Donaire in race for Fighter of Year award
MANILA, Philippines - Bob Arum had something else at the back of his mind when he decided to pit Nonito Donaire Jr. against Jorge Arce on Dec. 15 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. It will be the fourth fight for the year for the reigning WBO super-bantamweight champion. He won the first three, including a TKO of Toshiaki Nishioka last Oct. 13 in Carson City. Donaire, actually undefeated over the last 11 years, also outpointed Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. last February, before dominating Jeffrey Mathebula last July. It’s been a busy, successful and lucrative year for the 29-year-old Donaire. Perhaps without him knowing, those three wins also put Donaire in the hunt for the Fighter of the Year award being given out by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). A big win over Arce could be the icing on the cake, according to Arum. “We wanted to get Donaire a fourth fight this year because it enhances his chances for the Fighter of the Year,” the Top Rank chief told The STAR the other day. Arum said there was really no plan setting up Donaire vs Arce exactly one week after Manny Pacquiao faces Juan Manuel Marquez in what could be the fight of the year. But the ageless promoter found the opportunity for Donaire.
“It was not intended,” said Arum of the back-to-back presentation featuring Pacquiao and Donaire along with another Filipino title prospect, the undefeated Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta. “But when the December date opened up for Donaire we grabbed it. Three Filipinos will be fighting that week,” said Arum. Gesta, who’s 26-0 with 14 knockouts, will shoot for the IBF lightweight title against Mexican Miguel Vasquez on the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez Part 4. Asia's fishermen caught in escalating sea tensions
When gun-toting Chinese guards spotted Tran Hien's unarmed wooden fishing boat in disputed waters, they seized his vessel, detained his crew and threw him in jail. For generations the Vietnamese islanders of Ly Son have braved typhoons and other dangers to bring home fish, but now they also have to contend with patrols sent by Beijing to assert its territorial claims. Swept along by nationalist sentiment, and forced to venture ever further out to sea to fill its nets, Asia's fishing fleet is increasingly on the frontline of escalating territorial tensions in the region. In recent years, China has begun aggressively patrolling around the contested Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea -- known in Vietnam as the East Sea -- using fishing bans and patrol boats to keep foreign trawlers out, according to Vietnamese officials and fishermen. "They had guns. They trained them on us, forced us to the front of the boat, then they boarded and arrested us," said Tran Hien, who was detained in March along with his 10-man crew near the Paracel Islands and held for 49 days. "My first son was born when I was in the Chinese prison," the 33-year-old boat captain said. "They took my nets, my GPS and I am now heavily in debt." Hien's story is far from unusual -- he and his men were held alongside the crew of another Vietnamese boat that was detained the same day. Both captains were beaten and "there was never enough food" for the 21 sailors, he said. Hanoi says hundreds of fishing boat crews have been arrested near the Paracels and Spratlys by Chinese authorities over the last few years. With coastal areas depleted by overfishing, the ever-growing ranks of fishermen from Ly Son -- located 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of mainland Vietnam -- rely on trips to the disputed archipelagos to net valuable hauls of anchovies, tuna and butterfish. Hanoi claims "indisputable sovereignty" over the island chains, known locally as Truong Sa and Hoang Sa, which are several hundred kilometres off the coasts of both Vietnam and China. And Hanoi uses the fishermen, at least indirectly, to assert sovereignty claims -- rejecting any Chinese efforts to limit its trawlers, such as Beijing's annual...
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