Comparing Donaire to Pacquiao
By Al S. Mendoza
MOST boxers, like writers, are born.
Few pugilists are made.
Nonito Donaire Jr. is one example of one born to box.
Manny Pacquiao is one example of one made to box.
Don’t get me wrong.
Both Donaire and Pacquiao are great fighters.
They have one more commonality: They are both talented.
If we say born to box, one is already equipped with all the tools to become champion in no time.
If we say made to box, one is virtually equipped with all the tools to become champion in the future.
Between Donaire and Pacquiao, Donaire has the more sound fundamentals than Pacquiao.
From the very start, Donaire is endowed with all the traits of the sweet science.
He can box, he can slug, he can execute.
In contrast, Pacquiao can only slug and execute at the start of his career. It took some time before Pacquiao could become a well-rounded fighter like Donaire.
That’s because Pacquiao was basically a slugger and, as such, he didn’t know much to box.
While Donaire is the Muhammad Ali, the most complete fighter of all time, Pacquiao is the Joe Frazier, the most complete slugger of all time.
Only after Freddie Roach had become Pacquiao’s trainer that the PacMan finally learned how to be a boxer in the mould of a Donaire.
Before shacking up with Roach, Pacquiao was basically a brawler, one who just wanted to bang his foe to submission with the crudeness of a butcher.
With Roach in his corner, Pacquiao learned how to circle the enemy first, study the foe’s movements with surgical precision before methodically chopping him up.
That’s basically the reason why Pacquiao became the only eight-division world champion besides being the only Filipino athlete to ever become a billionaire.
In contrast, Donaire was an instant fighter, as instant as Blend 45 coffee, if not a mami soup in a cardboard cup.
Donaire’s first trainer was his father.
And who would know a son better than his father?
When the young Donaire abandoned his father for another trainer in a bitter separation that still strains father-and-son relations to this day, nothing’s changed.
Donaire, because of his in-born talent, has remained as perfect as ever—his skills and talent totally preserved.
That was evident again on Sunday, when he stopped Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan in the 9th round to keep his 11-year winning streak intact while raising his win-loss record to 30-1, including 19 knockouts.
The victory was extra-sweet because it ended Donaire’s three-fight winning streak on mere points, coming even against one riding on a 16-fight winning streak during the last eight years.
Never mind if Pacquiao seems fading. There’s Donaire to sustain the thrill and drama of Philippine boxing.