OAKLAND, Calif. – Last October, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. suffered his first knockout loss in his 13 year professional career by Jamaican Nicholas Walters.
Three months after that fight Donaire is in the Bay Area training in his father’s gym as he prepares to headline Pinoy Pride 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on March 28.
“It’s definitely a comeback,” said Donaire. “I’m going to come back strong and that’s the thing, when you fall you have to come back stronger. I’m confident because I’m working very hard like I never worked out before.”
Donaire said that he was back in the gym a week after his fight with Walters because he is motivated to regain his speed, power and intensity.
His father, Nonito Donaire Sr., said he was surprised to see his son start training so early but they are confident to create the perfect game plan.
“We’re bringing back his old style,” said Donaire Sr. “He usually, for a couple of years, always relied on his hook. After he knocked Darchinyan out for this first outing he really fell in love with his hook.”
It has been over five years since his last fight in the Philippines but Donaire says that fighting in Manila will be the perfect place to launch his comeback.
“I’m very excited because now I get to say “thank you” to the people, to all the Filipinos,” said Donaire. “It’s just amazing to be home and finally feel like it’s a home town where people are cheering and there’s no booing or stuff like that.”
Donaire also says that they are trying something new in camp. For the first time in his career, he will be going over strategy and will study his soon-to-be-named opponent.
“I never worked like that before,” said Donaire. “I just go out there and it’s just another day and fight and whatever comes out – if I knock him out or not. This time we’re coming out to win.”
Donaire is fully aware of how people criticized his skills and suggested retirement following his first knockout loss but he says that he still has a lot of fight left in him.
“I do feel that I’m still very young and very strong and very fast so you’ll see a lot of me in many more years,” said Donaire.
Donaire will be training in the Bay Area for another month then he plans to conclude his camp in the Philippines to acclimate to the weather prior to his fight.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.