Nonito Donaire Joins the Elite with One Punch, But What’s Next?

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Nonito Donaire 

A few years back, when a babyfaced fighter named Nonito Donaire stepped into the ring with Vic “I have dismembered corpses hidden in my basement” Darchinyan, most people expected a violent knockout.

The knockout came, but the guy dropping to the mat and then stumbling into the ropes wasn’t the guy we thought it would be.

With one fantastic, brilliantly timed left hook, Donaire became an immediate name fighter, a guy on the verge of stardom. Nearly four years later, in the biggest fight of his career against Fernando Montiel, Donaire scored another one-punch knockout.

Montiel partially connected with an overhand right, but Donaire was already winding up a left hook with enough torque to make Tommy Hearns smile.

For a match that many had pegged as their Fight of the Year candidate, it was shockingly one-sided. Signs were there in the very early seconds of the fight that Montiel was in over his head.

Donaire’s punches were fast, strong and accurate. Montiel had landed a few jabs in the second round, but he would be flailing on the canvas soon after that.

We can argue about where Donaire belongs in the pound-for-pound rankings, but what we can all agree on is that we’re dying to see him in the ring again. So who’s next?

The obvious choice is the winner of the Agbeko/Mares fight. It would decide who reigns supreme in the division, and it would be a can’t miss fight. Darchinyan has been asking for a rematch for years, but the result of the rematch would very likely mirror that of the first fight.

After that, it gets tricky. There really isn’t a name fighter in the 122-pound division, so Donaire would have to make the jump to 126 to get the big-money fights, and the big-name fighters.

The division is stacked, so there would be plenty of suitors. Obviously, the big two are Yoriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez, but they are on a collision course with each other and have been since they started fighting.
Still, a fight against Daniel Ponce De Leon would be intriguing, as would a bout with Chris John. Or maybe Donaire has the ability to effortlessly jump weight classes like his countryman Manny Pacquiao, in which case we can fantasize about Donaire taking on the likes of Rios, Marquez, Bradley, or gasp, even the king himself.
Dreams aside, Donaire has finally broken through and can now be included with the elite fighters at the top of the pound-for-pound list. Whoever he fights, his skills and fan-friendly style make him impossible to ignore.

Source: Bleacher Report

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