Dean's Corner ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Donaire plans 3 bouts next year

Nonito Donaire Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Former IBF flyweight, interim WBA superflyweight, WBC/WBO bantamweight, IBF/WBO superbantamweight and WBA featherweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. said the other day he’s looking forward to logging three fights next year with the immediate goal of regaining the 122-pound throne in a rematch against Jessie Magdaleno.

Donaire, 34, said he’s not disheartened by his loss on points to Magdaleno in Las Vegas last Nov. 5. “I thought I did enough to win but the judges saw it the other way,” he said. “If you just focus on results and replay that bad experience in your head over and over, you get depressed and frustrated. When the fight ended, I never put my head down, I never felt down. I entered the ring with pride and I left it with pride. My focus right now is to become better, that’s all.”

Donaire said his positive outlook is influenced by motivational speaker and best-selling author Tony Robbins who’s known for his slogan “Unleash The Power Within.” Donaire attended a six-day seminar conducted by Robbins in the Gold Coast, Australia, last April. “Tony opened my eyes to the mindset of controlling things in your life and how you don’t concern yourself with things you can’t control,” he said. “I learned how to become a better father, son and husband. I’m not dwelling on the loss to Magdaleno. Of course, I’m upset but I’m not down. I’m moving on. I know I can be better.”

This week, Donaire returns to the gym in Las Vegas with Cuban trainer Ismael Salas. “If I want to be better, I can’t just go to the gym when I’ve got a fight contract,” he said. “I know I’ve got to be in shape and ready to fight any time. I trust Ismael. He’s like Freddie Roach. He won’t confuse you with a million and one things in the corner. He’ll focus on one or two things that are critical. I’m excited to learn more from him. He’s an experienced coach with lots of top boxers under his wing. Joel Casamayor was a boy when Ismael started training him in Cuba. Now, Ismael takes care of world champions Jorge Linares, Rances Barthelemy and Beibut Shumenov.”

Donaire hooked up with Salas this year after previously working with his father Nonito Sr., Robert Garcia and Dodie Boy and Jonathan Peñalosa. He said while chemistry wasn’t an issue with Salas in the Magdaleno fight, they’re still in the process of adjustment. Donaire said with Salas in his corner, he’s more confident of getting back on the winning track.

“I want a rematch with Magdaleno,” said Donaire. “I’ve talked to my manager (Cameron Dunkin) and I’m hoping Top Rank gets it done. I gave Magdaleno a chance to take my title. He told me he’ll give me a chance to regain it.”

Dean's Corner ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Donaire said aside from Magdaleno, two other fighters whom he could face next year are Northern Ireland’s unbeaten Carl Frampton and Mexico’s once-beaten Leo Santa Cruz. Still another option could be undefeated WBA superbantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba. Frampton dethroned Santa Cruz as WBA featherweight champion on a majority decision in Brooklyn last July and they’re tangling in a grudge rematch in Las Vegas on Jan. 28. Donaire, the 2012 Fighter of the Year awardee of the Boxing Writers Association of America, could be lined up to challenge the winner.

“It would be incredible if I could fight Frampton in the UK,” said Donaire. “I was supposed to fight Scott Quigg in London but unfortunately, that didn’t push through. Quigg ended up fighting Frampton in a unification title fight instead last February and lost a split decision. If Frampton fights Santa Cruz the way he did in their first fight, I see him winning again. But if Santa Cruz adjusts and fights from a distance, he could win.”

Frampton, 29, has a 23-0 record, with 14 KOs, while Santa Cruz, 28, has a 32-1-1 record, with 18 KOs. Santa Cruz’ only loss was to Frampton. The Mexican is two inches taller than Frampton and has a distinct seven-inch reach edge.

Rigondeaux, who used to be trained by Salas, could be another proposition. The Cuban, 36, has a 17-0 record, with 11 KOs, and came off the canvas to outpoint Donaire in New York City in 2013. He hasn’t fought since breaking James Dickens’ jaw and forcing his retirement in the second round in Cardiff last July. Rigondeaux is signed to a four-year $10 Million promotional contract with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

Donaire said when he faces Magdaleno in a rematch, the outcome will be different. “I was overconfident with my power and I was overthinking in our fight,” he said. “He wouldn’t engage and kept moving away. As the challenger, he was supposed to take the fight to me. But it didn’t happen that way. If I didn’t move in, it would’ve been a boring fight. I wanted to take him out with one punch so I didn’t jab or throw combinations as much. I’ve learned from it. Ismael and I will watch the video and break it down. In the rematch, it’ll be a different story.”

Dean's Corner ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us: