By Jake Donovan
Less than three months after winning his first fight after more than three years away from the ring, Glenn Donaire gets to enjoy a little bit of momentum for a change.
His notoriety momentarily limited to ‘Nonito’s older brother,’ the 32-year old Donaire returns to the ring on March 16 as he faces fellow former title challenger Omar Salado. The bout will air live on Telemundo from Auditorio Plaza Condesa in Mexico City.
The fight marks just the second trip to Mexico for Donaire (18-4-1, 10KO), whose lone other fight south of the border was a poorly scored title fight loss to Ulises Solis in July 2008.
Donaire offered perhaps the toughest performance of his career and even if in a losing effort still deserved better than the shutout scorecards that were turned in by the three judges. The bout served as the lead-in to another controversially scored contest that evening, when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was given way too much credit by the judges in his first win over Matt Vanda.
The bad taste left over from the Solis fight was enough to convince Donaire to walk away from the sport, but elected to give it one more try last year. An announcement came marking his return and that he signed with Hall of Fame promoter Don King. However, his Dec. ’11 return as well as next Friday’s bout comes on the Boxeo Telemundo circuit under the All-Star Boxing banner.
Last year’s return began a bit rough, but Donaire eventually settled in and took care of former strawweight champ Alex ‘Nene’ Sanchez, who was also on the comeback trail following an extended absence. Donaire stopped the Puerto Rican in eight rounds for his first knockout win in over six years.
It’s not out of the question that he makes it two straight knockout wins. Salado (23-4-2, 14KO) has fought at the top level, but has fallen miserably short each time. All four of his losses have come inside the distance and all coming within his past eight fights. The Mexican is coming off of a tune-up knockout win last month, which followed a 7th round knockout loss to Roman Gonzalez.
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.
Both fighters have twice swung and missed at the title level. Salado suffered knockout losses to Gonzalez and also to Luis Concepcion in a Sept. ’09 interim title fight. Donaire has come up short against Solis and more infamously in 2007 against then-unbeaten Vic Darchinyan, a loss that was avenged by younger brother Nonito less than a year later in that began a pound-for-pound run that is approaching five years and running.
Come March 16, Glenn Donaire’s goal is simply to make it two straight and strive towards establishing his own identity, sans comparisons.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]