‘Clean’ Nonito all bulked upBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
CARSON, California—He may not be willing to share the strategy he will use against the towering South African Jeffrey Mathebula, but Nonito Donaire Jr., has been very public with the tough regimen he underwent for Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) title fight.
He will no longer just rely on his lethal left hook, or his inherent hand speed and footwork. What many pundits described as one of the most fundamentally sound boxers today has even upgraded his arsenal with a lot more firepower.
Before joining training camp under famed trainer Robert Garcia, Donaire started to build up muscles not just by weight training but also by running.
“When I fought Vazquez I was walking at 128 (lb) that was pretty small for that division. Now I’m walking at 133 to 138,” said Donaire, who enlisted the help of Olympic running guru Remy Korchemny and strength and conditioning coach James Bassel to bulk up his normally skinny frame with patches of muscles.
“I’m in great shape, man,” said Donaire during an open workout early this week, raising his shirt to reveal a six-pack abs and cobra-shaped pectoral muscles.
Donaire also underwent high-altitude simulation training using a hypoxicator, a mask that regulates oxygen intake.
“It’s meant to boost my lungs and give me stamina and endurance by increasing the number and size of red blood cells and accept more oxygen when I get exhausted,” said Donaire, who for the past three fights have been working with controversial nutritionist Victor Conte.
Conte, who has vowed to make a 180-degree turnaround after serving a jail term for feeding athletes like Barry Bonds performance-enhancing drugs, has prepared a concoction made of magnesium and zinc to speed up recovery in between rounds.
And probably to erase skepticism, Donaire, ironically by Conte’s suggestion, agreed to subject himself to 24/7 dope testing which will start after today’s fight at the Home Depot Center.
“There is increased scrutiny (when you’re working with Conte) but to me, hey, if you doubt me, all year round, every day, every minute you can test me,” said Donaire, who is the first pro boxer to enlist in the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Drug Testing).
Donaire, however, won’t require his opponents to also subject themselves to drug testing before fighting him but instead serve as role model and make his contribution to bring back public trust in the sport.
His trainer Robert Garcia said Donaire has never trained like this before.
“Before he would take one day or two (of rest) but now he’s in the gym every day. We are in great shape, better than ever,” said Garcia
“His (Mathebula’s) style is difficult and he’s very tall and he’s awkward,” said Garcia. “But we trained and sparred harder than before. With Nonito he knows how important is this fight, he’s fighting for another title and he wants to be undisputed. This is first step to become undisputed.”