Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire who moves up in weight to battle former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr for the WBO super bantamweight title at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas on February 4 is on his way back to the US after workouts in Manila and Tokyo.
Donaire’s wife, Rachael, told tBoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Donaire had sparred at the Wild Card Gym of Rommel Nazario in Sucat, Paranaque for three days before flying to Tokyo where he sparred twice at the famous Teiken Gym of well-known Japanese businessman-promoter Akihiko Honda.
Ms. Donaire said her husband was quickly getting into shape and weighed 127 pounds while in Tokyo which is just five pounds above the super bantamweight limit. Besides training while in Manila, Donaire also shot a television commercial.
Rachael said he also had dinner with Filipino star Allan Pineda who is known as Apl.de.Ap of the extremely popular pop group Black Eyed Peas.
Ms. Donaire told us they “ had just received the fight contract from Todd duBeof” the Top Rank president confirming the February 4 date..
Well known TV boxing analyst Moy Lainez said Donaire sparred “as early as 7:30 a.m. against Vergel Poton who is a featherweight” at the Wild Card Gym and predicted “the fight against Vasquez will be a good one.”
Vazquez is the same fighter who scored a 4th round knockout of “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona to win the 122 pound crown on February 27, 2010 in Puerto Rico.
Dennis ‘D Source’ Guillermo reported that Donaire was with former WBA world light welterweight champion Morris East who won the title with an 11th round TKO over Japan’s Akinobu Hiranaka on September 9, 1992.
East works the punch-mitts with the WBC/WBO bantamweight champion who relinquished his title to move up in weight and challenge for the super bantam crown after winning the WBC/WBO 118 pound title with a spectacular 2nd round knockout of Mexican champion Fernando “Cochulito”Montiel which earned Donaire the accolade of “Knockout of the Year.”.
Guillermo said Donaire who arrived in Tokyo on December 20 sparred four rounds with Yasutaka Ishimoto (19-5, 3 KO’s) who we were informed by Koji Ishizuka of the Japan Boxing Commission is ranked No. 1 super bantamweight in Japan. After the sparring session Donaire worked on the punch-mitts and heavy bag.
The following day Guillermo reported that Donaire did about 90 minutes on the punch-mitts and the heavy bag after reporting very early in the morning like he did in Manila. On his third day of training at the Teiken Gym, Donaire went five rounds with Ishimoto.
Panamanian boxing writer and fight fan Carlos Costa said Donaire met Celestino Caballero who trains at the same gym in preparation for his WBA featherweight title defense against Satoshi Hosono on December 31.
Donaire also met Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera, WBC super bantamweight champion Takahiro Aoh who at one time was Barrera’s sparring partner when the Mexican was preparing for his fight against Ring Magazine pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao and WBA super bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda.