By Jake Donovan
Things are moving along in the final days leading up to Friday night’s Telemundo telecast, live from Mexico City.
The star of the show, former title challenger Glenn ‘Boyet’ Donaire arrived in country with his team – father and trainer Nonito Donaire, Sr., manager Vinny Scolpino and promoter Tuto Zabala Jr. – as he prepares for his 12-round main event with local challenger Omar Salado.
A regional title will be at stake in their bout, which headlines a seven-fight card at the recently renovated Auditorio Plaza Condesa in Mexico City. The venue will serve as the host for all six Mexico-based Telemundo broadcasts this television season.
Donaire (18-4-1, 10KO) enters the bout on the heels of an eighth round stoppage of former strawweight titlist Alex ‘Nene’ Sanchez last December, marking his return to the ring following a three-year absence. The bout with Salado (24-4-2, 15KO) marks just his second trip south of the border; his lone other appearance was a dubiously scored title fight loss to Ulises ‘Archie’ Solis in July ’08.
To date, the Filipino boxer has seen his career overshadowed by the raging success of his younger brother and pound-for-pound star Nonito Donaire, Jr. However, with a new team behind him comes newfound motivation. The goal for this comeback tour is simple – championship or bust.
“Donaire is in great shape,” insists Zabala, who signed the resurging fighter last year. “He trained with his father in the high altitude and I feel very confident – with a win over Salado – to get him his world title shot in the near future.”
Donaire – born in the Philippines but raised in San Leandro, Calif. - has fallen short in two previous title fight attempts. Prior to the letdown against Solis came his worst showing to date as a pro, losing every round prior to bowing out after a cut suffered during his Oct. ’06 challenge against then-unbeaten Vic Darchinyan.
The loss to Darchinyan was avenged in a ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ sense, with younger brother Nonito blasting out the long-reigning flyweight titlist in the fifth round of their July ’07 Showtime-headliner.
Still, older brother Glenn prefers his own success to fall back on when viewing his career as a whole. With that, comes the current comeback tour which was officially underway two days after he celebrated 32nd birthday last December. Donaire looks to continue his winning ways against Salado, who has suffered all four of his career losses within his last eight contests.
At stake in next weekend’s televised headliner is a regional super flyweight title, with the hopes of eventually leading towards a title fight with current champ Suriyan Sor Rungvisai.
The televised portion of the show airs live on Telemundo at 11:35PM ET, with select swing bouts to follow. The first bell is at 8:00pm local time.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
Tags: Boxing Television