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Could Donaire Be an Even Bigger Star Than Pacquiao?

Nonito Donaire Raul MartinezBy Dave Lahr: I don’t want to take anything away from the career of Manny Pacquiao, especially with him on the verge of fighting toughest bout of his career against Ricky Hatton on May 2nd, but I think that IBF flyweight champion Nonito Donaire (21-1, 14 KOs) has a good chance of becoming an even bigger star than Pacquiao. Donaire, 26, who already holds a 5th round knockout over arguably the best super flyweight in boxing in Vic Darchinyan, destroyed Raul Martinez (24-1, 14 KOs) in the 4th round on Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Donaire’s left hook was a deadly weapon for him as he hurt Martinez numerous times in four rounds, dropping him a total of four times in the fight before the bout was stopped by referee Pete Podgorski at 2:42 after the 4th knockdown, a left uppercut. The bout probably should have been allowed to have been continued, but the referee probably was tired of seeing Martinez get knocked down over and over again without doing much on his own.

Donaire looked even more dangerous than Pacquiao in the 1st round, dropping Martinez with a hard left hook to the head at 2:00 of the round. Donaire would later drop Martinez a second time in the round, this time from a left-right combination. In between the knockdowns, Donarie was making Martinez look like a child by blasting away at him with huge left hooks. Martinez, who normally has excellent offensive skills, looked shell shocked and attempted to throw few punches in the round.

In the 2nd round, Martinez landed a huge fight hand at the start of the round that caught Donaire’s attention. He immediately went after Martinez to pay him back, hitting him with a huge right hand and then a left hook that sent Martinez down for the 3rd time in the fight.

Donaire seemed to take it easy on Martinez in the 3rd round, throwing mostly jabs and occasional lefts to the body and head. Donaire wasn’t loading up on the shots like before and was giving Martinez a brief rest in between all his knockdowns. It helped that Martinez was doing very little himself, and seemed to be letting Donaire control the fight as he pleased.

In the 4th round, Donaire continued to mostly jab away at Martinez for most of the round. However, with little time left in the round, suddenly Donaire launched a huge left uppercut that sent Martinez staggering backwards onto the canvas.

The referee then jumped in quickly and immediately stopped the fight, even though Martinez sprung to his feet and looked unhurt from the knockdown. It didn’t matter much other than not allowing Martinez a chance to win the fight by knockout. He wouldn’t have, but he at least deserved the chance.

“I got him [Martinez]with some good counter punches with my right, and that set him up for my left,” Donaire said after the fight. “He was away of my left before the fight, but my right was something he didn’t expect. I definitely got to move up to 118.”

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