Donaire back next week, plans to hit gym earlyBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LOS ANGELES—Nonito Donaire Jr. will celebrate his new status as WBO and IBF super bantamweight champion with countrymen in Manila next week before he resumes training for a crack at a third 122-pound crown.
Team Donaire confirmed that the 29-year-old champion, now high up in every pound-for-pound list, is flying to Manila with the family of his wife Rachel.
But it’s not going to be a full vacation for the Filipino Flash, who added the IBF title of the taller Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa to his own WBO crown by unanimous decision in Carson, California, Saturday.
Donaire is expected to start training early against Mexican Jorge Arce (60-6-2, 46 knockouts), the 33-year-old former 122 lb champ whose own flashy style matches well with Donaire’s explosive brand of boxing.
“We are going in that direction (becoming undisputed champion). Maybe just two more fights and I’m going up to 126,” said Donaire. “I’ll go for one more belt and move on.”
Donaire is under pressure to prove that he still has his KO power in the heavier division. He failed to score a stoppage in his last three fights although he floored Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last February and Mathebula last Saturday.
Several big shots in the super bantam division are itching to take a crack at Donaire.
One of them is Toshiaki Nishioka, a 35-year-old Japanese former champ. He was at ringside Saturday night to see how Donaire fights.
“That (fight) is what I want,” said Nishioka (39-4-3 with 24 KOs).
Another fighter raring to get his hands on Donaire is Mexican-born Abner Mares, the WBC titlist, who, next to the Filipino Flash, has the most impressive credential among the present crop of 122 lb champions.