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MANILA — The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) took note of Nonito Donaire’s year-round brilliance, naming the Filipino-American puncher as the recipient of its coveted Fighter of the Year award for 2012.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Donaire punishes Arce in their fight last November in Houston. [/box]Donaire’s star shone like no other in 2012, winning all of his four fights, including an emphatic third-round knockout of Mexican legend Jorge Arce in December in Houston.

By being voted by the BWAA as its top choice, Donaire thus became only the second Filipino to earn the accolade after Manny Pacquiao, who had won the same award in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The BWAA annual awards and banquet will be held in June in New York.

Donaire, one of the fastest rising stars in the sport, began 2012 with a big bang, overpowering Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in February at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

In July, Donaire returned to action and did a similar thing on South African Jeffrey Mathebula at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, same arena he used in sending Japanese pride Toshiaki Nishioka to retirement three months later.

Meanwhile, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum told the Manila Bulletin that Donaire’s fight on April 13 is a done deal and that a major announcement will be made very soon.

The 30-year-old Donaire will face Cuban hotshot Guillermo Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic ch`ampion and world amateur titleholder.

The 81-year-old Arum said the choice of venue is going to be “a surprise to a lot of people.”

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Arum likewise branded the $3-million offer by Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) for Donaire to meet GBP fighter Abner Mares as “a publicity stunt.”

“We can talk about a Mares fight after we do the April 13 fight,” Arum said. (Manila Bulletin)