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Sports

Donaire ain’t done yet

Dino Maragay - The Philippine Star
Donaire ainât done yet
Nonito Donaire Jr.
AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Nonito Donaire Jr. isn’t ready to call it quits.

Following a devastating knockout defeat to Japanese wrecking ball Naoya Inoue in their bantamweight (118 pounds) title unification last June, Donaire said he is sliding down to the 115-lb super-flyweight division.

There, the 39-year-old Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs)  will seek fights with two of the division’s biggest names: former champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua and Japan’s reigning WBO super flyweight boss Kazuto Ioka.

“It’s a really good fight with Chocolatito (Gonzalez) and people are saying it would be ‘legend versus legend,’” Donaire, a four-division champion, said in a press release from his promoter Probellum.

“It’s a big fight,” he added.

Gonzalez (51-3, 41 knockouts) is a former pound-for-pound star who reigned long as a minimumweight and light flyweight.

Meanwhile, Ioka (29-2, 15 KOs) caught Donaire’s attention for being the holder of the WBO’s 115-lb title, which the Japanese successfully retained after outpointing Filipino star Donnie Nietes last July 13.

The plan, according to Donaire, would be to take Ioka’s title and return to bantamweight for another shot at Inoue or whoever ends up as the division’s undisputed champion.

“But I do like the Ioka fight as well because I want to get that title and become a five-division champion and then move back up to 118 and go for the undisputed crown once everything else is open and I get another opportunity for it,” he added.

Donaire insisted that weight won’t be an issue in his plan to move one division lower.

“Before the fight with Inoue, (Probellum president) Richard Schaefer and I talked about going down to 115,”he continued.

“Making the weight was very simple for me and I made it quickly. I even made 117 before stepping on the scales,” said Donaire.

Now, negotiations have started for Donaire to take on either Gonzalez or Ioka.

“Richard is talking with Ioka’s people, with Mr. (Akihiko) Honda and he is talking to Chocolatito as well. It’s exciting, there are a lot of things to look forward to,” he said.

NONITO DONAIRE JR.

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