In a breakout year for the Filipino Flash, Donaire (31-1, 30 KOs)
extended his 11-year winning streak to 30 bouts by winning all four of his
junior featherweight world title fights. On
February 4, Donaire captured the vacant WBO 122-pound title, winning a gritty
split-decision battle over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. He
unified the title on July 7, winning a dominant unanimous decision over
defending IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula. He followed that with another
legacy-making victory, a ninth-round stoppage of WBC Diamond Belt super
bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka, on October 16, ending Nishioka’s
eight-year, 16-bout winning streak. He finished the year with a spectacular third-round knockout victory of
Méxican icon Jorge Arce on December 15. And he did it while voluntarily making himself available for random blood
and urine testing everyday of the year.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR: PACQUIAO
vs. MÁRQUEZ 4
This was the eagerly-anticipated Act 4 of their fistoric rivalry where
both gladiators promised a definitive conclusion -- and they delivered. Going mano a mano and toe-to-toe, their
fight produced non-stop fireworks and drama for as long as it lasted. The world held its breath as Pacquiao,
the Fighter of the Decade, and Márquez, arguably the greatest Méxican fighter of his era, threw
every weapon they possessed at each other. And while the fight did produce a
definitive ending it also left its fans hungry for yet another encore.
ROUND OF THE YEAR: PACQUIAO
vs. MÁRQUEZ 4 - ROUND 5
Pacquiao had been knocked down in the third round -- the first time he
had ever hit the canvas in their series -- and he returned the favor knocking
Márquez down in this
round. After that it was all out
war which each of them launching and landing bombs in the most action-packed
round of the 42 they have fought.
Top Rank would like to thank everyone who participated and wish you a
happy and healthy New Year. We
cannot wait to see what 2013 brings us!