Donaire to train in Manila for Inoue
By Joaquin Henson
Fri, 04 Oct 2019
Donaire (R) and Inoue.
Super WBA bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. is coming to Manila for the final phase of training less than three weeks before his much-awaited duel with regular WBA/IBF unified titlist Naoya Inoue at the 36,500-seat Super Saitama Arena in Japan on Nov. 7.
Donaire, 36, is arriving here with wife Rachel and their two sons on Oct. 20 and will train in Alabang. Donaire?s father Nonito, Sr. will fly in from San Francisco to supervise his workouts. Chief trainer Kenny Adams will join the team in Saitama.
Inoue, 26, is Japan?s latest ring sensation known as ?The Monster.? The fight will decide the winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final. Inoue knocked out the Dominican Republic?s Juan Carlos Payano in one round and Puerto Rico?s Emmanuel Rodriguez in two to reach the WBSS final while Donaire made it by halting Belfast?s Ryan Burnett in four and Missouri?s Stephon Young in six.
Donaire said training camp has been ?very good? with Adams in Las Vegas. ?We?re ahead of schedule,? he said. ?Right now, I?m walking around at 128 to 130 pounds. No problem to go down to 118 for the fight. I don?t count how many total rounds I?ve sparred so far. Last week, I went up to eight rounds and this week, I?ll move up to 10. Before I leave for Manila, I?ll go to 12.?
Donaire said it?s a perfect situation to train in Manila ahead of the fight. ?It gives me more than two weeks to adjust to the time zone,? he said. ?We plan to go to Japan a week before the fight. It?s my first time to fight in Japan. I?ve made at least 10 trips to Japan and I?ve got a lot of Japanese fans. I love Japan and I?m extremely excited to perform there. Even if Inoue?s from Japan, I don?t consider it hostile territory.?
Last August, Donaire flew to Japan to attend a press conference announcing the fight. It was a blitz two-day trip. ?It?s the biggest boxing event in Japan,? he said. ?Everyone?s talking about it. Inoue was very respectful during the press conference. He?s a real gentleman. They say he?s ?The Monster? but whatever it is they?re saying about Inoue is relevant only in the short-term. Once we?re in the ring, we?ll find out if he?s stronger and more powerful than me because I don?t think he is. In boxing, fans tend to have short-term memory.?
In Las Vegas, Donaire?s main sparmate is unbeaten Michigan superbantamweight Raeese Aleem whose record is 14-0, with 8 KOs. Donaire said Aleem has similarities with Inoue in terms of fighting style. In Manila, Donaire said his father will line up sparmates to keep him sharp.
?I?m more focused than ever before,? said Donaire. ?I?ve fought in Puerto Rico, Belfast, Glasgow, Macau, Guam, the Philippines and in the US. It doesn?t matter to me where I fight.?
Of Inoue?s 18 bouts, 13 were for the world title. Donaire is a lot more experienced with a record of 40-5, including 26 KOs and over 20 world championship fights. Inoue has held the WBC lightflyweight and WBO superflyweight titles while Donaire was formerly the IBF/IBO flyweight, interim WBA superflyweight, WBC/WBO bantamweight, WBO superbantamweight and WBA featherweight champion. Donaire is one of four reigning Filipino world titlists. The others are super WBA welterweight ruler Sen. Manny Pacquiao, IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and IBF minimumweight beltholder Pedro Taduran.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.
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