Donaire wants the big guys

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — NONITO Donaire, Jr. returned yesterday from the U.S. proudly displaying the second belt he had won in his career, yet his fame that’s still on a blossoming stage received the corresponding reception.

When he, however, starts to take on what he calls the ‘big guys,’and win, Donaire’s next return will definitely be bigger.

At least two boxers are now being eyed by Donaire and his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc. as probable opponents for his next fight sometime in December, a bout that could give the Filipino a third world championship.

First in line in Donaire’s list is no less than Fernando ‘Cochulito’ Montiel, the 30-year-old but dangerous Mexican WBO interim bantamweight champion. In fighting Montiel, Donaire will have to move up in weight for the second time in a year.

“I’m definitely ready for the big guys,” said Donaire.

Montiel comes from a family of boxers. His father was a top flyweight boxer in Mexico. He has a record of 39 wins, 29 by knockouts, two losses and a draw.

But Montiel is probably best remembered in an under-card fight that pitted Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales in June 2002. He fought for the WBO super flyweight title against countryman Pedro Alcazar and won via a sixth-round technical knockout. Days later, Alcazar died from injuries suffered from the bout.

Montiel would later say: “I feel sorry about the whole situation, but I have to move on.”

Also in Donaire’s list of probable foes is Jorge ‘El Travieso’ Arce. Arce is currently a top contender for the IBF super-flyweight crown. Arce, also 30, has already fought 58 times, winning 52 (40 KOs), losing five with one of his bouts ending in a draw.

If Donaire could end up with a fight either of the two, it would surely mean a bigger payday for the Filipino and perhaps the much larger respect he deserves.

The new WBA interim super-flyweight champion arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on board a Philippine Airlines flight PR-107 that touched down at 3:55 a.m.

There were no banners, streamers, and especially politicians to meet him unlike when a Manny Pacquiao arrives. But the fighter also known as ‘Pinoy Flash’ was happy enough to greet NAIA workers and mediamen as he arrived with his beautiful wife Rachel.

Donaire captured his second world championship Sunday after surviving Panama’s Rafael Concepcion, winning the 12-round bout by a unanimous decision at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. His opponent weighed in four pounds over the 115-lb. limit, and was even bigger by fight time.

Yet the boxer from Bohol overcame Concepcion with speed and accuracy, landing punches to cut open a gash under the Panamanian’s left eye only two rounds into the fight before jabbing his way out of danger in the late rounds.

Asked whether he had a hard time getting past Concepcion, Donaire said he didn’t. “Kaunti lang [ang hirap], malaki siya sa akin,” said Donaire in an interview after his arrival.

He added: “Kayo (Filipinos) ang motivation, kayo ang drive na lumaban ako kahit bali-bali ang buto ko, kahit may injury ako.”

Donaire felt pain late in his left hand during the second round, but was still able to finish the fight against the charging Concepcion.