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Donaire No. 3 in pound-for-pound list

Nonito Donaire Jr.

MANILA, Philippines - In a flash, Nonito Donaire Jr. is now up the leaderboard.

The 28-year-old Filipino, by virtue of his sensational knockout win over Mexican Fernando Montiel last Sunday, is now ranked No. 3 in The Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list.

Donaire, who hits like no other in his class, stopped Montiel with a left hook to the temple. There could be no better way to deliver the winning punch as slo-mo replays showed.

It gave Donaire the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization bantamweight titles, which come after his International Boxing Federation flyweight crown in 2007.

It also pushed Donaire to the top three of The Ring’s pound-for-pound list, next only to fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao and undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr.

A few other boxing bodies, boxing websites and boxing experts come up with their own pound-for-pound list, but none probably as prestigious than that of The Ring’s.

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It is considered the Bible of boxing.

It should be the first time that two Filipino fighters landed on the top three of The Ring’s pound-for-pound list.

Before he knocked out Montiel in the 57-second mark of the second round at Mandalay Bay, Donaire was fifth in The Ring’s coveted pound-for-pound list.

Now behind him are Sergio Martinez of Argentina, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam of Thailand,       Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine, Tim Bradley of the United States, Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico and Giovani Segura, also of the US.

He moved on top of the bantamweight class, followed by Anselmo Moreno of Panama, Joseph Agbeko of Ghana, Abner Mares of Mexico and Montiel, who said he’d “never been hurt as bad before.”

“It wasn’t a simple choice for the magazine’s editorial board, which read the views and opinions of dozens of members of The Ring Ratings Panel before making their decision,” wrote Dough Fischer.

“It took more time to discuss where Nonito Donaire would be rated in the pound-for-pound rankings than it did to update the entire divisional rankings,” said Nigel Collins, editor-in-chief of The Ring, in the magazine’s website.

“Advancing him to No. 3 means that he overtakes middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez (No. 3 last week) and world lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (No. 4 last week). The decision was made even more difficult because both Martinez and Marquez have recently defended their titles via knockout against top-notch challengers.

“In the end, however, it was impossible to ignore Donaire’s overpowering performances in his last 10 fights, nine of which he won via knockout or TKO. The ‘Filipino Flash’ is on a helluva roll, one that could conceivably see him climb even higher in future months,” Collins said.

Donaire almost blew Montiel’s head off with his left hook, and grazed the Mexican with an uppercut on the way down. Montiel’s legs twitched the moment he hit the canvas.

Yes, when Montiel wobbled up, the referee allowed him to continue to fight. Donaire pounced on Montiel on the ropes, and the referee stepped in to stop the execution.

“The one with (Vic) Darchinyan was sweet. But this was the hardest,” said Donaire, who now has a lot of options. He can lord if over the ring as a bantamweight or move up a couple notches higher.

The Ring described the blow as a “punch from hell.”

Hell for Montiel was heaven for Donaire.

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