Nonito Donaire is a force, and the 118-pound bantamweight is making a charge up the pound-for-pound rankings. The 28-year-old Filipino Flash destroyed Fernando Montiel on Saturday with a second-round TKO to win the WBC bantamweight title. The emerging star has now captured crowns in the bantamweight, super flyweight, and flyweight divisions, inspiring comparisons to fellow Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao started off his career 107 and has now fought at a 150-pound weight limit, winning a light middleweight title. Donaire has never fought above 121 pounds, but he may venture into higher weight classes before long.
Where Donaire stands out amongst his competition is punching power. The 5’6″ Filipino-American seems to be somewhat more muscular and physical than his opponents, and his punches certainly sting more than the ones he receives. Of his 26 wins, 18 have come by knockout, including the beautiful knock down of Montiel captured in the photo above.
Power isn’t the only part of Donaire’s dominant ring skills; much like Pacquiao, he has excellent hand speed and he’s able to dictate the pace of fights with his footwork. As if that wasn’t enough, he can also flip between southpaw and orthodox stances mid-fight, keeping his opponents confused.
The young fighter is proving himself to be one of the best pound-for-pound in the world after rattling off his 27th straight win Saturday. Donaire said after the fight that he wants to unify the competitive bantamweight division before thinking about moving up in weight class. Guys like Joseph Agbeko and Koki Kameda may await, but there’s little doubt Donaire can unify the division and eventually move up in weight classes successfully.
And if you missed Saturday’s knockdown, check this out via Unsilent on twitter: