Feb. 19, 2011, Las Vegas,Nevada — Hall of Fame Top Rank promoter Bob Arum (ctr) congratulates Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire(R) and his trainer Robert Garcia (L) after Donaire stopped Fernando Montiel in the 2nd round to win theWBC/WBO bantamweight belts Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. — Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank
Nonito Donaire may be even better than we thought he was. Comparisons to that other Filipino guy were already being made before Saturday night, but they will certainly grow louder now.
Donaire (26-1-0) left Mexico's Fernando Montiel (44-3-2) twitching on the canvas with a left hook, with a little over 40 seconds to go in the second round. Referee Russell Mora (perhaps unwisely) allowed Montiel to continue on shaky legs, but called things to a halt after he took just one more punch, another devastating left hook.
Donaire is now a legitimate top five pound for pound guy, if you're into that sort of thing. He is a truly massive bantamweight, with skills, power and speed. It's difficult to imagine either Abner Mares or Joseph Agbeko, the finalists of the Showtime bantamweight tournament, posing him any problems.
Truth be told, it's difficult to see anyone in the neighbourhood who could give him problems. A rise in weight may be on the cards, possibly leading to dream matches with Top Rank's other big little guys, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez.
The Pacquiao comparisons are also sounds increasingly legitimate. The left hook knockdown was Pacquiao/Hattonesque, though Montiel managed to beat the count. And Montiel is a better, more experienced guy than Hatton ever was.
Saturday night in Vegas, Donaire looked like a scary, scary guy. Luckily, he's also an articulate, English speaking Filipino. Pacquiao doesn't have that many fights left in him. What could be better for the sport than what happened Saturday?