Donaire returns to fighting form with dad as trainer
OAKLAND, California — He’s back and promises to be victorious.
Training much ahead of his scheduled March 28 bout at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Nonito “The Flash” Donaire is motivated to get back in the ring.
After his devastating loss against Nicholas Walters last October, the “Fighter of the Year” is preparing for the fight and training at his father’s gym in Oakland, also with his own father, Nonito Sr., as his trainer.
When asked how his earlier loss changed his views on boxing, the Fil-Am boxer told Manila Mail that he has to step up to his “A” game because “in boxing you’re easily forgotten.”
“You always want to be willing to fight.”
Now, more than ever, Donaire is motivated to get back there and be remembered.
Not counting his interim belt at junior bantamweight, Donaire has won in four weight classes: flyweight; bantamweight; junior featherweight and featherweight.
Last week, World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman officially announced that the council has approved a battle for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super-bantamweight title between former five-division world champion Donaire and any of the Top 10 contenders.
The match in the Philippines is being undertaken by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN.
But as of press time, the promoter has yet to name the Filipino Flash’s opponent. Reports say the contender could come from Mexico, the United States or Canada.
In NABF’s January 2015 ratings, the Top 10 contenders include Mexican boxers Horacio Garcia, Rey Vargas, Tomas Rojas and Hugo Cazares. Among the Americans on the list are Joseph Diaz Jr., Roman Morales and Manuel Avila from California, along with Jesse Magdaleno from Nevada. Puerto Rican boxers Luis Rosa and Cesar Seda are also rated as Top 10 contenders for NABF’s super bantamweight title.
“We’ve been wanting to fight in the Philippines for a long time,” Donaire said. “It’s just that it never happened because of the promotion that I’m in and the fights that are coming up beforehand. We’ve been trying to get this fight, and this time we have the opportunity to fight in the Philippines which is very good and exciting [though] we’re still finalizing everything.”
Donaire is working closely with his father for this fight.
Nonito Sr. said his son told him: “For this fight, this is going to be your call. Ikaw bahala [It’s up to you], you’ll be my trainer.”
“I’m so happy to see my son fighting back. His two hands, movement, power and speed are his strengths. His snapping right hand is strong, hook, body shot – unlike before that he’s only relying on one hook.”
Donaire has a separate trainer for his conditioning. “If he can maintain his movement and avoid the punches of the opponent, we can surely expect a knockout,” Nonito Sr. said.
No diet regimen is yet in place as the fight is still a long way off.
Donaire’s father is calling on fans to support his son’s comeback fight. “I’m confident because my son knows how to discipline himself,” he said.
Lack of motivation
Donaire himself traces his previous loss to a lack of motivation: “If I have no fight, I don’t train at all. But after my last fight, I just keep training and training. You see the difference in my power and speed?”
The father and son are expected to train in Oakland until Feb 25 before flying to Cebu for the remainder of the training.
“To all the people in the Philippines, there’s an opportunity to watch me fight,” Donaire said.
“I’ll do everything in my power to make it an exciting victory for everybody and for our country,” he added. “But first and foremost I want to thank them and you guys for all the support you’ve given me throughout all my winnings and losing, you guys have been there. God bless.”
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