Bitter loss will make Donaire fearless
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2014 - 12:00am

SANTA CLARITA, California – The voice at the other end of the line didn’t sound like it came from a boxer who got knocked out the night before.

“I feel good,” said Nonito Donaire Jr. on the phone, less than 24 hours after he lost to Nicholas Walters at the packed StubHub Center in Carson City.

He said he will take a rest and then bounce back, probably at a lower weight – fearless and stronger.

“Wala na akong takot ngayon. Wala na akong takot matalo (I have no fear of losing now),” said Donaire in Pilipino.

“Wala na akong takot mawalan ng belt (I have no fear of losing a belt now). I just want to learn from this and be better,” he added.

The dethroned champion was in his suite at the Marriott Hotel on Manhattan Beach, receiving friends, when he took the call.

He was in a jovial mood as well as those in the background. No trace of bitterness.

Donaire fought the heavy-handed Jamaican toe-to-toe, nearly scoring a knockdown in the second round. But when he pressed the attack in the third, he got caught with a hard blow and for  the first time in his 13-year career that earned him world titles in four weight classes, Donaire was down. 

“He caught me with that uppercut. That changed the game. I didn’t see that. I knew my power was still there but it took away my legs, my body,” said Donaire.

Three rounds later, he got knocked out by an overhand right.

“I gave it everything and I had the opportunity. But I got too eager. Sakit ko yun (That’s my weakness). During the break, my dad told me we had the advantage. He asked me to box,” said Donaire.

He didn’t.

Based on the official punch stats, Donaire only threw 169 punches, landing just 40, compared to Walters who threw 284 and landed 85.

Walters, now the WBA’s lone featherweight champion, jabbed Donaire 162 times, hitting him 44 times. Donaire only threw 59 jabs in six rounds, landing only four.

“He has a very good jab,” said Donaire.

“In the third round, I got too eager. I wanted to fight him face to face. I never backed down. Yun ang dugong Pilipino (Filipino blood). That’s how I am,” he said.

But he didn’t show any regrets, saying he was happy with the way he fought the fight, regardless of the final outcome.

“I went down swinging – not running. Mahilig lang ako talaga sa toe-to-toe action. But he dominated me and I learned a lot from there,” he said.

Donaire bled from both eyes, each cut needing 10 stitches to close. He said there was no need for him to be taken to the hospital because he felt fine after the fight.

“It’s okay. I feel fine now,” he added.

Yes, Donaire’s fine.

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