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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Donaire to train in Tokyo

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
22 Jul 2017



Former IBF/IBO flyweight, interim WBA superflyweight, WBO bantamweight, IBF/WBA/WBO superbantamweight and WBA featherweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. departs Manila for Tokyo today to set up a training camp leading to his next fight no later than September.

Donaire, 34, arrived here from his Las Vegas home with wife Rachel and their two sons last month to get ready for a new chapter in his boxing career. He hasn’t fought since losing the WBO 122-pound title to Jessie Magdaleno in Las Vegas last November. Now a free agent after his Top Rank contract expired, Donaire said he’s looking forward to navigate his career with more involvement like Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who’s his own promoter.

Donaire disclosed yesterday that he’s in talks to negotiate a fight against a still unnamed opponent in August or September, possibly in Texas where he enjoys a large following. Donaire has fought thrice in Texas, outpointing Wilfredo Vazquez in San Antonio and halting Jorge Arce in Houston, both in 2012 and knocking out Vic Darchinyan in Corpus Christi in 2013. An announcement on his comeback bout will be made soon.

In Tokyo, Donaire will stay at least a month to focus on training while his family stays in Manila. His Japanese contact Masa Ueda has arranged for sparring with a slew of top-caliber fighters, including Ryo Akaho who stopped Prosper Ankrah in the undercard of Donaire’s match against William Prado at the Big Dome in 2015. Akaho, 31, is scheduled to stake his Japanese bantamweight crown against Yuta Saito in Tokyo on Aug. 5.

“I would’ve liked to train in Manila or Cebu but there’s no high-level sparring available,” said Donaire. “I contacted Edito (Villamor) of ALA Boxing in Cebu and he told me the top ALA fighters in my weight class are now resting after just finishing their fights. Luckily, Masa was able to arrange quality sparring in Tokyo. I’m excited to fight again. Now that I’m on the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, I feel stronger with a lot more energy to work out longer hours.”

Donaire said after his comeback fight, he might do another bout before the year ends with Manila a possible site. His goal is to win another world title and with Magdaleno reneging on a promise for a rematch, Donaire said he’s open to fight anyone, anytime, anywhere.

As for Manny Pacquiao’s recent fight against Jeff Horn, Donaire said it was a close call but he thought the Filipino icon deserved the decision. “I thought Manny won even if I scored the ninth round a 10-9 and not a 10-8,” he said. “Manny landed the cleaner shots. In my opinion, you give the champion the benefit in close rounds and there were a lot of close rounds. Still, I don’t question the decision because it really could’ve gone either way. I also thought the referee (Mark Nelson) should’ve deducted at least two points from Horn because of the repeated interruptions to fix the loose tape on his glove. There were many other things that Horn did and I felt the referee let him get away with it. I watched the fight on TV and you get a different perspective from when you’re sitting at ringside as a judge. From my standpoint, Manny won.”

Donaire said Pacquiao could’ve gone to the body more than just go for a knockout with a head shot. “I heard Horn had to lose seven pounds in like a day to make weight so he had to be weak in the body,” said Donaire. “Manny could’ve slowed him down with a body attack. But credit to Horn. He executed his gameplan which was to bully Manny and not give him a chance to get set.”


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