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News  


Donaire speaks out on loss


PhilBoxing.com





Nonito Donaire, Jr. gave no excuses for his loss to Carl Frampton and said yesterday size made the difference as the Irishman used his physical advantage to enable a tactical gameplan in blunting the Filipino Flash’s power to hurt his opponent.


The three judges----Steve Wade of England, Zoltan Enyedi of Hungary and Patrick Morley of the US----submitted identical scorecards of 117-111, giving Donaire only three rounds in Frampton’s win for the interim WBO featherweight title at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, last Saturday night.

“I thought it was much closer than how the judges saw it,” said Donaire in an overseas telephone call. “But credit to Frampton, he pulled off the victory. He did well in executing his gameplan. There were a lot of close rounds and I know those went to Frampton because that’s how it is when you fight in your hometown. If it were in the US or the Philippines, I would’ve played my boxing game and not try to chase Frampton down.”

Donaire said he noticed Frampton made a key adjustment in his style starting in the second round. “I think he wanted to test my power in the first round and that’s when I landed some big body shots,” Donaire said. “He felt my power and it made him change his gameplan. He began to box and move. If he stayed in front of me, I would’ve jabbed and used more combinations. But he kept moving. Then, he would charge in and fight physical. That’s when he threw me down twice. I can’t blame him for that. It came naturally from his gameplan. I didn’t expect him to be so big with his shoulders and arms. I think he weighed 147 for the fight and I came in 136.”

At the weigh-in before the fight, Frampton scaled 125 1/4 and Donaire, 125 1/2. The featherweight limit is 126 pounds.

Donaire said he wasn’t affected by the welt under his left eye that Frampton caused with a right hand in the second round. “I bruise easily,” he said. “It was just on the surface, nothing serious. Frampton has decent power but not stunning. He never hurt me although in that last flurry in the 12th, I felt some buzzing. But I think I staggered him at least thrice. In the seventh round, I started to bleed from a cut that was opened by a butt. The referee (Marcus McDonnell) didn’t see it. Not a problem, it happens.”

Before the 11th round, Donaire said his wife Rachel told him to fight his fight, not Frampton’s, to do what he does best. “Yeah, it got me going,” he said. “I told myself forget trying to execute my gameplan because it wasn’t working. I went for broke and got him with a left hook. Maybe, if I had done that from the start, it would’ve been a different story.”

Donaire said Ringstar Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who was at ringside, was proud of how he fought. “Richard asked me if I should continue fighting at 126,” he said. “I’m thinking of going down to 122 or even 118. It’s not a problem to trim down. At training camp, I was walking around at 133 so cutting down to 122 wouldn’t be difficult. Guys in the featherweight division can take my power but guys in the superbantamweight or bantamweight division can’t.”

Donaire said he’ll discuss with his wife and Schaefer what to do next. “I could do one or two more fights this year,” he said. “Maybe, we’ll go home to the Philippines for a rest. We’ll assess the situation carefully. I’m grateful to Frampton for what he told me after the fight, that he respects me as a great champion, that I was dangerous from start to finish. I wish him well. As for me, I’m moving on. We’re not done yet.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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