Will Donaire surpass Pacquiao in popularity in 2013?
By Chris Williams: It looks pretty obvious that Manny Pacquiao isn’t going to be around for too much longer in the sport of boxing, not with him getting out-pointed by the likes of Tim Bradley and pole-axed by Juan Manuel Marquez. I really hate to say it, but the end is probably near for Manny.
One fighter who seems to be taking up the slack for Pacquiao is fellow Filipino WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KO’s), who in comparison to Pacquiao, had a good year in 2012. Donaire won all four of his fights, and who cares if he beat a couple of old lions in Jorge Arce and Toshiaki Nishioka and beat a couple of other vulnerable guys.
The fact is Donaire is beating the guys that Bob Arum is putting in there with him, while Pacquiao losing. Donaire is getting good ratings for his fights on HBO and he seems to be getting more popular with each fight. I’m not sure if he’s at the level where Arum will start asking boxing fans to pay to see his fights in the U.S, but I do believe he’s on the verge of surpassing Pacquiao in terms of popularity in 2013.
It might take another loss and a big win for Donaire for him to move past Pacquiao but I think that’s definitely possible. Arum is doing a real good job with Donaire with his careful match-making. If you’ve noticed, Arum is matching Donaire against everyone but the guys that are the most dangerous to him in Guillermo Rigondeaux and Abner Mares.
By having Donaire fight the other mostly mediocre opposition in the super bantamweight division, he’s able to pick up easy wins and look impressive. I call good match-making because Donaire is winning easily and out-shining Pacquiao with each fight. Arum has suddenly started matching Pacquiao tough by putting him in with Marquez once in 2011 and another time in 2012, instead of every three years.
I think it’s only a matter of time before Arum announces that Donaire will be fighting as a pay per view fighter, and it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of numbers he brings in once that happens.