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Donaire draws inspiration from Filipino fans

NONITO DONAIRE JR. returned home a hero not only because of his convincing victory over Mexican Jorge Arce, but also because he quashed Filipinos’ sorrows over boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s shocking knockout loss.

Donaire (31-1 with 20 knockouts) scored a third-round knockout win over Arce (61-6-2 with 46 knockouts) to successfully defend his World Boxing Organization and the Ring super-bantamweight titles on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

His convincing triumph came exactly a week after Pacquiao’s crushing sixth-round knockout loss to another Mexican, Juan Manuel Marquez, in their welterweight non-title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Without you, I won’t have an inspiration, so I wanted to give you all something to smile about and something to be proud of,” said Donaire upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport onboard a Philippine Airlines flight from San Francisco, California.

 “I’m always proud to carry the Philippine flag, always proud of being a Filipino and whatever things that I can give to make my country proud, I’m going to give it. Whether it is an exciting fight for the fans or an inspiration to them,” Donaire added. “I’m always proud to raise my flag which is the Philippine flag.”

The “Filipino Flash” said his win could help cheer up the country still reeling from the close to a thousand who died when Typhoon Pablo hit southern Philippines two weeks ago and the crushing defeat of world boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.

“There are many tragedies in our lives, from the typhoon to the school shooting in Connecticut to the five-car pileup I saw on my way to the airport. Every day, every second is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted,” he later tweeted as he also sent sympathies and condolences to the families of the 26 people—mostly children—who died in a shooting rampage in a Connecticut school.

Donaire said that Pacquiao’s loss served as additional motivation for him. “I know Manny [Pacquiao] did well in that fight [against Marquez]. He had excellent footwork, power and speed. He just got hit by a punch he failed to see.”

He added that the Mexican fans were also hoping that Arce could come up with the same result. “I learned from [Pacquiao’s] mistake, that I would be aware of anything.”

“I just need intelligence [inside the ring]. If I don’t follow our game plan and just throw punches, I will also get hit. So I had to set him [Arce] up properly.”

Donaire plans to fight again as early as March 2013 against either undefeated Mexican Abner Mares (24-0-1 with 13 knockouts) or two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba.

In Photo: Nonito Donaire Jr: I’m always proud to carry the Philippine flag. (AP)






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