Boxing Insider Interview with Nonito Donaire: A Champ Once Again
By: Michael Kane
Four weight world champion, Nonito Donaire, added yet another world title on Saturday.
Donaire (39-5, 25 KOs) faced WBA Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett (19-1, 9 KOs) in the quarter final of World Boxing Super Series in Glasgow, Scotland.
Photo Credit: Nonito Donaire’s Twitter Account
The fight had been shaping up nicely, Donaire starting to throw and land some big shots and Burnett looking slick. Burnett then suffered an injury in the 4th round, with talk of a slipped disc, meaning he couldn’t continue into the 5th.
A bit of an anti climax after the action in the first few rounds. However a wins a win and Donaire shoved any talk of struggling to make bantamweight for the first time in 7 years down any naysayers throat. He, in fact, looked fresh at the weigh in, relaxed, joking and dancing for the crowd.
Donaire will now face South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs), the WBO Bantamweight champion, in the semi final in what could be a great fight.
Boxing Insider caught up with the champion to discuss his win, Tete, and Scotland.
Donaire was happy to not only win the WBA title but also the WBC Diamond title. I asked if he wished that the WBSS tournament had been created earlier.
“Yes I am happy that I got both the WBA and WBC diamond belt but most of all I advanced in the tournament,” he said.
“This is a very fun tournament and it’s very exciting to participate in. Yes I wish it was created earlier because boxing needs this, so there is only one champion.”
Has Donaire watched much of Zolani Tete, previously?
“I haven’t seen much of Tete yet but I’m excited to face him and know I’ll be the best shape possible to take his title.”
As yet, the date and venue for the semi final has yet to be decided, although there has been talk of Manilla or Las Vegas, Donaire’s homeland and where he resides now. However Donaire doesn’t care where or when it happens.
“Anywhere! Just inside that ring.” He said.
Looking back over his career, I asked Donaire what would be his biggest win, he stated, “My biggest win is (Vic) Darchinyan because it started everything!”
The Scottish public have certainly enjoyed having Nonito Donaire and his family spend time in Glasgow and with Donaire showing his respect in helping Burnett after the fight, to being approachable and friendly to the general public he would be welcome back to my home town any time.
It seems Donaire enjoyed his time in Glasgow too.
“Glasgow was real great. We met a lot of friends who took care of us as well. I must say that the staff at Jurys Inn, particularly Laura, Chip, and Rumy really became part of our family since we were there for about 2 weeks. No one was a bad sport and people were friendly. It’s just cold, haha!”
“It also has so much history and culture which we made sure the boys witnessed.”
Frampton Earns Title Shot with Victory Over Donaire
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
A world title shot beckons for Carl Frampton, who secured the WBO Interim Featherweight title with a dominant victory over Nonitio Donaire in Belfast last night.
Frampton, 31, fought an aggressive but intelligent fight, picking his punches carefully, landing them with precision and using his speed and movement to evade the Filipino’s legendary knockout power.
Donaire patiently stalked Frampton throughout the fight, searching for a big, fight-ending blow that never came. He struggled to get near the Irishman and on the few occasions that he did, he generally came off second best.
Frampton significantly damaged Donaire’s eye in the second round after he trapped him on the ropes and let fly with blistering combinations.
Things only got worse for the former four weight world champion as Frampton put it on him round after round in a near shutout performance.
The first six rounds were largely one way traffic with Frampton using his jab and different angles to create openings for big right hooks.
It was an extremely disciplined performance from the former two weight world champion as he landed a number of power shots, but didn’t overcommit or allow himself to get drawn into a brawl.
Although Donaire was outclassed, he was never completely out of the fight, landing some big shots off the ropes in the fifth round that reminded us that he has the ability to finish a fight from anywhere.
Nonetheless, Frampton patiently picked him apart, circling out of the Filipino’s range whenever he landed a big shot.
His clinical performance highlighted that he is still one of the best featherweights in the world.
“The Jackal” barely lost a round to the admittedly aging future hall of famer, who often looked slow, flat-footed and out of ideas.
The Irishman’s speed, skill and IQ seemed to bamboozle him at times. However, Donaire remained dangerous from start to finish due to the knockout power he possesses in both hands.
He landed a trademark uppercut in the seventh round, which briefly staggered the Irishman, but he was unable to land the follow-up shot needed to put him away.
Frampton was under the pump again in the eleventh round, eating some vicious hooks and uppercuts, but never looked in danger of being stopped.
In the end, these were minor blips in an impressive performance and the Belfast man now has his eye on another world title.
Frampton would love the chance to avenge his only professional loss in a trilogy fight with WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, but the Mexican doesn’t appear to be keen on a rematch just yet.
A unification bout with WBO Champion Oscar Valdez or a big money fight with the winner of Lee Selby vs Josh Warrington seems more likely.
Either way, the Irishman is back in the big time and has silenced critics who called for his retirement after his defeat to Santa Cruz nearly two years ago.
Donaire’s next step is less clear, but this was probably his last chance to launch himself into title contention.
One thing’s for sure though, his place in boxing’s hall of fame is already secure.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Donaire, Frampton, Ali, Ortiz, Alexander, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 2nd to January 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Frampton and Donaire to Clash in Belfast on April 21st
Carl Frampton believes his clash against Nonito Donaire on Saturday, April 21 will be one of the biggest fights to ever take place in Belfast and a make-or-break bout for both men.
MTK Global-backed two-weight world champion Frampton (24-1, 14KO) is set to take on Filipino four-weight world champion Donaire (38-4, 24KO) in a featherweight showdown at Belfast’s SSE Odyssey Arena.
Both former Fighters of the Year, the pair will meet in a blockbuster bout, live on BT Sport and BoxNation in the UK and Ireland on a Frank Warren-promoted bill.
Tickets ranging from £40 (tier) to £400 (inner-ring hospitality) will go on general sale this Thursday (January 11th) at 10am.
And MTK Global’s Frampton is looking forward to meeting elite opposition on home soil in his first bout of 2018.
“It’s a brilliant fight – a four-weight world champion against a two-weight world champion,” said Frampton. “Has a bigger ‘away’ fighter ever come to fight in Belfast before? I don’t think there’s been a bigger name than Nonito Donaire and he’s coming to fight a local guy in his hometown.
“But I think both of us are in the same situation – a slip-up here and one of us might never fight for a world title again. There’s a lot on the line for both guys.”
With a much-anticipated summer fight date at Belfast’s Windsor Park in the works for ‘The Jackal’, 30-year-old Frampton believes a win over the 42-fight Filipino veteran would be perfect preparation ahead of a world-title tilt.
The Irishman is coming off the back of a 10-round points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia last month in what was Frampton’s first outing since the loss of his WBA world featherweight crown to Leo Santa Cruz.
And ‘The Jackal’ is confident that victory over Donaire will tee up a bout against the winner of the forthcoming IBF title clash between 126lb rivals Lee Selby and Josh Warrington.
“In terms of the size of a fight, it’s not for a world title but the winner of this fight will no doubt get a world-title shot,” said Frampton.
“On the world stage, I think this is a bigger fight than Lee Selby against Josh Warrington, which is a world-title fight, so it’s huge,” continued the Belfast native, whose reign as unified WBA & IBF world super-bantamweight champion in 2016 coincided with Donaire’s second spell as the WBO 122lb title holder before both men later claimed world featherweight belts.
“He’s been at the top of four divisions, but he was in the same weight division as me for quite a while and he’s someone I’ve always kept an eye on,” said Frampton. “He’s someone I admire as well and I think he’s a great fighter, but I think this is the perfect fight to get me ready for a world-title fight in the summer.”
While Donaire has suffered three defeats since being named 2012 Fighter of the Year by The Ring, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America –the same honours Frampton picked up for 2016 – the 35-year-old ‘Filipino Flash’ is eager to prove that he is still an elite force at 126lbs.
“This is exactly the type of fight I live for — going in against one of the best in the world in the lion’s den of his hometown of Belfast,” said Donaire. “I can’t wait for the first bell! I know I’ll have to be the best I can be on fight night. Make no mistake, I’m already training like never before.”
MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan believes the fight will be an ideal warm-up for Frampton ahead of a summer world-title date.
“Donaire is a great fighter and this will be a real test for Carl, but it’s one that MTK are confident he’ll pass and that he’ll do so in style. Fair play to Carl, he didn’t want a handy fight ahead of another world-title shot and we were keen to deliver that,” said Conlan.
“It’s going to be another huge night for Belfast and Irish boxing and we’ll have some of MTK’s best talent on the bill.”
Details of a press conference will be announced in the coming days.
Kamegai to Face Daquan Pauldo on Matthysse and Linares Card
Japanese slugger Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) will return after his impressive first shot at a world title to take on Orlando, Florida’s Daquan “King” Pauldo (16-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight fight that will top off the non-televised undercard of Matthysse vs. Kiram and Linares vs. Gesta on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The non-televised undercard action will be streamed live on RingTV.com beginning at 3:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00 p.m. ET.
As previously announced, Argentine knockout artist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) of Chubut, Argentina will take on the explosive undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Welterweight World Championship in the first co-main event. Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) will defend his WBA, WBC Diamond, and Ring Magazine Lightweight Titles against Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs) in a 12-round bout in the second co-main event. This special double main event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Kamegai will return after his impressive outing against former six-time, four-division world champion Miguel Cotto, which was for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in an HBO-televised main event in August 2017 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Before that fight, Kamegai took part in two consecutive Fight of the Year candidates against Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass in June and Sept. of 2016. Kamegai will look to earn another shot at a 154-pound title if successful against Pauldo.
Pauldo, a 25-year-old super welterweight contender who was formerly known as Daquan Arnett, has only suffered one loss in his impressive career, which was when he dropped down to 147 pounds to take on tough Golden Boy Promotions contender Eddie “Eboy” Gomez. After returning to 154 pounds, Pauldo has defeated five people in a row, including the experienced Jorge “Pantera” Silva in his last bout in July 2017. A win against Kamegai would give Pauldo a much-earned boost in the super welterweight rankings.
Marcelino “Nino” Lopez (33-21, 18 KOs) the native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and member of the exclusive training camp of Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif., will return in a 10-round super lightweight fight against an opponent that will be announce shortly. Lopez will return after defeating former interim WBA Super Lightweight Champion Pablo “El Demoledor” Cesar Cano via second-round technical knockout.
After seven spectacular wins in 2017, Armenian welterweight prospect Ferdinand Kerobyan (7-0, 4 KOs) will start the new year in a six-round welterweight fight against an opponent that will be announced soon. In his last fight, Kerobyan defeated Tavorus Teague in the ESPN3-streamed undercard of the Dec. 14 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
In an exciting and rarely-seen battle between two undefeated prospects, Los Angeles native Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (7-0, 1 KO) will participate in an eight-round 126-pound clash against Las Vegas’ Francisco “El Alacran” Esparza (6-0-1, 2 KOs). Both fighters are known for their come-forward, all-action styles, and with so much on the line, the bout will surely produce fireworks.
Romero “Ruthless” Duno (15-1, 13 KOs) will fight for a second consecutive time at the “Fabulous” Forum in an eight-round lightweight battle against Sacramento, Calif.’s Yardley Armenta (21-9, 12 KOs). The Filipino prospect made his U.S. debut and introduced himself in exciting fashion via a devastating second-round knockout victory against the previously undefeated prospect Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez. Since then, Duno has scored two more victories, which were against Jason Tinampay and Juan Pablo Sanchez respectively.
Undefeated prospect Javier Martinez (4-0, 3 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will kick off highly-anticipated night of action in a six-round featherweight fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.
HDNet Movies Pays Tribute to Muhammad Ali on his Birthday on Wednesday January 17th
Step into the ring with HDNET MOVIES, as the network celebrates the life and legacy of boxing superstar Muhammad Ali on what would have been his 76TH Birthday with a “Remembering Ali” double feature—a night of documentaries and biopics starring the legend himself on Wednesday, Jan. 17, beginning at 7:15pE.
The night kicks off with the star-studded 1977 biopic THE GREATEST, starring Ali as himself in his big screen debut. The film is based on his acclaimed autobiography of the same name, and recreates some of the most important moments of his life and career including his gold medal Olympic victory at 18 years old; his legendary match with Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla In Manila”; his conversion to Islam; and his three-and-a-half-year legal battle to win back the heavyweight title that was stripped from him when he refused to enter the army due to his religious beliefs. James Earl Jones, Robert Duvall, and Ben Johnson also star.
Then, stay tuned for the classic 1970 documentary A.K.A. CASSIUS CLAY at 9pE, which provides an intimate glimpse into the boxing icon’s career with rare archived footage featuring Ali associates such as Malcolm X, Angelo Dundee, and more, as well as clips from some of his most famous fights including an epic bout with Sonny Liston. The piece is headlined by a very special sit-down with Ali and his longtime trainer Cus D’Amato, who discuss Ali’s career and share a priceless back-and-forth that true Ali aficionados won’t want to miss.
For a complete schedule of films and times, visit www.hdnetmovies.com/schedules.
Victor Ortiz vs. Devon Alexander Set for February 17th
“Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander “The Great” headline a show topped by two USA vs. Mexico battles as the former welterweight champions meet in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 17 from Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas with televised coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
In the co-main event unbeaten contender Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant will battle Rogelio “Porky” Medina in a 12-round 168-pound world title eliminator.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $60, $40, $25 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Also on the card, Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) takes on Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) in a super welterweight showdown and Karlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, will appear in a lightweight special attraction.
“This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Alexander has overcome some serious health issues and is looking to regain the welterweight championship. Ortiz, also a former champion, has always come to fight and doesn’t back down from anyone. It promises to be an entertaining match for the fans in attendance at Don Haskins Center and those who tune in on FOX and FOX Deportes.”
Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, has split time between boxing and acting throughout his recent career and brings a certain flare every time he steps into the ring. The 30-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto on April 16, 2011. Five months later he lost the title to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. by knockout. Ortiz, 30, suffered a knockout loss to Andre Berto in 2016 on FOX and bounced back with a knockout victory over Saul Corral in his last fight on July 30 on FS1.
“I’m ready to give all I have to defeat Devon Alexander and get my crown back,” said Ortiz. “My priority is to make a strong comeback and putting myself in a position to have my straps once again. I demonstrated what I was made of and did what I said I was going to do in my last fight. I’m facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I’ve known since we were kids. I don’t hate him, but I will not be his friend on fight night and he won’t be mine. I’m ready to prove everyone wrong starting on Feb. 17.”
Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) emerged on the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey for the welterweight title in 2012. He defended the title once before losing it to Shawn Porter in 2013. Since then, the 30-year-old Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri has been on a mission to regain the title. After losing to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez, Alexander suffered another setback when he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. Fully healthy for the first time in three years, Alexander returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Walter Castillo on FS1 on Nov. 21.
“I’m excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz,” said Alexander. “We’ve known each other a long time but never fought in the amateurs, so this should be interesting. My speed, quickness and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can’t hit you, so my skills will be the difference. I’m ready for any challenge that’s brought my way. When I’m 100 percent, nobody can beat me.”
Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) won eight of his first nine fights by knockout, demonstrating power in both hands to go along with his boxing abilities. The 25-year-old climbed into the top ten of the 168-pound rankings with his last victory – a unanimous decision over Andrew Hernandez in Las Vegas on Sept. 8. Medina represents a major step up for Plant and will give him an indication of just where the Ashland, Tennessee native stands in the division as he looks to become a mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
The 29-year-old Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) has squared off against some of the toughest boxers in the division, including current champion David Benavidez and former champions James DeGale and Badou Jack. Fighting out of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico lost by knockout to Benavidez on May 20, and bounced back with a knockout victory over Daniel Eduardo Yocupicio on Sept. 1.
The FOX prime time broadcast will kick off a full night of boxing, leading into a doubleheader on SHOWTIME that features two-division world champion Danny Garcia versus Brandon Rios and 168-pound champion David Benavidez defending his title in a rematch against Ronald Gavril from Las Vegas.
Thomas LaManna Battles Gabriel Bracero for WBC Fecarbox Welterweight Title in Atlantic City
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will headline the inaugural Boardwalk Boxing series when he takes the battle-tested veteran Gabriel Bracero in a ten-round welterweight bout for the WBC Fecarbox welterweight title on Saturday, February 24th at The Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
The bout will be the main event of a huge night of boxing promoted by Rising Star Promotions
The new Boardwalk Boxing series, which was announced last week, promised high-quality matchups, while featuring the best local fighters.
LaManna, 26, of Millville, New Jersey has an impressive mark of 25-2 with nine knockouts.
The popular LaManna has led the revival of boxing in Atlantic City as his Rising Star Promotions has become the preeminent promoter in Atlantic City.
LaManna consistently has performed as a headliner in front of sell out crowds is eager to thrill fans, and potentially notch the biggest win of his career.
“This is a crossroads fight. He needs a win over me to stay relevant, and I need a win over him to be taken serious,” said LaManna. “Bracero has fought some top guys. His losses have been to world champions and Gold Medal winners. He has been around the block.”
“I want to start 2018 with a good test. I want to test myself. When I go through a hard camp, dieting and focusing, I want it to be worth it.”
“This should be a great atmosphere as he is a popular fighter like myself. A win over him will give me an opportunity as I will move up in the ratings. This is a make or break year, and a win will put me in there with other contenders.”
LaManna will celebrate his 7th year as a professional, as he has wins over Kendal Mena (20-3), as well as winning the WBC Silver Latino and WBC FECARBOX Welterweight titles with a ten-round unanimous decision over rugged George Sosa.
In his last bout, LaManna defended the WBC FECARBOX title with a ten-round unanimous decision over Samuel Amoako on November 28th in Atlantic City.
This will be LaManna’s 18th fight in Atlantic City.
Bracero of Brooklyn, New York has an impressive mark of 24-3 with five knockouts.
Bracero, who will be 38 on February 14th has faced and defeated some impressive foes over his 17 year-career.
Bracero win his first 18 bouts which were highlighted by wins over Winston Mathis (6-0), Danny O’Connor (14-0), Guillermo Valdes (12-3), Jermaine White (17-4), former world totle challenger Dmitry Salita (35-1-1), and a sensational 1st round stoppage over O’Connor (26-2) in the rematch.
Bracero is coming off a ten-round unanimous decision defeat to former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi on July 30, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York
“This will be a good fight. He is a tough kid. He is tall, and I will get into the best shape possible,” said Bracero.
“I am excited to finally be fighting in Atlantic City. I have family there, plus my fans from Brooklyn can drive there and spend a nice weekend. ”
“This fight is a true crossroads battle. He is looking to make his name off of me, and I am focusing on winning his WBC Fecarbox title. A win will get me back into the bigger fights.
Also announced is a terrific co-feature bout that will see Anthony “Juice” Young of Atlantic City battling Khiary Gray or Worcester, Massachusetts.
Young, 29, has a record of 18-2 with six knockouts.
The seven-year professional will be looking for his eighth consecutive victory. The Atlantic City favorite has a quality win over Jose Javier Claderon (4-1), and will be making his 12th start in his hometown.
Pitts has an impressive mark of 15-3 with eleven knockouts.
The 25 year-old New Englander won his first 13 bouts. The four-year professional is a former UBF International Super Welterweight champion, and in his last bout he won the Interim New England Super Welterweight title with an eight-round majority decision over Greg Jackson on December 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
There will be an announcement about the full undercard shortly.
Tickets are available for $155, $80 and $55, and can be purchased online at www.risingboxingpromotions.com .
This event is sponsored by Acos Energy, Designer Wraps, Eat Clean Bro, Calvi Electric, and Alpha Academy.
Sugar Promotions New Blood Card in Mexico Set for February 2nd
Damien Vazquez’ Sugar Promotions, will promote its card titled “New Blood”, featuring Issac “Canelito” Avelar (13-0, 8 KOs), vs. Alejandro Frias (6-2-1, 3 KOs), fighting for the WBC FECOMBOX Featherweight title in a 10-round main-event. The bout will take place at the Palenque de la Feria in Aguascalientes, Mexico on February 2, 2018.
Issac “Canelito” Avelar, who is managed by Prince Ranch Boxing, is looking to make a statement in his hometown after having his last fight delayed due to a minor hand injury.
“I am ready to show my hometown fans why I will be fighting the best fighters in the world,” said Issac Avelar. “I was supposed to fight last December, but it was delayed, because of a small hand injury. I took that time to improve as a fighter and I am 100% healthy. Everyone will see the best version of Canelito on February 2nd”
“Canelito is a big star in Aguascalientes, Mexico where he was born and raised,” Oscar Vazquez, president of Sugar Promotions stated. “We are excited to put on a show with great local talent. Canelito is a homegrown hero from Aguascalientes, Mexico and it is exciting to promote such a massive event. Everyone in town will be here.”
“NEW BLOOD” also features undefeated bantamweight Damien “Sugar” Vazquez (12-0, 6 KOs) vs. TBA, unbeaten super-featherweight Edwing Davila (16-0, 9 KOs), vs. Octavio Guardado, Lightweight Donovan Estrella (10-0, 4 KOs) vs. Antonio Camacho, Mayran Reyes vs. Naomi Arellano, Christina Mora vs. TBA and light heavyweight Kye Brooks (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Ivan Sanchez. Damian Vasquez has his sights set on fighting McJoe Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs) before the year is over.
“February 2nd is looking to be a great show and I’m thrilled to work with Sugar Promotions,” said Greg Hannely, CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. “This will be one of the best cards ever put on in Aguascalientes, Mexico. All my fighters are coming to win and win impressively.”
Nonito Donaire Returns September 23rd
By Jake Donovan
Chief among the list of goals for Nonito Donaire’s ring return was quickly working his way towards another world title shot.
His first fight back takes a significant step forward in making that happen.
The former four division champion from Northern California by way of Philippines is locked in for a scheduled 12-round battle with Mexico’s Ruben Garcia Hernandez. The two will collide September 23 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as the chief support to the highly anticipated World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarterfinal matchup between knockout artists Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudryashov.
“I’m ready to return to the ring and show that I still have what it takes to be a world champion and face the best in this sport,” said Donaire (37-4, 24KOs), who fights for the first time since a questionable loss to Jesse Magdaleno last November. “I’m excited to give the great fight fans in San Antonio a great show, just like when I fought Wilfredo Vazquez at the Alamodome in 2012.”
Donaire sat out the first eight months of 2017 following a disappointing – and highly disputed points loss to Magdaleno in his last bout, a setback that saw his second tour as a super bantamweight titlist come to a close after just 11 months and one successful title defense.
The 34-year old boxer-puncher claimed titles at flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight amidst a 30-fight win streak spanning more than 11 years, a run that also included Fighter of the Year honors in 2012. He let his promotional contract with Top Rank expire before resurfacing with Ringstar, with the promise of quickly making his way back to the title picture.
That wasn’t the only reason the California-based promotional outfit signed him, though.
“Nonito Doniare is a fantastic fighter, he’s one of those fighters who is never in a boring fight,” Richard Schaefer, chairman and CEO of Ringstar Promotions explained to BoxingInsider.com. “That is what really attracted me to signing him., but more importantly he is a super nice person and the same with his wife Rachel. It reminded me of Shane Mosley, whose biggest paydays came while we were both with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Funny enough, Rachel and Jin (Mosley, Shane’s ex-wife) are best friends. Nonito became a free agent, and spoke to Jin about where he should sign. Jin said, ’It’s easy, go to Richard.’ Jin and I have known each other for quite a while. I was honest with him in telling him what we needed to do to get hi back to the world championship level.”
First up is coming out on top in a scheduled 12-round bout that comes with the World Boxing Council Silver featherweight title at stake. To boxing purists, it’s just another trinket and an excuse for the alphabet organization to collect a sanctioning fee.
To Donaire it’s a chance to advance to the top of the queue for the WBC title held by Gary Russell Jr., or at least have him as an option among a loaded featherweight field that also includes the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and Carl Frampton.
For his opponent, it’s the chance of a lifetime to not only land a title shot but also claim the scalp of one of the very best of this past generation of boxers.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9KOs), who has won seven straight since a stoppage loss to former bantamweight titlist Randy Caballero last February. “I know that I am facing a great fighter and that has motivated me to train harder than ever before for this matchup.
“I’m planning on giving it my all and giving the fans a great fight. I hope Donaire comes to fight because I am coming to knock him out on September 23rd.”
Such a scenario would indeed upset the detailed plans Donaire and Ringstar have in place for the next year and possibly beyond.
“Nonito wants to compete at featherweight, not come back just to get in a few fights,” Schaefer outlined to BoxingInsider.com. “His last time at featherweight included a world title but how it ended never sat well with him (an Oct. ’14 knockout loss to Nicholas Walters).
“There are great matchups at this weight. Featherweight is a hot division, and he fits right in. Particularly when you look at Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Abner Mares, Gary Russell – mix those up, and you have a Fight of the Year candidate no matter how they are paired.”
The fact that Schaefer has a terrific working relationship with each of the aforementioned boxers made it a no-brainer for Donaire to sign with him.
“I’m thankful to Ringstar Sports for helping me in this next chapter of my career and I know with them in my corner, I’ll be back to where I belong soon,” Donaire believes. After this fight, I’m coming for all of the featherweight champions and to prove I’m the best in the division.”
Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire
Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire
By: William Holmes
Top Rank Promotions televised three world title fights on their self-distributed pay per view live from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Three Asian boxers competed on the undercard, and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming (8-1) opened up tonight’s card in WBO World Flyweight Title fight against Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2).
This match was rematch from November 23, 2014 when Shiming defeated Phaprom. Phaprom has since won twelve fights in a row.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Shiming was active with his jab in the first round and looked like he was sitting on his punches more than earlier fights. Phaprom’s right eye was swollen by the end of the round.
Phaprom dominated the second round with quick combinations and connected with a short right hook to the chin that sent Phaprom down. Shiming’s timing was on pont in the third round and was picking Phaprom apart with jabs in the fourth round.
Shiming’s accurate pop shotting continued in the fifth and sixth rounds. Phaprom’s frustration was showing in the sixth round as he pointed to his chin to egg him on, and Shiming responded in kind by cracking Phaprom in the chin.
Shiming controlled the pace and distance in the seventh and eighth rounds and his punches were noticeably moving the head of Phaprom. Phaprom was rocked in the eighth round by Shiming and slipped to the mat after missing wildly.
Shiming displayed good footwork in the ninth round, but slipped twice to the mat. Phaprom looked close to going to the mat in the tenth round, but he was able to stay on his feet. Phaprom had a cut near his right eye at the end of the eleventh round and looked like he had no chance at wining the bout.
Phaprom needed a knockout in the last round, but never came close to knocking him down.
The final scores were 120-107, 120-107, and 119-108 for Zou Shiming.
The next bout of the night was between the Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire (37-3) and Jessie Magdaleno (23-0) for the WBO World Junior Featherweight Title.
The first round was a feeling out a round and didn’t feature much action, but the fight picked up in the second round as Magdaleno and Donaire started to freely exchange, but Magdaleno was the more accurate puncher and was the first to throw his combinations.
Donaire’s came back strong in the third round and was the aggressor. Donaire’s check left hook was finding it’s target. Magdaleno suffered a cut in the fourth round but it was ruled from a head butt, and it was noticeably affecting the vision of Magdaleno.
Donaire looked good in the fifth round and was more aggressive and landed solid combinations, but Magdaleno switched to a southpaw stance in the sixth round and was effective with his lead right hooks.
Donaire focused more to the body in the seventh round and re-established control, but Magdaleno retook control of the fight in the eighth round with crisp counter right hands and lead straight left hands to the head of Donaire. Donaire’s left eye was starting to show signs of swelling.
Magdaleno had Donaire hurt badly in the ninth round after he cracked Donaire with a check right hook with his back to the ropes. He had Donaire fighting defensively in the final minute of the ninth round and looked like Donaire was close to getting stopped.
Donaire opened up the tenth round with a hard left hand that had Magdaleno hurt and backing up in the opening minute. Both boxers connected with hard check hooks, but Donaire’s right hand was finding it’s target.
The fight was too close to call for either boxer in the final round, but Donaire landed the best punch of the round with a hard straight right hand that got the crowd’s reaction and he may have busted Magdaleno’s nose in the final round.
The final scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110 for Jessie Magdaleno.
Oscar Valdez (20-0) and Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4) for the final fight on the undercard for the WBO World Featherweight Title.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance, and Osawa was a little wild early on. Valdez sat on his body punches on the opening round and established himself as the more powerful boxer early on.
Valdez was sharp with his jabs in the second round and had Osawa rocked with hard left hooks in the second round. Osawa looked like he was close to going down in the final minute of the round.
Valdez landed some bombs in the third round with both his left and right hands, but Osawa was taking the shots well.
Valdez landed a crisp left hook to Osawa’s chin in the fourth round and sent him to the mat suddenly. Valdez landed several hard right hands when Osawa got back to his feet, but Osawa somehow survived the round.
Valdez obliterated Osawa in the fifth and sixth rounds and barely got hit with any punches.
Valdez wobbled Osawa in the eighth round with a hard left hook and jumped on him with combinations by the corner. Osawa didn’t return any punches and the referee jumped in and stopped the fight.
Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 1:50 of the seventh round.
Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Philippine Senator and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring and chase another world title as he faces Jessie Vargas for Vargas’ WBO Welterweight Title.
Pacquiao has long been a mainstay with HBO Boxing and nearly all of his pay per views were distributed by them. However, HBO has chosen to go forward with the Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV bout in the month of November and is letting Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing distribute Pacquiao’s PPV on their own.
Top Rank has wisely decided to stack their card with four world title fights in what should be an entertaining night of fights. The card will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
The following is a preview of all four world title bouts.
Zou Shiming (8-1) vs. Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2); WBO World Flyweight Title
This is a rematch of a bout that happened on November 23rd, 2014 in which Shiming defeated Phaprom by decision.
Zou Shiming was supposed to be Top Rank’s vehicle to grow the sport of boxing in China and establish a strong foothold there. He was successful in helping Top Rank break into the Chinese market, but he has lost some of his luster since losing to Amnat Ruenroeng in an IBF Flyweight Title fight in March of 2017.
Shiming is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the Bronze in 2004. He’s the most decorated amateur boxer to ever come out of China and is currently trained by Freddie Roach. Phaprom does not have the amateur accolades that Shiming possesses.
Both boxers are thirty five years old and neither can be considered to be in the midst of the physical prime. Shiming will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Shiming is not known for his power and many pundits question whether his amateur abilities can translate to the profressional stage He only has two stoppage victories on his resume while Phaprom has stopped twenty four of his opponents.
Phaprom has been very active and has fought five times in 2016. However, Phaprom has fought almost exclusively in Thailand and has only fought outside of it once, when he first faced and lost to Shiming. He also doesn’t have any big name victories on his resume, but has fought thirteen more times since losing to Shiming.
This will be Shiming’s third fight in 2016, and he has defeated the likes of Phaprom, Jozsef Ajtai, Natan Coutinho, and Luis de la Rosa. His lone loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng.
This rematch should play out in a similar fashion to their first bout, with Shiming ending the fight as the winner.
Nonito Donaire (37-3) vs. Jessie Magdaleno (23-0); WBO World Junior Featherweight Title
Nonito Donaire is the second most Filipino boxer in the world today, but this will be the first time he has ever fought on the same card as Manny Pacquiao.
Donaire’s best days might be behind him. He’s thirty three years old and will be nine year older than Magdaleno come fight night. However, he will be about one inch taller than Magdaleno and will have about a two inch reach advantage.
Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Donaire was a National Junior Olympics Flyweight Champion, a National Light Flyweight Champions, and a Silver Gloves Champion. Magdaleno was a US National Champion in the bantamweight division and a National Golden Gloves Champion in the bantamweight division.
Both boxers come from a family of boxers and have brothers who compete or have competed professionally. However, Donaire is a former title holder in the flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight divisions while Magdaleno is still chasing his first world title.
Donaire has been in the ring with some of the best the sport has to offer. He has defeated the likes of Zsolt Bedak, Cesar Juarez, Vic Darchinyan, Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Narvaez, and Fernando Montiel. His losses were to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, and Rosendo Sanchez in the second fight of his career.
This will be a big step up for Magdaleno, and he has never fought someone as a professional on the level of Donaire. He has defeated the likes of Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castandeda.
This might be the last swan song for Donaire. There’s been a noticeable drop in his speed and power since he lost to Rigondeaux and he was stopped, quite brutally, by Walters. He’s still a good boxer and is experienced enough to give Magdaleno a tough time inside the ring, but Magdaleno is just entering his prime and should be able to defeat the older Donaire.
Oscar Valdez (20-0) vs. Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4); WBO World Featherweight Title
Oscar Valdez is one of the most promising young champions on the roster of Top Rank Promotions. He’s also featured in one of the biggest mismatches of the night.
The one, and perhaps only, advantage Osawa will have on Saturday night is that he is about an inch and half taller and four inches longer than Valdez. However, Valdez is the better technical boxer, the more powerful puncher, the quicker fighter, and will be about six years younger than Osawa.
Valdez has an impressive eighteen knockouts and has stopped four of his past five opponents. Osawa stopped nineteen of his opponents but is currently riding an eight fight stoppage victory streak.
Valdez has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Osawa has no such amateur background.
Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Valdez fought four times in 2015 and fought twice in 2016. Osawa fought three times in 2015 and once in 2016.
Osawa has fought exclusively in Asia and his resume does not include any big name victories. He has losses to unheralded boxers such as Mitsuya Omura, JR Sollano, and Daiki Koide. Valdez only recently won WBO Featherweight title, and has impressive victories over Evgeny Gradovich, Matias Rueda, Chris Avalos, Ruben Tamayo, and Jose Ramirez.
Valdez is the most likely boxer to score a stoppage victory on Saturday night.
Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2) vs. Jessie Vargas (27-1); WBO World Welterweight Title
Manny Pacquiao, despite being a Senator for the Philippines, is still considered a top talent in the welterweight division and one of the sport’s biggest draws.
He’s publically stated his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch, but he first has to get past a tough, young, opponent in Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao, at the age of thirty seven, is ten years older than his opponent and considered by many to be past his physical prime. Pacquiao will also be giving up four and a half inches in height as well as four inches in reach to his younger opponent.
The one thing that Vargas does not have is power. He’s only stopped ten of his opponents, but he did stop Sadam Ali in his last bout. Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, but his last stoppage victory was in 2009, twelve fights ago, against Miguel Cotto.
Vargas has an impressive amateur background. He’s a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion. Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager and does not have the amateur accolades that Vargas has.
Vargas has a good professional resume but it still pales in comparison to Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Anton Novikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Ray Narh, Aaron Martinez, Steve Forbes, and Josesito Lopez. His lone loss was a close bout to Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao, clearly, has a hall of fame resume. His notable victories include Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Shane Mosley, and Lehlo Ledwaba. His losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley, and three losses early on in his career to Singsurat, Torrecampo, and Erik Morales.
Pacquiao had erased any concerns about his demise in his last bout with Timothy Bradley Jr., which he won fairly convincingly. Vargas’ age and reach may give Pacquiao some problems early on, but it’s not something that Pacquiao hasn’t handled before.
Pacquiao should walk away with another decision victory, but it will be a tougher than expected fight.
A Look at the Junior Featherweight Division
A Look at the Junior Featherweight Division
By: Eric Lunger
While the heavyweight division is still in flux with Tyson Fury’s sudden withdrawal from the Klitschko fight, and while fans and commentators are still tying themselves into pretzels over the lack of unification in the middleweight division, there is a golden generation in the junior featherweight class. But unfortunately, though perhaps predictably, all four of the major belts are held by different fighters: Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KO’s) WBA; Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KO’s) WBO; Jonathan Guzman (22-0, 22 KO’s) IBF; and Hozumi Hasegawa (36-5, 16 KO’s) WBC.
Let’s take a look at these four stars and see where the division is headed. First off, I will make a confession: I am a huge Guillermo Rigondeaux fan. I know that some find him boring and dull, with a cautious defensive style. He is brilliant defensively, and he will pull some slips and upper body movements that will make you shake your head in disbelief. But he also has tremendous firepower in his left hand and will unleash it with unexpected ferocity. Watching Rigondeaux fight is like playing with liquid gelignite: it might explode at any moment. Unfortunately, Rigo can’t seem to get anyone into the ring with him. His last fight, this summer against James “Jazza” Dickens in Cardiff, Wales, was a disappointment. Rigondeaux and his team did a great job in the pre-fight build up, including an incredible display of athleticism during an open workout in downtown Cardiff, but the bout itself consisted of one round of Rigo measuring Dickens, and a second round in which the Cuban launched a devastating left that broke Dickens’ jaw. His corner waved the fight off.
So the question remains for Rigondeaux: whom to fight next? He only fought once in 2015. He has already beaten Donaire (in April of 2013) by unanimous decision. “Most feared and avoided in the division” is a cliché, but an apt one for Rigondeaux. Carl Frampton said as much after his Santa Cruz fight, bluntly stating that Rigo does not bring enough money to a fight to justify the risk. Rigondeaux has been picked up by Roc Nation promotions, so perhaps there is hope for fans that we might see him in the ring again soon.
Out of the four junior featherweight title-holders, Nonito Donaire is probably the best known. He has 40 professional bouts under his belt at age 33, so he has been around the block more than once. Impressive and articulate in interviews, Donaire knows where he is in terms of his career, and what he expects to get out of boxing over the next few years. He took a loss (TKO in the sixth) to Nicholas Walters in November of 2014, though in that bout he had moved up to the 126 lbs. limit, and Walters did look significantly bigger than Donaire in the ring. Since then, Nonito has been managed well, and has been put into position for an exciting fight on November 5 against Jesse Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KO’s), on the Lomachenko-Walters undercard. I am excited to see how Donaire handles Magdaleno’s speed and power. It should be a compelling bout.
Jonathan Guzman won the IBF belt (which Frampton vacated) by defeating Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12 KO’s) in Osaka, Japan in July of this year. Guzman, from the Dominican Republic, has heavy hands and an attractive, fan-friendly style. He is aggressive without being reckless, comes forward consistently, and possesses excellent hand speed. Guzman handled Wake without any real trouble, though a head clash in the second round open a bad cut under Wake’s right eye. The damage was a factor in the rest of the fight and in the 11th round stoppage. Guzman is tentatively scheduled to defend his belt against Yukinori Oguni (18-1, 7 KO’s) in Japan on December 31st.
Finally, there is Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan. He is an interesting fighter with a long, professional record. Hasegawa won the WBC strap by defeating Hugo Ruiz (36-3, 32 KO’s) last month in Osaka. Hasegawa briefly held the WBC featherweight title, losing it to Jhonny Gonzalez in 2011, but he reigned as the WBC bantamweight champion from 2005 until 2010, making a remarkable 10 successful defenses in that period. For all that, Hasegawa has never fought outside of Japan. A southpaw, Hasegawa fights from range, using a pawing right jab to slap down his opponent’s lead, while looking to land his looping overhand left.
In the Ruiz fight, Hasegawa was better but not dominant. He scored a lot of straight overhand lefts from his southpaw stance, but Ruiz often presented a stationary target. Hasegawa out-pointed Ruiz, but the Japanese fighter was clearly hittable. He is certainly willing to trade and to take a punch in order to land one. The ninth round showcased some incredible action, with Ruiz managing to pin Hasegawa against the ropes and delivering a sustained attack. But, incredibly, the thirty-five year old Hasegawa found the strength to rally, launched his own flurry off the ropes, and blasted Ruiz back into the center of the ring. Ruiz’s corner did not allow their man to come out for the 10th, as Ruiz had sustained significant damage. Do yourself a favor and watch the ninth round again (preferably with Japanese commentary for atmosphere); you won’t be disappointed.
Clearly, Hasegawa is in his later years, career and boxing-wise, with Donaire not that far behind. But Guzman and Rigondeaux are in their prime, and either fighter could make a viable bid to unify the division. What would it take to get Guzman and Rigondeaux together in the ring? In the current atmosphere of fighters tending to avoid risky fights, it will take a lot. But we can dream, can’t we?
Nonito Donaire’s Father Steps Down As His Trainer
Nonito Donaire’s Father Steps Down As His Trainer
By: Brandon Bernica
Nonito Donaire will need to call for a ninth inning bullpen change in his corner, as father Nonito Donaire Sr. resigned as his head trainer this week. The split occurred after Donaire Sr. decided to move back to the Bay Area, which will conflict with his son’s training regimen.
The career of Nonito Donaire began under his father’s watchful eye, up until the time following Donaire’s breakthrough victory against Vic Darchiniyan in 2007. Personal problems split the pair up, and Donaire Jr. moved to train under world renowned cornerman Robert Garcia.
Donaire Sr. reemerged as co trainer for Nonito in 2013 after years of estrangement from his son. Under the tutelage of both his father and Garcia, Donaire Jr. scrapped his way to a rematch win against Vic Darchiniyan. After that fight, Donaire Sr. assumed full authority as head trainer, moving training camps to the Philippines.
While the father and son duo are breaking their relationship inside the ring, both men expressed no animosity towards each other on a personal level.
“He is an amazing trainer and an even better father. I wish him the best of luck in the path he chooses,” stated Donaire Jr. via a Facebook post detailing the situation.
As for Donaire Sr., he also used Facebook to express similar sentiments, stating that “I’ve been very grateful to work (Donaire Jr.’s) corner for the past couple years…I know he will find a trainer that will take him to the next level and hopefully I’ll be at the fight ringside to watch.”
Donaire Jr., 33, finds himself searching for a new trainer at the twilight of an illustrious career. There have been no rumored candidates yet, but a reunification with Garcia certainly must be near the top of the list. However, the four-division champion may be looking for someone to work with him in Las Vegas, where he resides with his wife and two children. Garcia holds camp in Oxnard and Riverside, California and is usually against leaving his gyms to train fighters.
Donaire Jr.is being angled to fight later in the year, possibly against Jesse Magdaleno. He holds a four fight win streak since his upset loss to Nicholas Walters in 2014 when he suffered the first knockout loss of his career.