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Donaire Discusses The Danger of Vazquez, Training, More

By Chris Robinson

Things have changed ever so slightly for world champion Nonito Donaire as he heads into his February 4th HBO-televised showdown with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in San Antonio, Texas.

The 29-year old Donaire is spending his training camp for this contest in Las Vegas, Nevada, as opposed to the city of San Carlos, California, where he had spent past regimens at the Undisputed Boxing Gym. The Bohol, Philippines native can now be found inside of the Top Rank Gym as he dives into his preparation for the former champion Vazquez, a fight that is a little over five weeks away.

I caught with Donaire this week to get an early gauge on his mindset heading into the fight, what he learned during some down time this year as promoters Golden Boy and Top Rank fought over his services, his recent trip to Japan, his camaraderie with trainer Robert Garcia, and much more.

This is what Donaire had to share…

In camp in Las Vegas…

“We’re just going to try to do the right thing this time. We’re going to try to study the fight and we’re going to try to come up with game plans and get in the best possible shape.”

Thoughts on Wilfredo Vazquez Jr…

“He’s the type of kid that gets better every time he gets into that ring. He never had amateur experience but he became a world champion because he gets better and he learns. Each year that he fights, he just gets better. So you’re looking at the best Vazquez that will be facing me coming into this fight.”

What he learned in 2011…
“I learned a lot. I learned about myself, I learned about other people around me, but everything was meant to be. I learned a lot from being on a long layoff to being in a gym. And that’s why this time you see me fit already before the fight. The last time I would be around 140, 145, this time I’m only at 127. Sometimes after food I’m at 128, 130. So one thing I’ve learned is to keep myself in shape and to not get my talent deteriorating.”

Not focusing on big names at 126 pounds…

“Because I don’t think about it. If they ask me, yeah I wanna fight that guy or this guy, but first things first. I won’t get there if I can’t get past the 122 guys. That’s where I gotta feel if it’s safe for me to go up, if it’s safe for me to be in boxing, if it’s safe for me to do what I’m doing, which is going up in weight and challenging the best out there. If I can compete with all of them, you know what, let’s make it happen.”

A great time in Japan…

“I sparred twice over there against supposedly the best bantamweight in Japan, who will be fighting for the Japanese title in February. They were all really nice to me. I want to thank Mr. Honda and Teiken Gym for being so generous and being so kind and letting me train over there. It was great. I had great sparring there. I met a lot of guys out there. I met a lot of world champions over there, Takashi Uchiyama who will be fighting soon against Solis. It was great and I got to spar twice over there with that kid.”

The atmosphere inside of Teiken…

“It’s clean, it’s hip-hop, and the atmosphere and vibe is about training and training hard. It was a good atmosphere. It was a boxing atmosphere, but nothing disrespectful.”

Physical condition with the fight a little over five weeks away…
“I’m in decent shape now. I was able to spar six rounds. It should only take me about three weeks to reach that twelve-round fight and two more weeks to maintain it. So I’ll definitely be ready. My condition right now is good. My weight is good. So I don’t really have to focus on losing the weight like I did the last fight. The main camp was trying to lose weight, trying to lose weight, instead of coming up with a game plan and putting things together. But this time, I have everything to gain. My weight is good, and my main focus is coming up with a game plan with Robert, and we’re going to make it happen this next year.”

His connection to trainer Robert Garcia…
“Robert gives me morality. He gives me something to believe in, something to believe in myself. He reminds me where I’m at, who I am, what I am in boxing, what my goals are. He reminds me why I’m here and the main reason why I fight. And besides that, the main reason, Robert gives me and excellent game plan if I can’t come up with a game plan. He’s there to remind me that I need to be smart. He’s there, just overall, what a leader and a coach is to a fighter. He makes you believe in yourself, he makes you think smarter, he makes you come up with something and he comes up with an excellent game plan every time he heads into a fight. So, we’re always ready with Robert around.”

Many motivations…
“I want to be the best of what I can be. And from growing up, for a kid who never had anything, I’ve accomplished a lot. And one thing that I want to do is to motivate myself to be the best of what I can be. In terms of capturing titles, beating everyone out there. In the long run, be able to inspire kids who don’t believe in themselves, to inspire people to do the best in what they do because when you do your best, you can always accomplish, regardless of who you are. That’s one thing I want to bring out there, to inspire people out there to do their best. They can always find something at the end of the rainbow or at the end of the road. They will never regret if they do their best.”

[ Reader's note: For more images of Donaire and other stars please visit Exclusive images from Nonito Donaire's camp / 2011 in Pictures - Manny Pacquiao's year in perspective ]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by [email protected] on 01-02-2012

nonito will soon invade the lightweight division... and there's no stopping him...

Comment by Ringlife on 01-01-2012

I can't wait for this fight to happen I give the edge to the Flash on this one but I just want to see a classic.

Comment by Phantomas on 01-01-2012

Once he starts boxing the best boxers of his own size he will start collecting loses just like Darchinyan. I hope Wilfredo exposes him already.

Comment by Steward on 01-01-2012

[QUOTE=delpilar;11621473]Donaire didn't do well last time.....he should work hard in the gym instead of talking too much.....[/QUOTE] that's a little unfair given he won every round against an undefeated fighter and someone who wouldn't engage. On the other hand, the…

Comment by nycsmooth on 01-01-2012

how can WV2 get better every time he steps in thwe ring as he only fight 1 time , a taxi driver Chavez sr knew, after his loss to Arce...I can't see Nono losing this, a lopsided UD 12...

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