Electrifying Nonito Donaire Jr. ascends to millionaire superstar status

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DALY CITY--Nonito Donaire Jr. is not now, nor will he ever be Manny Pacquiao.
Donaire was the first to admit it seconds after he ascended to boxing superstar status with a blistering second round KO over highly respected Mexican veteran Fernando Montiel in Las Vehas (HBO) Saturday night.

If Sergio Martinez's one shot KO over Tall Paul Williams was the sport's singature KO of 2010, then I'd have to say it will take something truly spectacular the remainder of this year to esclipse how Donaire poleaxed Montiel to walk away with both the WBC and WBO bantamweight title straps.

In a postfight interview, after the spine-tingling victory, HBO voice Mad Max Kellerman seemed to brielfly think that the exuberant, articulate Donaire might say he would buck Pacman for supremacy in the mythical Pound for Pound rankings

Donaire quickly corrected Kellerman, whose enthusiasm was understandable.

It was just a brief moment of confusion.

"I believe it was Pacquiao who has given me this opportunity," Donaire said. "I don't think about being Number 2 (pound for pound, behind only Pacman), that is a fantasy."

But Donaire has no illusions about fattening up to battle the Pinoy Idol. In fact, he seemed amused by the very idea of being the Numero Uno and/or of fighting Pacquiao.

"No, no way!" Donaire said, smiling brightly.

"I'd be very happy being Number 2."

Donaire, who earned a purse of $350,000, rendered a million dollar performance on a pretty big stage. Another example of excellent and timely matchmaking by Top Rank's old pro, Bruce "Southland" Trampler, sure, but take nothing away from Donaire's delivery when it mattered most.

Now Uncle Bob (Arum) will have to open up the checkbook.

Arum has been paying multimillion dollar purses to Pacquiao.

Now it's time for young Donaire to cash in and cash in big.

That KO moved the Next Gen star from Gensan from six figure to seven figure purses,
Pay the man, Uncle Bob.

Donaire, with that picture perfect countering left hook, went from star to superstar.
He's more than earned his newfound status.

Which reminds me that there has never been a better era to a boxing crazy Pinoy, lol.

By Michael Marley

Michael is a former sports columnist at the New York Post. He is an attorney and worked for sports legends Howard Cosell and Don King.

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