3 More Rounds

Donnie Deserves D-DAY with Donaire

Photo: Philstar

Photo: Philstar

One is an established champion reaching for stardom. The other is a fading star trying to recapture the shine of his brilliance. Two accomplished Filipino Fighters starring together in one night of main event glory.

Over the years, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire has enlightened Filipino boxing fans behind the shadow of pound-for-pound great Manny Pacquiao. But their careers could not be any more different from him and each other. Nietes, lesser-known but longer-reigning, is a legitimate champion in a relatively under-stellar division, while Donaire is a more dynamic talent who has experienced more up-and-downs in a brighter career. With different upbringings, challenges, and styles, Donnie and Donaire are ready to showcase it all for the Filipinos and fans across the world in the same night.

In D-DAY, the 30th in the Pinoy Pride fight series, Donnie Nietes stars with Nonito Donaire as the top talents the Philippines has to offer.

While Donaire’s career took an up and down turn once more than that of Pacquiao, Nietes’ dominance had lasted uninterrupted to this day unlike that of Pacquiao.

Despite some people not easily identifying the scrawny but sneaky “Ahas” (or “snake”, in English), he epitomizes sustained success in Philippine boxing these days.

Pacquiao was undefeated for more than six (6) years until he caught a bad break (still not a loss) followed by the infamous fate he suffered at the hands of his bitter rival, but has since bounced back with three performances more or less dominant, which more or less brought him back at his status enjoyed in the sport before.

The year Pacquiao was dropped was the year the Filpino-American “Flash” rose to the occasion. As the consensus 2012 Fighter of the Year, the denouement came almost immediately, and then either the stagnation or steady decline, ending with a bang many others construed to be a conclusion to his story as an elite fighter.

Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank

Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank

The ambitious resolve of Donaire (33-3, 21 KOs) to continually take on all comers led to another fall from grace, but the same admirable trait is the reason why he is a main eventer, and D-DAY is the day he proves he still got it.

Nietes (34-1-4, 20 KOs), on the other hand, looks to have nothing to prove. At 32, he also has nothing of the drama in the career curve of his peers on this level. He just won a world title in 2006, defended it every single time from thereon as he is supposed to, and slowly but surely, steadily but silently established himself at his pole position.

Dominance lingers, despite foes. He has not lost in more than a decade; only feeling close to that by virtue of three draws during that span. Especially in a weight class traditionally unheralded, Donnie Nietes’ extraordinarily extended reign at the top had given the Junior Flyweight division a new face.

The biggest splash the islander has made was when he passed a long-time record of the original “Flash” Elorde when he successfully defended his piece of the world championship and is now a champion for seven straight years, and counting.

The same lineal recognition which Gabriel Elorde boasted during a time with singular world champions is also currently bestowed on Nietes, effectively solidifying him as the world’s best at 108 lbs.

In the international scene, the boxer hailing from Bacolod might be considered by some as under-the-radar, even underrated, but he has been a steady staple, someone who can be relied to maintain main event caliber when called upon.

Donaire’s ring return in the Philippines makes the event as big a national spectacle as any other of the kind, but ABS-CBN and ALA Promotions ascribing Nietes more than a supporting role in the show, no matter how big the other name, seems just about right.

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