Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire has made it clear he was not out for revenge for the crushing and heartbreaking 6th round knockout loss of national sports hero Manny Pacquiao last week at the hands of Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez when he faced another Mexican warrior Jorge "Travieso" Arce at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas one week later.
Donaire was aware of the reality that a lot of Filipino fans had wanted him to get Arce, telling him this is for the Philippines, but it was not in his nature to play the role of an avenger in the ring.
As he said in a post fight interview despite the fact that he had been booed by the predominantly Hispanic crowd, "I love Mexico as well."
Donaire told Yahoo! Philippines prior to the fight his desire was to lift the spirits of his countrymen by putting on an entertaining show. That he surely did.
Redemption from last week's pain was swift and decisive.
A band of Filipino fans at ringside, carrying a huge Philippine flag beamed with pride and chanted Donaire's name as they jumped for joy when the fight ended.
Donaire himself said "I hope the Filipinos can be proud of what I have done tonight."
What Donaire did was nothing short of spectacular because he battered a Mexican hero who was a four-division world champion like himself having been WBC light flyweight, WBC/WBA and IBF super flyweight and WBO bantamweight and super bantamweight champion.
Arce had told us before the fight that he was inspired by the victory of Marquez and was determined to duplicate his feat saying "nothing is impossible." That was probably true but not against a four-division champion with the consummate skill, speed, power and intelligence of Donaire.
Going into the fight Donaire admitted he was a little nervous about his left hand which had ripped open in his fight against Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. when he won the title relinquished by Arce in San Antonio last February.
The injury was aggravated in the title fight against IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula and was actually worse when he faced WBC super champion Toshiaki Nishioka for the coveted WBC Diamond belt last October which Nonito won by a ninth-round TKO in a masterful exhibition of ring savvy.
For the Arce showdown the left hand which needed nine stitches after the Nishioka fight was around 90 percent healed but Donaire was determined to give his Filipino fans in particular "all that I can to win this fight so they can enjoy the fight and have a good holiday. This is the only thing I can give you and I'm going to do that."
Arce had committed to wage "war and put pressure, pressure, pressure on Donaire for twelve rounds if he had to. But the moment he felt the power of Nonito' s right in the opening round he became far more cautious.
Donaire, behind a left jab and a right eased ahead in the first round and then dropped Arce in tbe second with a terrific right one minute into the round. It was similar to the punch that sent Nishioka to the canvas in the sixth round of their title clash.
Sensing he had Arce, Donaire nailed him with a solid right and an uppercut that dropped the Mexican challenger who didn’t appear likely to survive the round.
But the warrior instincts of Arce took over for a brief moment as he charged forward and hurt Donaire with a good body shot before the Filipino Flash exploded with what one American boxing writer described as a savage left hook that ripped onto Arce's chin, sending him crashing into the ropes and then flat on his back, his legs jerking much like the time Donaire dropped bantamweight champion Fernando "Cochukito" Montiel with a patented left hook.
Referee Laurence Cole didn’t even bother to count with the official time eerily reminiscent of Pacquiao's heartbreaking end with a mere one second to go in the round.
Donaire told Yahoo! Philippines: "I have never thought of vengeance. That’s not my mentality because it will distract my mental game. I’m there because I respect my opponent, I respect every fighter. But, at the same time I will carry the Philippine flag as high as I can and hope to gain much pride in everyone’s heart with the victory."
It’s not revenge, just redemption.
Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this post.