Thursday, September 23, 2021

Donaire eyes Cebu camp for next fight

NONITO Donaire Jr. will start his training camp next month in the United States for the first title defense of his newly won World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight belt on April 23 in the Philippines.

Donaire Jr., who is still in the Philippines with his family for the holiday season, is scheduled to return to the US at the end of the the month and will set up camp with his father and trainer Nonito Donaire Sr. at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas.

“(We will start training) in the middle of February,” Donaire Sr. told Sun.Star Cebu.

Donaire Jr. headlines a huge boxing show co-promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Cebu-based ALA Promotions at the historic Araneta Coliseum, in which unbeaten prospect Mark Magsayo will be fighting in the main supporting bout.

Donaire Jr. was originally slated to fight former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich. However, the 29-year-old Russian opted to test the 122-pound waters first in a 10-round non-title fight with Mexican Jesus Galicia this weekend in Spain.

One of the opponents being considered for Donaire Jr. is WBO No. 5 ranked super bantamweight Zsolt Bedak.

“They both have similar styles,” said the older Donaire of Gradovich and Bedak. “Yes (they are beatable). But Jun Jun has to train really hard for this because both of them are very durable.”

However, Donaire Sr. still believes that his son will most likely fight Gradovich.

“It isn’t sure yet. If he (Gradovich) makes 122 (pound division) without a problem in his fight on Jan. 9, then he’ll surely fight Jun Jun,” he said. “There’s still a huge chance.”

The last time Donaire Jr. fought in the Philippines was in a Pinoy Pride show in March.

Donaire Jr. started in the US and finished off his training in the Philippines, most of it at the ALA Gym, for that fight.

Donaire Jr. may follow the same routine and taper off at the ALA Gym for is upcoming title defense.

“I think I’ll still use the sparring partners (in the US) we had against (Cesar) Juarez,” said Donaire Sr. “I don’t know if when we will train there. But if we will be there, most likely we will be training there in Cebu. Maybe at the ALA Gym because there are lot sparring partners there.”

Donaire Sr. wants his son to spar with the likes of Magsayo and Albert Pagara, who helped him out last year in his training for his fight against William Prado.
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