Donaire’s fists will do talking

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star

CARSON, California – Nonito Donaire Jr. walked into the lobby of the Marriott Hotel Monday afternoon with hardly no one noticing.

He only had a handful in tow, including his wife, Rachel, and father and trainer, Nonito Sr. There was no fanfare. No fuss. Typical Donaire.

“I just went for a run to lose some weight,” said the Filipino boxer as he sat on a gray leather couch to meet Manila-based scribes that came here to cover his fight.

On Saturday evening (Sunday noon in Manila) at the StubHub Center, Donaire faces the hard-punching Nicholas Walters of Jamaica for the WBA featherweight crown.

The WBA has two versions of the featherweight title. Donaire (33-2) has the super title and Walters (24-0) the world title.

In a few days, they will both belong to one man.

Walters, a natural featherweight, said a week ago he would knock Donaire out inside six rounds. He has the power and the right to say that, having knocked out 20 opponents.

Donaire, now older and wiser, is a four-division world champion, rising from flyweight, bantamweight, super-bantamweight to featherweight.

Walters is the biggest fight for the Filipino.

Donaire knows how to psych himself up but told the scribes that engaging Walters in a word war is certainly not part of it.

“There’s nothing to say,” said Donaire, who kept a low-key profile during the two months he trained at his father’s quiet, little gym in Oakland.

“What I can say is that all my words coming out from this point on in terms of fighting will be inside the ring. I’m not going to say he’s good or I’m good. Nothing of that sort.

“Whatever is going to be said and done will be said and done inside the ring. There are no predictions,” said the father to a bouncing 14-month-old son named Jarel.

“He’s my pride and joy,” said Donaire, showing scribes a video clip on his smartphone showing his young son punching the mitts.

Donaire said he has his weight in check, and with just five days to the fight he’s just a couple of meals over the limit of 126 pounds.

Donaire said he worked harder out on the road this time, doing long-distance runs. He admitted that in some of his last few fights, he didn’t give it much time.

“This time I feel good. Dati tamad (lazy) na ang style ko in training,” he said as Nonito Sr. stood close to him.

Donaire said the old cuts over his eye and his knuckles are not bothering him now. 

“They’re perfect,” he said, rubbing his left knucles with his right thumb.

Donaire said he knows Walters pretty well, the two fighters having met in Macau last May when they fought on the same card at The Venetian Hotel.

Donaire won his own version of the featherweight belt with a technical decision over Simpiwe Vetyeka while Walters stopped Vic Darchinyan cold for his own belt.

Walters, according to Donaire, has done no wrong saying he will go for the knockout on Saturday.

“I know he respects me and I respect him, too. It’s just part of the game. It’s not about you not liking the other guy. He’s nice,” said Donaire.

“Of course, he’s confident when he said he will knock me out. That’s fine. That’s how he feels. I’m not taking it personally,” he added.











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