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Nonito Donaire Clashes With Undefeated Raul Martinez

BY David A. Avila ON April 17, 2009
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Two world title fights between Filipinos and Mexicans, including the Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire/Raul Martinez clash, headline a boxing card emanating from the Philippines today.

From Araneta Coliseum in Manilla, Donaire defends IBF/IBO flyweight titles against undefeated Raul “The Cobra” Martinez of Texas while Ulises Solis of Guadalajara, Mexico defends his IBF junior flyweight title against Brian Viloria. Both will be shown on pay-per-view around 9:00 p.m. ET.

Donaire (20-1, 13 KOs) has one-punch knockout power, as his win over Vic Darchinyan proves. He’s also blessed with extraordinary quickness and agility. He’s facing a young, tough kid from Southern Texas who also has quickness.

Martinez (20-0, 14 KOs) hasn’t faced the same caliber opponent as Donaire. Wins over an ageing Isidro Garcia and light-hitting Benjie Garcia are good, but the biggest win to date was a first round demolition against undefeated Mexican fighter Victor Proa last November.

It’s an interesting match. The big question mark for Donaire is his hand injuries. If he can avoid injury he’s nearly unbeatable.

Martinez needs to find out early if he’s quicker or as quick as Donaire. And he needs to do it without ending up like Darchinyan, stretched on the canvas. He possesses power but he needs to be careful against the Flash.

In the co-main event, Solis (28-1-2, 20 KOs) fights his third Filipino opponent in four fights, when he meets former world champion Viloria. He’s beaten Glenn Donaire (older brother of Nonito), Bert Batawang, and Rodel Mayol. He’s a strong puncher and gutsy. Plus, he has boxing skills.

Viloria (24-2, 14 KOs) seems to have found himself after moving to Oxnard to train. After winning the world title in 2005, he lost to Omar Nino twice. But in their last match, Nino was found to have amphetamines in his system. Another shot at the title for Viloria ended in a majority decision loss to Edgar Sosa. But a strong set of wins including a second round blowout of tough Benji Garcia put him at this position.

There are several other fights on the pay-per-view card featuring Denver Cuello, Hiroshi Matsumoto, Eriberto Gejon, Sonny Boy Jaro, Drian Francisco, and Sharil Fabanyo. Top Rank and Solar Sports are co-promoting the boxing card.

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