Wins in a ninth-round TKO against Darchinyan
In 2007, a matchup between the then-unknown Nonito Donaire and IBO and IBF champion Vic Darchinyan placed the former on the world boxing stage in a stunning TKO upset. Six years later, a much-awaited rematch resulted in another TKO, with the Filipino Flash prevailing against the three-division champion. That fight would be named Knockout of the Year and Upset of the Year by none other than Ring Magazine.
Right before the fight, the boxing commentators made note of possible distractions for Donaire. He is a new father to first-born son Jarel, he had just come from breaking a 10-year winning streak, and his home country, the Philippines, was in the midst of the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall in history. Donaire, who looked like he was struggling for most of the fight, regrouped at the ninth, facing Darchinyan head on to win the match barely one minute into the round.
The definitive win is a much-needed boost in light of recent catastrophes in the Philippines, to which he dedicated the victory. In a statement released hours before the fight, Donaire expressed his belief in the Filipino spirit, stating, “Dedicating my fight to uplift the Filipinos’ spirits. Our indomitable spirit has been recognized worldwide, even by CNN. Keep the faith, He will not abandon us in our time of need. Continued prayers for the earthquake and typhoon victims.”
Meanwhile, a post-fight statement had the Filipino Flash sharing his win with the country, and how the Philippines prevails against all odds, “It wasn’t my win tonight, it was the Philippines’ win. We are strong and we have faith. Thank you Lord for keeping me safe, giving me a sound mind, helping me see what needed to be done. Thank you to the Archangels and especially all the fans and Filipinos who watched despite the typhoon.”
Abe Cipriano, AVP, Asia Brewery, conveyed gratitude for his message, and for Donaire keeping the Philippines foremost in his mind despite his major bout,“The devastation from Typhoon Yolanda is heartbreaking, and Donaire’s win is much-needed sunshine after the storm. In the true spirit of why he is the face of Cobra Energy Drink and Summit Natural Drinking Water, he has shown that the Filipino will prevail regardless of the challenge with persistence and perseverance. We hope that his win will lift our spirits even higher as we pick ourselves up and begin the process of rebuilding.”