2. Nonito Donaire (37-3-0, 24 KOs) Super bantamweight (122 lbs.)
Although Donaire dropped a unanimous decision in 2013 against Guillermo Rigondeux, Donaire is still among the top active Filipino boxers next to Pacquiao. He had a good run in 2012 and was named “Fighter of the Year” to most sports print and digital media.
Donaire came back strong after the Rigo fight and demolished once and for all rival Vic Darchinyan in a rematch. He then marched north to conquer the featherweight division. He won an infamous technical decision over Simpiwe Vetyeka for a featherweight title. Vetyeka is the conqueror of the great Chris John of Indonesia who held the featherweight world title since 2004. John’s only lost was to Vetyeka in 2013 and then he retired.
Donaire returned to the ring to defend his title against a much bigger and stronger featherweight contender Nicholas Walters. Donaire suffered his first knockout defeat as a 13 years pro-fighter.
After a disappointing knockout loss at the featherweight division, Donaire move back down to 122 pound division. In his comeback, he blew William Prado of Brazil inside two rounds at his country of birth in the Philippines on March 28, which I covered live at ringside.
After a successful came back against Prado at 122-pound division, Donaire added two more victories. He fought between life and death against tough… tough… Mexican Cesar Juarez for 12 rounds. Donaire was going well in the early round knocking down Juarez twice in round four. Juarez came back with frightening rally in the championship rounds that saw Donaire in the verge of collapse. But Donaire’s piled up points in the rounds prevailed and got the UD win.
He came back to his country of birth and wiped out challenger Zsolt Bedak in round in Round 3 and called out UK’s Carl Frampton and a rematch with Guillermo Rigondeux.