Friday, November 4, 2016

TGIF FEATURE: Pacquiao and Donaire fighting the same night

Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire on the same card at last.

FOR THE FIRST TIME, Filipino fighters Manny Pacquiao and Nonito "Flash" Donaire, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, will be on the same Las Vegas boxing card this Saturday, Nov. 5.

Having two of the most exciting fighters on the same card has long been a goal of both pugilists for a long time. It is the dream ticket for Filipino fight fans.

Manny Pacquiao, the first-term Filipino senator and former congressman from General Santos City, an eight-division champion, will come out of retirement to fight Jessie Vargas for Vargas’ WBO welterweight title in the main event.

In the co-main event, Nonito Donaire, a four-division champion and current WBO super bantamweight champion, will make the second defense of his title against undefeated Las Vegan Jessie Magdaleno, fighting for a major title for the first time.

"This is a good boxing card because not only am I fighting on the card but [so is] my fellow Philippine boxer Nonito Donaire, who is the pride of the Philippines," Pacquiao said. "I think it is a good present for us and for the Philippine people for us to fight on this card together."
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Both fighters are on the downside of their careers and as much excitement the card has generated among Filipinos in the Philippines and in the U.S., it could very well be a major disappointment if both fighters lose. Both of their opponents are up-and-coming boxers and younger.

In April, Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) won what he said then was his final fight, defeating Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in their third meeting at the MGM Grand. That retirement didn't last long. It is his first fight since being elected to the Philippines Senate in May. 

Last month, Pacquiao, 37, confirmed that he would end his retirement to fight Vargas for the title he once owned. 

The pay-per-view event, staged at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus, will not be aired by either HBO or Showtime, but instead will be handled by the promoter of the event, Top Rank, Inc.

Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs), like probably every current Filipino fighter, considers Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) to be his boxing idol. He is excited to be on Pacquiao's card.

"It's incredible. It's something you look forward to," the 33-year old Donaire said. "I'm just excited. We can give the people what they've wanted. When I signed with Top Rank (in 2008) one of the reasons I signed was to be on a card with Manny, but it never happened until now. I am focused on my outcome and beating Magdaleno but when I heard I would be on the card with Manny I was very excited."

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