Nonito Donaire wins PBC Fighter of the Year award

Nonito Donaire was named PBC’s 2021 Fighter of the Year (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Nonito Donaire’s magical comeback year rewarded him with the 2021 Premier Boxing Champions’ Fighter of the Year award.

Donaire’s achievement has been tagged as one of the best resurgence in the sport after the 39-year-old boxing superstar concluded his 2021 with an impressive 2-0 win-loss record.

His first win was against the younger former WBC world bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali who he knocked out in the fourth round to become a world champion once again.

Next up, Donaire was tasked to halt the surging and undefeated Reymart Gaballo, his kababayan, just a couple of months ago.

Gaballo suffered the same fate as Oubaali after getting knocked out in the fourth round, receiving a nasty liver shot that dropped him to the canvass.

“In 2021, 39-year-old Donaire proved age is just a number by once again becoming a world champion with a 4th-round knockout against Nordine Oubaali. Then, earlier this month, he defended that title against unbeaten Reymart Gaballo with yet another 4th-round KO!” the PBC posted.

Before the Gaballo fight was finalized, the Donaire camp was near in closing the fight against another kababayan in John Riel Casimero but a little back-and-forth between the two parties halted the ongoing negotiations.

Donaire and his camp are currently eyeing the rematch against bantamweight king Naoya Inoue where the Filipino lost several years ago in a tightly-contested slugfest.