Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nonito Donaire Admits to Difficulty Making Weight

Nonito Donaire (left) and Raul Martinez met today in Manila, the Philippines. The pair will meet again this weekend for Donaire's IBF Flyweight title.

Nonito "The Flash" Donaire admitted that he has had "a problem" getting down to 112 pounds ahead of his IBF Flyweight bout against Raul Martinez that will take place this weekend in the Philippines.

Donaire, 26, is making the third defense of his title belt against the undefeated Martinez who hails from San Antonio, Texas. The fight will take place at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, which is the same venue that hosted the legendary "Thrilla in Manila" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975.

"Well, I think all fighters at one time or another go through the weight issues," said Donaire, who has now wrapped up his sparring and heavy training. "I feel good, but the last few days have been tough. There has been a little problem, though, yes."

In a very surprising move, Donaire recently fired his father as his trainer and hired former IBF Flyweight titlist Dodie Boy Penalosa. It was a shock move, considering that only a few months ago, Donaire told me, "I started with my Dad. He taught me everything I know. Everything that I've learned - who I am now as a fighter is because of the way he made me think inside that ring. He taught me how to be smart, how to be strong, how to be fast."

Donaire, however, says that training with Dodie Boy and the Penalosa brothers has been a blessing. He says that he has sparred over 120 rounds during the training camp for this fight whereas the most he had done for previous fights was around 40 rounds.

Donaire (left) had to lose 29 pounds in order to make weight against Luis Maldonado in a title bout that took place in Dec. 2007 at Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

"With Dodie Boy it has been special. In a way, it's like being with my father," explained Donaire. "He looks out for me and I fully trust him. I trust him with my life when I go into the ring. I know that he will take care of me no matter what the situation is. We've become close in the past few months and it's like being a family. I've learned a lot from him inside and outside the ring - how to be a good and smart fighter and a good person."

Weight problems for Donaire are not new. After his Dec. 2007 knockout victory over Luis Maldonado at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, Donaire told this scribe, "I had to come down from 140 pounds to make 111 for this fight. I didn't really have my legs at any time during the fight."

Donaire claims he "has been training for the past three months" and that at this point he does feel as though he is in the condition that he has "always wanted to be" even though it has been difficult to reach the 112-pound Flyweight limit. In the past two weeks he admits to losing almost 10 pounds.

Donaire signed a promotional agreement with Bob Arum this past June after an acrimonious split with former promoter Gary Shaw, who has since called Donaire "disloyal." Arum is billing this weekend's card "The Flash and the Furious" and it is available in the United States at a pay-per view asking price of $24.95. The card also features Brian Viloria in an IBF Light flyweight bout against Ulises Solis.

April 2009

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