Donaire says he still has a lot left after Inoue slugfest
MANILA, Philippines — Despite his age and mileage, Nonito Donaire believes he still has a lot more to give in boxing.
True enough, Donaire is coming off a gutsy performance against Naoya Inoue last November where the Filipino star gave the unbeaten Japanese champion all he could handle in their bantamweight title unification fight.
“Being the underdog, you know, people telling me that I couldn’t last for a round or four, and then I gave him hell, I mean it was sweet to be that way,” Donaire said to The PBC Podcast co-hosts Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal as posted on boxingscene.com.
More than anything, the loss is serving as a fuel to Donaire’s drive to come back stronger than ever and prove his critics wrong.
“The experience that I [had] in that fight, I know that I have a lot of gas in my tank,” he said. “You know, all it is is just the inspiration and the motivation to go, to be in the gym. You know, hanging the poster up in the gym and seeing that face in the gym when I wake up in the morning, I think it’s better motivation for me.”
“And that’s the game plan, you know, try to take over the world, try to take over the division, you know, because again, that was an experience that I felt, ‘Man, I got a lot in me.’ And I’ve gotta do it. You’ve gotta stop making excuses, stop making stories.”
Donaire, a four-division champion, lost the WBA (Super) crown by unanimous decision but not after unleashing punishment of his own.
In the 12-round slugfest, voted by the Boxing Writers Association of America as the 2019 Fight of the Year, Inoue suffered a broken nose and fractured orbital bone.
The 37-year-old Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) is determined to regain world champion status and expects to do just that against WBC titleholder Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs).
Donaire, who is the mandatory challenger to Oubaali’s belt, was slated to face the undefeated Frenchman on May 16 before boxing events were suspended due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Inoue’s April 25 showdown with Filipino John Riel Casimero in April had also been postponed due to the virus.
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