Nonito Donaire is targeting huge fights at super flyweight with Kazuto Ioka and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez – before moving back up to chase bantamweight greatness.
The former four-weight world champion has emphatically dismissed any idea of retiring following his brutal stoppage defeat to Naoya Inoue in June.
Instead, the legendary Donaire, who will be 40 in November, intends on dropping down to the 115lbs division to chase mouth watering fights with WBO champion Ioka and the brilliant Chocolatito.
And then the Filipino Flash plans to move back into the mix at bantamweight in pursuit of becoming the undisputed champion in that division.
“It’s a really good fight with Chocolatito and people are saying it would be ‘legend versus legend’” Donaire told Probellum.com.
Donaire has revealed he was mulling over the move to super flyweight in the hours before he faced Inoue last month.
“Before the fight with Inoue, Richard Schaefer and I talked about going down to 115,” Donaire said.
“Making the weight was very simple for me and I made it quickly. I even made 117 before stepping on the scales.
“Richard and I were talking and saying that regardless of what happens here, maybe I can go down to 115 and fight the guys in that division.
“Richard is talking with Ioka’s people, with Mr Honda and he is talking to Chocolatito as well. It’s exciting, there are a lot of things to look forward to.
“It’s a big fight. But I do like the Ioka fight as well because I want to get that title and become a five-division champion and then move back up to 118 and go for the undisputed crown once everything else is open and I get another opportunity for it.”
Nonito Donaire says he is “fired up” after making weight ahead of his eagerly awaited rematch with Naoya Inoue.
The 39-year-old tipped the scales at 117.8 pounds in Yokohama on Monday to comfortably come inside the bantamweight limit, while Inoue weighed in at 118 pounds.
Donaire and his Japanese rival clash at the Super Arena in Saitama tomorrow, with the WBC, WBA and IBF world titles on the line, in a fight the whole of boxing will be watching.
After squaring off with Inoue for the final time before fight night, the Filipino Flash said: “I feel good, I feel great. It is going to be an amazing night and you can look forward to seeing the best of me.
“I am very fired up and it is going to be a very exciting fight!”
Donaire rebounded from the first fight with Inoue to claim the WBC bantamweight title and set up a second showdown which promises to be more explosive than their classic encounter, nearly three years ago.
The future Hall of Fame inductee is confident of gaining revenge over the fighter known as ‘Monster’ and Donaire wants to set up an undisputed clash with WBO champion Paul Butler.
WBC Bantamweight World Champion and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire scored a fourth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Reymart Gaballo to successfully defend his title in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday night headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
In an all-Filipino battle, Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs) continued to build up his Hall of Fame resume, landing his signature left hook, this time to the body, to eventually end the fight. Gaballo (24-1, 20 KOs) came out employing a high guard, clearly working to avoid that vaunted left hook.
“I’ve been in this game for such a long time and I’ve had so many fights, I didn’t think I was going to have to feel him out,” said Donaire. “But he came out differently than I thought he would. He tried to nullify my left hook, but I just had to have no mercy.”
The four-division world champion in his second reign at 118 pounds, Donaire was able to remain patient as he searched for an opening for his preferred attack. Heeding the advice from his corner, Donaire found his spot for the left hook in the fourth round, connecting to the body and putting Gaballo down late in the round.
“My wife and my dad were telling me to go to the body,” said Donaire. “I had to set it up by bouncing up and down to open up that shot. I was throwing the right hand in the earlier rounds and then he didn’t expect the left hook to the body.”
While Gaballo was able to momentarily rise to his feet after the blow, he quickly retreated back to the floor, prompting referee Ray Corona to halt the bout 2:59 seconds into the round.
“I thought he was going to get up because I know he has a lot of heart, but that was a tremendous punch that landed,” said Donaire. “I just told him after the fight not to be down. Because he’s a great fighter. I had trouble figuring him out and I’m here to help him with anything he needs the rest of his career.”
With his first defense of the WBC title under his belt, the 39-year-old Donaire will now seek a rematch against unified bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue, after their 2019 Fight of the Year clash.
“It’s my team’s job to work on the rematch with Inoue,” said Donaire. “I believe my team is going to make it happen. I’m able to keep fighting at this age because I just have faith in myself and have a lifestyle that’s good for me. There is no such thing as a cheat day. It’s a choice day, and it’s my choice to train and to be me.”
In the co-main event, Cody Crowley (20-0, 9 KOs) was able to overcome an early knockdown to defeat Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (18-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-round battle of unbeaten welterweight contenders.
“I rate my performance a ‘B’ tonight,” said Crowley. “He was a tough competitor, the former IBF No. 1 contender. I was going in the underdog so I knew I was going to have to bring the fight to him the whole time. I knew that he was going to run and stop and pop with awkward shots. I was prepared for that.”
The action-packed fight heated up early, as Crowley landed a powerful left hand in round two that appeared to buckle the knees of his opponent. However, the top-rated IBF contender Abdukakhorov was able to connect with a straight left power jab that landed flush on an unsuspecting Crowley and put him on the mat with 30 seconds left in the round.
“I have a granite chin,” said Crowley. “That was the first time I have been dropped. It’s the first time my knee has ever touched the canvas, in sparring or in a fight. But I was not hurt and I got right back up.”
Despite the knockdown, Crowley was undeterred and continued to impose his aggressive style, stalking Abdukakhorov around the ring and peppering him with shots to the body and right hooks to the head. Abdukakhorov was able to land powerful counter punches and held a 31% to 23% lead in punch accuracy, but was unable to overcome the nonstop activity from Crowley.
The Canadian Crowley threw 898 punches across the 10 rounds, out landing his opponent 206 to 123, including a 182 to 99 edge in power punches. Crowley closed the fight strong, landing over 20 power punches per round in each of the final four frames on his way to victory by the scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 96-94.
“When I come to fight it’s going to be a helluva fight,” said Crowley. “It’s going to be a dog fight and you are going to see blood. You are going to see guys go down.”
Unbeaten rising contender Brandun Lee (24-0, 22 KOs) delivered a spectacular seventh-round knockout over Juan Heraldez (16-2-1, 10 KOs) with a devastating straight right hand that ended their welterweight clash, marking the first time Lee has gone past four rounds as a pro.
“I have to watch the fight back but my dad (trainer Bobby Lee) didn’t like my performance,” said Lee. “He’s a perfectionist. Everyone here thought I would take Juan out earlier, but I wanted to show everyone I can box.”
The 22-year-old was impressive from the outset, landing a powerful stunning overhand right on Heraldez in round one that set the tone for the rest of the fight. Heraldez was able to have moments of success with counter left hooks and attempted to keep the powerful Lee away from him with jabs, throwing 129 throughout the fight.
After several closer rounds following the first, Lee began to pick up the pace again in round five, mixing in a body attack that quickly opened up Heraldez’s head for more power punches. By round seven, Lee had full control of the bout and was able to land the decisive blow, distracting Heraldez with a left hand before firing the straight right hand that put Heraldez down.
“I kept seeing that Juan was moving to his right and my right hand was coming up short,” said Lee. “So I knew I had to jab and box him and make him forget about that right hand. Then I made the adjustment in the seventh round and got him out of there.”
Referee Gerard White eventually waved off the count, halting the contest at 2:11 into the seventh round. This victory marked 15 consecutive knockouts for Lee as he continues his rise toward a possible world title shot.
“I’m ready for anyone,” said Lee. “It’s ultimately up to my team, but I say bring them on.”
Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Nonito Donaire is champion once again. Fourteen years after he won his first world title, the “Filipino Flash” cemented his Hall of Fame credentials with a sensational fourth-round KO win over Nordine Oubaali to capture the WBC World Bantamweight title Saturday night in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
“The king has returned,” Donaire beamed afterward. “I just love the crowds. All my friends, family, all the boxing fans that came out thank you so much. You guys are wonderful.”
The 38-year-old Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) is now the oldest world champion ever at 118-pounds. He accomplished it with the left hand that has been the calling card of his career as he dropped Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) three times in total.
“Being at this age is not the question, it’s about my performance,” said Donaire. “About my ability to grow. I believe it matters not what your age is, but how mentally strong you are. What I learned from the [Naoya] Inoue fight is that I’m back. I can still compete at this level. The whole time I was not fighting, I was learning. I’m ready for the next one.”
Following a feel-out first round, Donaire went to work in the second, walking Oubaali down and countering with thudding effect. Donaire scored the first knockdown early in the third, dropping Oubaali with his trademark counter left hook. The Frenchman rose on unsteady legs and Donaire pounced, landing more big shots until another left hook floored Oubaali just a split second before the round ended. Again, Oubaali struggled to his feet, dazed yet willing to fight on.
The end came swiftly in the fourth. Donaire expertly maneuvered Oubaali around the ring, pinning him against the ropes where a left uppercut sent Oubaali crumpling to the canvas for a third and final time. Referee Jack Reiss immediately called it off. The official time of the stoppage was 1:52 of the fourth round.
“Three decades of being world champion. Nine-time world champion. That’s amazing,” said Donaire. “I came in here and I felt really good. Today I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I think I was just very focused in the gym. I was very, very focused. I just felt really good coming in and I was grateful to get this opportunity.
“Tonight was something that I had to prove to the world that I’m back and I’m stronger than ever. He was a very tough guy. I think ultimately for me, there was a level of should I be more patient? Or should I go for it? Something I learned in the Inoue fight was to go for the kill. And that’s exactly what I did. I was patient, but I knew he was hurt enough that I could take him out.”
Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
LOS ANGELES (July 25, 2017) – Four-division world champion Nonito Donaire will join forces with Ringstar Sports as the international boxing star attempts to add another world championship to an already illustrious list of career accomplishments.
“Exploring what was out there in the new landscape of boxing was unnerving and exciting at the same time,” said Nonito Donaire, “I have known Richard for many years and have always respected what he has been able to do for the fighters he promotes. At this point in my career I want the biggest fights possible and Richard’s track record to deliver them speaks for itself. The thought of the mega-fights against the likes of Mares, Santa Cruz, Selby or Frampton gets my blood boiling. The next chapter of my career is starting now and I am excited to say that it is with Ringstar! I am grateful to my fans and team for their continued support!”
“Nonito is one of the modern day legends of our sport,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports. “One of these rare fighters that always delivers and always knows how to entertain! I am convinced that he will again become one of the pound for pound best fighters in the world. No doubt about it! I want to thank his wife and manager, Rachel Donaire as well for the trust she places in me. We can’t wait to get going!”
Born in the Philippines and living in California, Donaire burst onto the scene in 2007 after a stellar amateur career when he stopped previously unbeaten Vic Darchinyan in the fifth round to capture a flyweight world title. Donaire would defend the title with three more knockouts before he moved up to bantamweight and defeated unified champion Fernando Montiel in 2011 to becoming a two-division world champion.
Donaire’s next challenge came at super bantamweight as he made it 27 consecutive victories by knocking down and defeating Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in 2012 to become a champion at 122-pounds. A banner year for Donaire continued with a title-unifying victory over Jeffrey Mathebula and knockouts over Jorge Arce and Toshiaki Nishioka. After the impressive run Donaire was recognized as the 2012 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA, ESPN and Ring Magazine.
A loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux ended a 30-fight win streak for Donaire, but he continued to add to his resume as he won a world title in a fourth weight class by winning a featherweight championship via technical decision over Simpiwe Vetyeka in 2014.
Another world title was added to Donaire’s ever-growing trophy case in 2015 when he defeated Cesar Juarez to capture a world title at super bantamweight. He defended the title successfully in the Philippines before losing a close decision to unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno last November.
Donaire, who is currently training in Japan, will be returning to the ring in September. Further details will be communicated as they become available