Donaire out to regain super bantam title of Rigondeaux

Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire Jr. has shown his eagerness to regain the super-bantamweight crown that he lost to Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013.

At the post-fight press conference Saturday evening, Donaire looked fresh and just about ready to climb the ring.

It took him just a little over five minutes to knock his Brazilian opponent, William Prado, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The victory buried memories of his crushing knockout loss to Jamaican featherweight champion Nicholas Walters in Carson City.

Now he’s back in the super-bantamweight class where Rigondeaux, now the WBO champion and former Olympic champion, stands.

Donaire is looking at another foe, the unbeaten Leo Santa Cruz of the WBC. But it’s Rigondeaux that definitely rings the bell.

How soon does he like Rigondeaux?

“We can do it tomorrow,” said Donaire, who had Prado helpless against the ropes in the second round when the referee stopped the fight.

Donaire showed his pretty face to mediamen during the ringside press conference.

“I’m not damaged. Let’s do it tomorrow,” he said of the Rigondeaux rematch.

Donaire, now 34-3 with 22 knockouts, rated his performance at seven out of 10 and said there’s still stuff to work on.

“The power was there but strategy wise there was still something missing for me. I’d rate my performance probably at 7 out of 10 or 6 out of 10,” he said.

However, the 2012 Boxer of the Year managed to prove that he’s still around at the level of elite fighters.

“It was definitely a statement. If I had trouble with him (Prado) then it means I’m not in that level. This guy is no joke.

“Now I think I’m ready to step up. But we are still in that level to compete with guys like Rigondeaux and Santa Cruz,” he said.

Donaire can’t wait to go back home in the United States to be with his wife Rachel, who is pregnant with their second child, another boy.

“I can’t wait. Being away from them is the most difficult thing for me,” he said.

But still at the back of his mind, it’s Rigondeaux.

ACIRC BOXER OF THE YEAR CARSON CITY DONAIRE GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX IF I LEO SANTA CRUZ NICHOLAS WALTERS NONITO DONAIRE JR. NOW I RIGONDEAUX
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