Nonito Donaire Jr. and Brian Viloria]

APRIL 21, 2009
(STAR) By Sandy Araneta - The city of Manila will honor world boxing champions Nonito Donaire Jr. and Brian Viloria and two others today for their astounding feats in the double world title bouts at the Araneta Coliseum last Sunday.

A motorcade will be held around the city to fete the country’s new boxing heroes next to Manny Pacquiao after Donaire and Viloria scored a pair of convincing stoppages over their Mexican rivals.

Donaire retained his International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world flyweight titles with a fourth-round technical knockout of erstwhile unbeaten Mexican Raul Martinez while Viloria knocked out champion Ulises Solis of Mexico with a single punch in the 11th round to wrest the IBF junior flyweight crown.

Their feats also prompted Sen. Manny Villar to file a resolution commending the duo for bringing honors to the country.

“With their victories, Nonito and Bryan once again made the Philippines proud. They have once again proved to the world that Filipinos have what it takes to excel in whatever field of endeavor. They bring great pride and inspire all Filipinos to excel in their undertakings to achieve success and world recognition,” said Villar.

Also to be honored in the Manila motorcade are WBC international minimumweight champion Denver Cuello and super flyweight titlist Drian Francisco.

Meanwhile, Sen. Loren Legarda yesterday urged Pacquiao to consider holding his next fight after Ricky Hatton in the country, saying such a fight can be rightly billed as the second Thrilla in Manila following the huge turnout which witnessed the Sunday card at the Big Dome.

“I know that the big money fights are in the United States and elsewhere. But I believe Manny has already achieved such an iconic stature in the world of boxing to make a big fight happen in the Philippines,” said Legarda said.

“While Filipinos follow Manny’s fights wherever they are held, the Donaire and Viloria fights showed that the victories of Filipino athletes are extra special when posted before our countrymen,” Legarda.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim has directed his chief of staff Ric de Guzman and department of public services chief retired colonel Carlos Baltazar to make the necessary coordination with the traffic bureau for the routing scheme of the motorcade, consisting of three vehicles.

Lim said he would be taking a separate vehicle “so as not to diminish the luster of their glory.”

Lim described the fight of Donaire, Viloria and Cuello as very impressive and an inspiration to aspiring boxers not only in Manila but in other parts of the country.

Cuello, meanwhile, stopped Hiroshi Matsumoto of Japan in four rounds while Francisco won over Indonesian boxer Sahril Fabanyo in their 12-round super flyweight bout.

Legarda issued her call for Pacquiao as she noted the overwhelming pride and joy that Filipinos showed following Donaire and Viloria’s victories.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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