Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
MANILA, Philippines — In more ways than one, Nonito Donaire Jr. is going back to his roots.
Admitting that his one-punch game-plan is not going to work in the long run, Donaire said Tuesday he will employ a different strategy in his career that also involved replacing renowned Mexican trainer Robert Garcia with his father, Nonito Sr., as trainer.
Donaire (32-2-0 with 21 knockouts) held a presser to announce his May 31 title fight against World Boxing Association champion Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa (26-2-0 with 15 KOs) at Venetian Macau. The fight will be carried by ABS-CBN and HBO.
The 31-year-old Donaire said last year was “the crossroads of my career where I questioned myself, is this what’s important to me? Or have I reached the pinnacle of my career.”
Seated beside him at Edsa Shangri-La ballroom was his father, who will train him for the first time since 2007.
Donaire Sr. had a much-publicized feud with his son but patched things up before Nonito stopped Vic Darchinyan last year. Donaire struggled against Darchinyan before his vaunted left hook bailed him out in the 9th.
Earlier that year, he lost his 122 titles to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, who exposed Donaire’s unhealthy reliance on landing a big punch instead of throwing combinations.
Now, Donaire said he and his father will focus on his old “cerebral style.”
“With my father at my side, we can unleash my full potential, my true potential,” he said.