Donaire in must-win situation vs Juarez

Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Nonito Donaire Jr. knows that the opportunity may never come again, and vowed to regain the WBO super-bantamweight crown against Mexico’s Cesar Juarez tomorrow in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The “Filipino Flash,” who’d won world titles as a flyweight, bantamweight, super-bantamweight and featherweight, is taking the fight as perhaps the biggest challenge in his career.

Donaire, 33, who bagged the Fighter of the Year honors in 2012, has gone on a rollercoaster ride since then, losing to Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013 and to Nicholas Walters in 2014.

Outside of those stinging defeats, being knocked out by Walters in Carson, California, Donaire stopped Vic Darchinyan and Simpiwe Vetyeka then William Prado and Anthony Settoul.

At the Roberto Clemente Coliseum Friday evening (Saturday morning in Manila), Donaire, 35-3 with 23 knockouts, locks horns with the 24-year-old Juarez, 17-3 with 13 knockouts.

It’s for the WBO super-bantamweight crown when originally it was not supposed to be a title fight – after the WBO stripped Rigondeaux of the crown due to inactivity.

“I must win,” said Donaire of his battle plan against Juarez.

“I am out of setbacks,” he told ESPN.com.

Last October, Donaire was at the StubHub Center in Carson, the site of his huge knockout loss to Walters, as ringside commentator for a Pinoy Pride presentation.

“This time I’m taking boxing seriously,” he told The STAR. At that time, what he knew was that he was to fight Juarez for the interim title.

Donaire talked about feeling brand-new, and even his father, Nonito Sr., said he’d never seen the “Filipino Flash” take boxing seriously as before.

“It’s like when he was vying for his world title. I see a different kind of motivation in him,” said the father.

“When I lost to Rigondeaux I thought that was it. But when I lost to Walters, I felt challenged,” said the boxer who can knock anybody out with a single punch.

Donaire vowed to be at his best against Juarez.

“You will see,” he said.

ACIRC AT THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE COLISEUM FRIDAY CESAR JUAREZ DONAIRE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR FILIPINO FLASH GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX JUAREZ LAST OCTOBER NICHOLAS WALTERS NONITO DONAIRE JR.
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