Robert Garcia: Despite Recent Performances, Donaire Still The Third Best Boxer In The World


    Nonito Donaire is in line for greatness. Already a world title holder in three divisions (four if you include interim titles) and a staple in everyone’s top five pound for pound lists, Donaire is clearly at the top of the sport in terms of talent and accomplishments. However, Donaire is far from done according to his head trainer Robert Garcia, who was a recent guest on’s Radio Show.

    While Donaire’s status of elite is well resonated throughout the sport, it certainly has not come without criticism. To most of his critics, his last two performances against Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. and Jeffrey Mathebula were far from stellar, even if he did win and unify two titles in the super bantamweight division. Garcia feels that criticism is unwarranted. “Everybody wants to see the Nonito that knocked out (Fernando) Montiel and (Vic) Darchinyan with one devastating punch and knocked them out cold. He comes into the ring thinking that and sometimes he makes those mistakes. But when we look at the fight together, he gives good performances beating world champions who are bigger. But because he doesn’t knock them out cold, Nonito is not the fighter that knocked out Montiel or Darchinyan. But when you look at it, he’s dominating and winning almost every round,” stated Garcia.

    According to Garcia, if there’s something that should be noted is that another Filipino pound for pound superstar hasn’t exactly looked great in his past outing and Donaire should be given the benefit of the doubt. Garcia stated, “If we look at (Manny) Pacquiao, he’s the second best pound for pound fighter in the world. But he hasn’t looked that impressive in his last 3 fights, but we still have to consider him one of the best because of who he beat and what he’s accomplished.”

    Garcia is proud of his fighter and certainly considers him one of the best in the sport right now and he feels in the future, Nonito can be the best. “Right now, I think Nonito is top 3 or 4 pound for pound. If he’s at super bantamweight fighting the best against bigger guys and he’s knocking guys down and beating them convincingly; why should we not consider him the best? He’s going to get even better; he’s just fighting different guys, bigger guys who are world champions. As the fights go, the fights are going to be harder and harder, but we are going to fix the little mistakes. Nonito is the 3rd best in the world and one day could be the best in the world,” explained Garcia.

    The next time Donaire will showcase his talents will be on October 13th in Carson California, headlining an HBO World Championship Boxing telecast. For months now, Donaire seemed to be on a collision course with Jorge Arce. However, most fans were displeased with that option. Most polls on boxing websites tabbed Guillermo Rigondeaux, Abner Mares, and Toshiaki Nishioka as more credible and deserving opponents for Donaire. With Rigondeaux busy with his fight with Roberto Marroquin, Mares being with a rival promoter and now fighting on the same day, Nishioka was chosen; much to the delight of the fans.

    Nishioka hasn’t fought since last October when he beat Rafael Marquez for the WBC Super Bantamweight title. Since then, he vacated the title. Most fans still see this as a bigger test for Donaire than Arce would have provided. Garcia however is indifferent stating, “I could mention you a name at 122 and they could all be threats. We thought Montiel was a big threat and look at what he did, He could fight Mares and knock him out in one round. Nonito is and can be that great. At 122, we have great fighters and great champions and they are basically in line waiting to fight Nonito.”

    Most fans would say if that was the case, than Nonito should take on all comers, especially the Ringondeaux’s and the Mares’ of the world. However, Garcia stated, “Cameron Dunkin has that job to line them up for Nonito. We leave it up to Cameron. If he says we fight against Mares or Rigo (Rigondeaux), we’ll fight them. People will tell Nonito how come you won’t fight them? Well that’s why he has a manager to negotiate and picking those fights with Top Rank. If it was up to Nonito, then why would he need Cameron Dunkin? Talk to him if people want to make fights and tell him your story. But I’m sure those are in the plans and we’ll eventually get to all those fights.”


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