By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash" Donaire (26-1, 18 KO's) steps up sparring this week in preparation for his title defense against undefeated two-division world champion Omar Andres Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KO's) at the WaMu Theater in New York’s Madison Square Garden on October 22, in a fight to be telecast “live” in the Philippines by ABS-CBN.
Donaire who was in New York for a press conference that was hosted by Top Rank Promotions to also hype up the much-awaited WBA light middleweight title rematch between Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO's) and Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO's) at Madison Square Garden on December 3, told the Inquirer that his weight “is coming down to 128 in time for tomorrow’s 30-day weigh-in imposed by the World Boxing Council. Everything is good.”
Donaire said “I’m eating good and I’m training hard and by the time (Trainer) Robert Garcia is through with Margarito’s press conference in Mexico next, he’ll be training me in San Carlos” at the Undisputed Gym in California.
Donaire said he has begun sparring and went four rounds with Bruno Escalante but “we are going to try and spar more this week when I get back and it's going to be good. We are getting into the best shape possible.”
The bantamweight champion who won the WBC and WBO belts with a sensational 2nd round knockout of Mexican veteran Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel last February 19 said Escalante is a southpaw and provides good sparring for him and that they would bring in a couple of other sparring partners.
Donaire said it was “great to be here in New York and I’m excited about the fight.”
Donaire revealed that after the Narvaez fight he “I’m moving up and probably fighting in January or February and that will be good.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told us earlier that he plans to match Donaire against the winner of the battle between Rafael Marquez and WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka set for October 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.