“The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire was named the 2012 Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) on Thursday afternoon and the WBO and The Ring super bantamweight king will be celebrated at an awards banquet in New York this spring.
After overcoming Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula and Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka, the 30-year-old Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) punctuated 2012 and won his fourth fight of the year by knocking four-division titlist Jorge Arce onto Queer Street in the third round of their December 15 scrap at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Donaire, a Filipino-American from the Bay Area who is also a past IBF and IBO world flyweight titleholder, has emerged victorious in 29 consecutive matches since losing a unanimous decision to Rosendo Sanchez in his second professional bout in March 2001.
Jeff Lyons possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of “The Sweet Science” and the South Bostonian raved about Donaire and said The Ring’s fifth pound-for-pound boxer in the world deserves the impressive accolade.
“Donaire’s the logical choice,” said Lyons, 33. “Look at the amount of fights he’s had and how convincingly he’d won them. If he were 15 pounds heavier, we’re talking about a global superstar.”
In a sport plagued with dope fiends, considering that the Filipino badass welcomes year-round, random drug testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), it is safe to presume Donaire is clean.
Nonito Donaire is simply all that is right with boxing both inside, and outside, of the squared circle.