking up from here on out and we find ourselves, as avid fans of the sport, in the midst of a burgeoning firestorm.
It seems, at least on paper, that the best is yet to come.
Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria (31-3, 18KO) vs Hernan “Tyson” Marquez (34-2, 25KO)
September 29, 2012
If you’re looking for an all-out war, look no further.
Since resurrecting his career by recapturing the flyweight title against Pingo Miranda, Brian Viloria has been on a tear, adding two more prominent Mexicans in Giovani Segura and Omar Nino Romero to his win column. Viloria has become “the man to beat” in his weight class and will now go up against his division rival, Tyson Marquez.
Marquez, since losing to Nonito Donaire back in 2010, has won his last 7 fights – 5 by knockout. He’s known as a devastating puncher so this tussle with Viloria indeed promises fireworks. Both Marquez and Viloria are heavy-handed and, theoretically, will duke it out like two pitbulls at the center of the ring.
Neither of them know how to step back. Both are come-forward type of fighters which is great for the fans. To add even more flavor to this matchup, the WBA and WBO Flyweight straps will be up for grabs.
This fight marks the return of Viloria to the bright lights of prominence. A win against Marquez will catapult Viloria into superstardom and will set him up for bigger and better challenges down the road, and may even land him a spot in the mythical Top Ten Pound-for-Pound discussions.
No matter the outcome, this is one fight you surely would not want to miss.
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (29-1, 18KO) vs Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24KO)
October 13, 2012
After two uninspired yet completely dominant victories over respectable opponents, Nonito Donaire now finds himself once again faced with a hefty challenge.
This time, he’ll stand opposite Japanese stalwart Toshiaki Nishioka, who is the most dangerous dance partner Donaire will tango with since sharing the ring with Fernando Montiel early last year.
Nishioka is hailed as Japan’s best fighter with a solid resume to prove it, beating tough Mexican fighters Jhonny Gonzalez and Rafael Marquez. The fight against Donaire will be fought for the IBF Super Bantamweight Title, the WBO Super Bantamweight Title and the vacant WBC Diamond Super Bantamweight Title.
A lot is at stake for both men, and at first glance, it does appear to be a pick ‘em fight.
Donaire holds the advantage in speed and presumably in power, but not by much. Tokyo’s favorite son is no pushover and should enter the ring the bigger man. It’s an interesting matchup to say the least.
Boxing certainly wins by pitting two great fighters at the top of their game against each other. If Donaire can manage to pull off a decisive victory, he’ll once again bear the torch of the Pinoy fighting spirit and pick up the slack for Manny Pacquiao, who is in a recent slump.
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38KO) vs TBA (To Be Announced)
December 1, 2012
It’s painstakingly obvious that Pacquiao is at the tail-end of his career. Anyone who says otherwise is either in denial or has been hiding under a rock.
Seemingly slowed down by wear-and-tear, Father Time has come knocking at his door. It is what every Pinoy boxing fan has feared since he first burst onto the scene as a raging ball of fire: the eventual decline of one of history’s most dominant prizefighters.
This is not to say however, that he doesn’t have it in him to make a complete turnaround.
Manny Pacquiao, with the right amount of focus and determination, can trump whatever physical decline he’s experiencing with good, solid training and 100% dedication – something he’s admitted to not giving in to his last few fights.
An immediate rematch with Tim Bradley -- who beat him in one the most controversial decisions in the sport's history a few months ago -- is up in the air, as is a 4th bout with archnemesis Juan Manuel Marquez. A fight with Miguel Cotto at super welterweight is also being considered. Yet what most fans the world over are dying to see is a fight between Pacquiao and none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Everything seems to be in place for this fight to finally come to fruition: Pacquiao’s steady physical decline and pay-per-view prowess, his advancing age and ever-growing number of out-of-ring distractions, and presumably his change in fighting style.
Pacquiao is not the man he once was. He’s failed to impress in his last 3 outings and appears to have lost the relentless aggression he was known for.
In light of this, all signs point to Mayweather finally coming to the table and agreeing to fight Manny Pacquiao.
My guess is Mayweather no longer sees Pacquiao as a threat and will want to cash out on what will perhaps be the richest fight in boxing history.
The bout has lost some of its luster, and is not as attractive as it was in previous years – but it’s still the fight that’s yet to be made, and the one that everyone still wants to see.
We will know in the next month or so how things develop. If everything falls into place, we could be treated to an end-of-the year finale of epic proportions.
But until then, Donaire and Viloria will be enough to keep the fire burning.
Other notable fights
Denver “The Excitement” Cuello appears to finally be on his way to a significant title fight.
Widely recognized as the minimumweight division’s most avoided fighter, Cuello is willing to face anyone and everyone in and around his division. This means, hopefully, that we’ll see him in the ring soon against the likes of Roman Gonzalez or Kazuto Ioka, as soon as his opponents decide to stop running.
Another notable Pinoy pugilist due for a title shot is Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta, who is fresh off a resounding 9th round TKO of Ty Barnett. He’s promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and should be in line for a title fight soon. Word is IBF Lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez is in the crosshairs.
As his stock continues to rise, never failing to impress, Gesta patiently waits for his moment to shine. Ultimately, it’s the fans who are the real winners as Pinoy boxing looks to end the year on a high note. - Rappler.com
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