Nonito Donaire sets comeback
Nonito Donaire, Jr. will end a 10-month layoff to take on dangerous Mexican Ruben Garcia in a 10-round bout for the vacant WBC silver featherweight title in San Antonio, Texas, on Sept. 23.
Donaire, 34, has been training in Tokyo for over a month while his wife Rachel and their two children stayed in Manila. He returns here tomorrow morning then flies out with his family to Los Angeles that night on the way home to Las Vegas to resume his training. Donaire will leave for San Antonio on Sept. 16.
Texas has hosted three of Donaire’s biggest wins over Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. in San Antonio and Jorge Arce in Houston, both in 2012 and Vic Darchinyan in Corpus Christi in 2013. The coming bout will be Donaire’s first since signing a multi-fight promotional contract with Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports last July. Early this year, Donaire and his former promoter Top Rank parted ways amicably with a month left in their deal.
“I think Nonito is one of those can’t-miss fighters who always know how to entertain the crowd,” said Schaefer, formerly CEO of Golden Boy. “He’s one of those guys who are never in a bad fight. I’m very excited to get involved with him at this point of his career. I think there are some big fights ahead for him.”
Donaire said he’s looking forward to another title shot. He hasn’t seen action since losing the WBO superbantamweight crown to Jessie Magdaleno on points in Las Vegas last November. Donaire has held the IBF flyweight, interim WBA superflyweight, WBC/WBO bantamweight, WBO/IBF/WBA/WBC silver superbantamweight and WBA featherweight titles. Magdaleno has refused to give Donaire a rematch even as he promised a return engagement right after their fight.
“Jun’s very excited to get back in the ring,” said Donaire’s wife Rachel. “It’s the start of a new horizon for him.” Although Donaire’s not looking past Garcia, he’s called out former WBA/IBF superbantamweight and WBA featherweight titlist Carl Frampton of Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a duel. Frampton is coming off a loss to Leo Santa Cruz in the only stain in his record last January. He would’ve fought Andres Gutierrez last July but the Mexican pulled out the night before after injuring himself in a freak bathroom accident in his hotel room. A few weeks later, Frampton announced his break-up with manager Barry McGuigan of Cyclone Promotions to go on his own.
Donaire said he’ll fight Frampton anytime, anywhere. Frampton, 30, has a 23-1 record, with 14 KOs. Before Garcia was named as his next opponent, Donaire said he’s ready to face Frampton so his training for Gutierrez wouldn’t go to waste. There was no reaction from Frampton.
Garcia, 24, turned pro in 2010 when Donaire had already figured in 25 fights and was 28. His record is 22-2-1, with nine KOs compared to Donaire’s 37-4, with 24 KOs. He has won his last seven outings. His last loss was to former IBF bantamweight champion Randy Caballero in February last year. Garcia was dropped twice in the seventh round and surrendered on his stool before the start of the eighth. A workhorse, Garcia logged five fights last year and three so far this year. Last September, he took on two opponents within a week.
Garcia was supposed to meet Filipino sensation Mark Magsayo at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California, last September but withdrew because of an alleged injury. Another Mexican Ramiro Robles took his place and lost a unanimous 12-round decision after suffering two knockdowns. Curiously, Garcia saw action on Sept. 3, outpointing Victor Campos in a four-rounder, and would’ve faced Magsayo on Sept. 24. He has fought in only four 10-rounders and one 12-rounder. Known as El Tibio, Garcia has a reputation of a calculating warrior. Donaire has to win convincingly over Garcia to put himself back in the spotlight as a challenger for the world title.
Donaire, an advocate of the ketogenic diet, will battle Garcia in the featherweight division where he has fought only thrice, beating Darchinyan and Simpiwe Vetyeka and losing to Nicholas Walters. His last five bouts were in the super bantamweight class. The reigning world featherweight champions are the WBC’s Gary Russell of Washington, D. C., the WBA’s Santa Cruz of Mexico (super category) and Abner Mares of Mexico (regular category), the IBF’s Lee Selby of Wales and the WBO’s Oscar Valdez of Mexico. Valdez will make the second defense of his crown against Filipino Genesis Servania in Tucson, Arizona, on Sept. 22.
Escritor-Fotografo y fiel fan del boxeo desde los 70’s. Editor Principal y Webmaster en Ringsidefightingnews. colaborador para los siguientes websites: Boxingscene, Worldboxingnews, Boxeomundial, Notifight, Soloboxeo.