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Sports

Donaire returns on March 28, takes on Brazilian

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Former featherweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. will make his comeback on March 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena against William Prado of Brazil, a boxing website reported Thursday.

According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Donaire (33-3, with 21 knockouts) is sliding down to super bantamweight (122 pounds), where he claims to be more comfortable.

"I'm excited to be back at 122 pounds," said the Filipino-American fighter, who in his last outing was stopped by Nicholas Walters in six rounds to yield the WBA featherweight title last year in Carson, California.

Realizing that featherweight is too much for him, Donaire is moving back one division. At super bantamweight, he held the IBF and WBO crowns and was a dominant force in the weight class until he lost to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013.

Donaire now eyes to return to his explosive form, saying he’s already started working out.

"I'm hoping the training to be at 122 will bring me more speed and power. This camp has been different. I have been in training since December, so I've been in shape longer and working on more boxing instead of the usual eight weeks only of camp," he explained.

Donaire will have a chance at redemption against the unheralded Prado, a 31-year-old boxer from Sao Paolo, Brazil with a record of 22-4-1, with 15 KOs.

For his part, Top Rank Inc. boss Bob Arum – who promotes Donaire – said “The Filipino Flash” is bent on rejuvenating his career as a super bantamweight.

"Nonito is very determined to re-establish his career and he believes 122 pounds is the perfect weight for him," Arum said.

Meanwhile, long-reigning WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes will defend his crown for the sixth time against Luis Ceja of Mexican in the undercard of Donaire-Prado.

BOB ARUM

CUBAN GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX

DAN RAFAEL

DONAIRE

DONNIE NIETES

FILIPINO FLASH

LUIS CEJA OF MEXICAN

MALL OF ASIA ARENA

NICHOLAS WALTERS

NONITO DONAIRE JR.

SAO PAOLO

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