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DONAIRE, VILORIA MAKE 'ALL-ESPN' BOXING TEAM

 

Donaire, Viloria make 'All-ESPN' boxing team

MANILA, Philippines -- Two Filipino boxers made it to the 2011 All-ESPN Boxing Team, the list of boxers who had the best year in their respective divisions as voted on by ESPN boxing writers.

ESPN named Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire as the top fighter in the bantamweight division, while Brian "The Hawaiian Punch" Viloria was the number 1 fighter in the flyweight division.

"Nonito Donaire blew up Fernando Montiel in a knockout of the year candidate in February, and although it wasn't nearly as spectacular, he was just as dominant in October's unanimous decision victory against Omar Narvaez," ESPN said.

WBO welterweight boxing champion and congressman Manny Pacquiao (L) raises the hand of WBO Flyweight champion Filipino-Hawaiian Brian Viloria (R) after his win against Giovani Segura of Mexico during their WBO Flyweight championship fight at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Metro Manila December 11, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Ravelo, Reuters

"Brian Viloria outdueled Julio Cesar Miranda for a flyweight title in July, then defended it in perhaps his most notable win to date: an eighth-round TKO of former 108-pound champ Giovani Segura in December," it added.

Donaire has decided to leave the bantamweight division and will make his debut at the junior featherweight division on February 2012 against Wilfredo Vasquez Jr.

Viloria, meanwhile, plans to stay at flyweight.

Notably left out of the All-ESPN boxing team is Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, who routed Shane Mosley in his first match of 2011 last May, before salvaging a majority decision win against Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in November.

Instead, ESPN named undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. as its top boxer for the welterweight division.

"Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought just once in 2011, and although the outcome was semi-controversial, it was absolute: In September, Mayweather delivered a merciless knockout of Victor Ortiz to repossess a welterweight strap," ESPN said.

The other fighters included in the All-ESPN boxing team are:

- Wladimir Klitschko, heavyweight division
- Marco Huck, cruiserweight division
- Bernard Hopkins, light heavyweight division
- Andre Ward, super middleweight division
- Sergio Martinez, middleweight division
- Miguel Cotto, junior middleweight division
- Lamont Peterson, junior welterweight division
- Brandon Rios, lightweight division
- Adrien Boner, junior lightweight division
- Yuriorkis Gamboa, featherweight division
- Jorge Arce, junior featherweight division
- Omar Narvaez, junior bantamweight division
- Roman Gonzales, junior flyweight/strawweight division

Source:  www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/12/27/11/donaire-viloria-make-all-espn-boxing-team

 

Pinoy pugs get honorable mention for ESPN Fighter of the Year

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxers Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Brian Viloria all received honorable mentions as sports network ESPN's Fighter of the Year for 2011.

Andre Ward, the undisputed king of the super middleweight division, was named 2011 Fighter of the Year, but ESPN acknowledged the excellent campaigns that the Filipino boxers had this past year.

ESPN's Dan Rafael wrote that Pacquiao "didn't have the kind of megayear he enjoyed when he won his three Fighter of the Year awards (2006, 2008 and 2009), but boxing's biggest star still had a fine campaign."

Pacquiao defeated former champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley in May 2011 via unanimous decision, but struggled against Juan Manuel Marquez, his great rival, in their trilogy bout in November.

Rafael nevertheless credited Pacquiao for waging "a terrific fight" against Marquez. "The third bout was another close and exciting fight that Pacquiao won this time via majority decision," he added.

Bounce-back year

Viloria, the reigning World Boxing Organization flyweight champion, bounced back from a rough 2010 to win another flyweight title and notched his greatest career victory yet in December.

Viloria lost a junior flyweight belt in 2010, getting upset by Carlos Tamara via a 12th-round knockout. He considered retiring from boxing after that loss, but decided to continue and had two impressive victories in 2011.

"In July, Viloria got a shot at flyweight titlist Julio Cesar Miranda. With a supportive crowd in Honolulu behind him, Viloria scored a 1st-round knockdown and won a comfortable decision to claim his 3rd world title," Rafael wrote.

"In December, Viloria scored the biggest win of his career in a mild upset when he battered Giovani Segura, the junior flyweight world champion who had given up his title to move up in weight," he added.

Viloria thoroughly outclassed Segura in their bout, even causing a hematoma to develop on the right side of the latter's face. The referee was forced to stop the fight in the 8th round, and Segura was sent to a hospital shortly after.

Climbing up the ranks

ESPN commended Donaire for his impressive rise to stardom in 2011, especially for his brutal second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel last February.

"Donaire... simply destroyed (Montiel) in the second round with a massive left hook," Rafael wrote.

But 2011 also saw Donaire endure a long period of inactivity due to a promotional dispute with Top Rank and Golden Boy, costing him precious months of ring time.

"The sides eventually settled, and (Donaire) returned to action in October," Rafael added. "Donaire met Omar Narvaez of Argentina, a long-reigning flyweight titlist who had won a junior bantamweight belt in 2010, defended it three times and then jumped to bantamweight."

"It was a cakewalk, as Donaire pitched a clean 120-108 shutout on all three scorecards to embarrass Narvaez, who spent most of the fight petrified to engage."

Other fighters

Aside from the three Filipino boxers, Hernan "Tyson" Marquez, Lamont Peterson, Bernard Hopkins, Jorge Arce and Miguel Cotto also received honorable mentions for Fighter of the Year.

Undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who only fought once in 2011, did not get a honorable mention.

Source: www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/12/27/11/pinoy-pugs-get-honorable-mention-espn-fighter-year

 

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