Talkin’ Boxing with Nonito Donaire: “I feel very fluid, I feel I can do anything”
- October 3rd, 2011
By Scoop Malinowski
The Filipino-American sensation who none other than Sergio Martinez last week firmly stated (exclusively to BoxingInsider.com) will be the future pound-for-pound #1 kingpin in boxing, Nonito Donaire discusses his unique style, his speed, the source of his power, and much more in this revealing and entertaining interview. 28-year-old Donaire, the WBC/WBO Bantamweight champion (26-1, 18 KO’s) will box Argentina’s Omar Narvaez in New York City at Madison Square Garden on October 22.
BoxingInsider: I heard you say you didn’t exactly embrace boxing in the beginning. Is that true?
Nonito Donaire: ”I didn’t like boxing at first. I never knew how brave I was until I got in the ring. I was ten years old. I saw Gatti – I didn’t really like it. He was getting too bloody. Too beat up. I was afraid of boxing in the beginning.”
BoxingInsider: What inspired you to proceed in boxing?
Nonito Donaire: ”There’s a lot of inspirations. For me, one thing that got me where I’m at is because I was inspired. And I think that my inspiration has inspired a lot of people out there. To do their best. I grew up – I was picked on. I grew up as one of those kids that people laughed at, one of those kids, that they’ll say was the fat kid on the playground, wants to be last to be picked. So an inspiration – I was called all kinds of names, Snot Face, anything. And then look where I’m at. I think that I can just say, inspire kids out there, you can do anything. You never know what your future is gonna be. If you try your best you can be anybody.”
BoxingInsider: Will you box lefty or righty vs. Omar Narvaez?
Nonito Donaire: ”Whatever advantage we can take, we’ll fight. If it’s better to fight southpaw, we’ll fight southpaw.”
BoxingInsider: Which stance do you feel more confident in?
Nonito Donaire: ”I’m stronger southpaw. I’m stronger. I’m willing to take a punch southpaw. But if I land a punch – it’s over. So that’s one thing, I can do it. I can box so well with my right. I’m fluid, very fluid, I love it, I can dance, I can do anything. I can be as great as Muhammad Ali or as smooth as whoever it is [smiles]. But the point is, when I’m in southpaw, that’s pretty much my normal stance. I have great power in that, that I just realized. I’m learning to.”
BoxingInsider: You keep going up in weight and keeping your power. It’s astonishing.
Nonito Donaire: ”I definitely feel my power. I think it’s just the way I throw my punches. It’s just knowing my body. And delivering the punches, the proper balance and the proper timing – will take anybody out. So the punches you can’t see are the punches that hurt you the most. With the proper way of throwing a punch, it has to be with velocity, speed and power. It all comes along.”
BoxingInsider: You’re naturally quick. Did you train for that speed?
Nonito Donaire: ”Actually, I didn’t have power in the amateurs. I didn’t have knockouts at all. I was always quick, I was always fast. I think after I learned, as I got older, I learned to sit down on my punches. Rather than, back then, I was always afraid to get hit. This time I don’t mind getting hit, as long as I’ll take you out [laughs]. I’m learning to bap-bap-bap (he imitates quick, short inside combination flurry). But this time I’m learning to bap-bap-BOOM. Take you out.”
BoxingInsider: Do you think the knockout of Vic Darchinyan made you realize the power you have?
Nonito Donaire: ”Well, the thing was, as a professional, I’ve dropped every guy that I’ve faced. Back then I wasn’t sure I’d get tired and want to be able to finish him and I’ll get tired. A day before, a week before, two weeks before and I’ll fight, I thought I’ll knock this guy out or I’ll drop him. But I felt the power once I started to show it. But I knew I had the power to do it.”
BoxingInsider: What do you need or want to add to improve your style?
Nonito Donaire: ”There’s a lot to improve. I mean, I’m a fighter who is always trying to learn, a fighter who’s willing to learn, who wants to see myself be better. I know that I need to learn how to jab more. I need to be faster and react to everything. There’s a lot of things that I need to learn. For me, I’m always looking to learning. I want to learn how to be defensive. I want to learn how to be offensive. I want to learn how to fight lefty. I want to learn how to fight lefty like I fight with my right hand. So I’m always there to learn. I’m always a student of the game.”
BoxingInsider: Can you tell that story about meeting Sergio Martinez?
Nonito Donaire: ”Sergio Martinez came up to me at and wanted to take a picture. I’m like, Sergio Martinez wants to take a picture WITH ME??!!?? It was in LA, I think it was Sergio Mora-Shane Mosley fight. We were watching the fight and he came up to me, (asked) if I can take a picture. And I’m like, YOU’RE SERGIO MARTINEZ! You know, like, with me, when I’m off the ring, I’m a big boxing fan. So I’m just a fan. I’m looking at Sergio, like, DID YOU JUST ASK ME?!?!”
Scoop’s second book about former ATP No. 1 player “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew” will be available on www.Amazon.com this month.
Photo Credit: Stephen Tatarian.
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