By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO, Ring Magazine and WBC super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire expects to have an even better 2013 following what he called an “incredible year” in 2012 when he won the 122 pound title and successfully – and impressively – defended it three times.
In an overseas telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Donaire said that to begin with he would want to fight WBC champion Abner Mares or Guillermo Riogondeaux “or whoever it is out there.”
Donaire said he’d like Top Rank promoter Bob Arum “to make that fight (vs Mares) happen in April."
He said WBA champion Rigondeaux has a fight scheduled in February and if he could move the fight to March it could happen - but indicated “they don’t want to do that.”
Donaire said March “is an open date for everyone who is able to fight me.”
Voted as “Fighter of the Year” by the prestigious Ring Magazine, ESPN and the widely read internet boxing site Boxing Scene, Donaire said he also wants to try to move up in weight but made it clear “we’ll see how my body is.”
Donaire indicated he would know “in a month or so after weight lifting to see whether I can really be comfortable at that weight. I want to fight the best out there, whoever is willing to fight me.”
The skilled champion with remarkable hand-speed and deceptive punching power told us he would “probably start a little bit of weight lifting and then a month after do my cardio and box.” He said coach Mike Bazzel handles his weight training.
Donaire expressed confidence that 2013 will be an even better year during which he might be able to have three fights should he start in March but if he starts earlier he may be able to do another four fights like he did in 2012.
The four division world champion said he was honored by being named “Fighter of the Year” and hopes to live up to the hopes of his countrymen in the Philippines.