Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Donaire, After Oubaali Fight, Wants 115 Title Shot & Would Love Chocolatito Fight

While Nonito Donaire will turn 38 on Nov. 16, “The Filipino Flash” still harbors boxing goals even though he is already a tremendously accomplished fighter with a Hall of Fame resume in his 19th year as a professional.

Donaire has won world titles in four weight classes – flyweight, bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight – and held major unified titles at bantamweight and junior featherweight.

He authored a knockout of the year against Fernando Montiel in their bantamweight title fight in 2011. He was the widely picked as the 2012 fighter of the year after going 4-0 and unifying titles at junior featherweight.

During the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament he not only won another bantamweight title by stopping the injured Ryan Burnett but also engaged in the consensus 2019 fight of the year in the final, although he lost a highly competitive decision to a prime Naoya Inoue last November. Donaire got knocked down in the 11th round with a body shot but broke the heavily favored Inoue’s nose and orbit bone early in the bout and gave him easily the most difficult fight of his decorated career.

But rather that walking away from boxing on the high not of that loss with nothing else to prove,  Donaire will return to challenge Nordine Oubaali, with whom he sparred in January 2019, for the WBC bantamweight world title on Dec. 12 in the main event of a Showtime-televised Premier Boxing Champions card at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.


Winning yet another bantamweight world title, however, is not the end game for Donaire. He would love a rematch with Inoue as well as a chance to become the undisputed 118-pound champion.

But he also has designs on filling what he views as a gap in his deep resume. He wants to pursue a world title at junior bantamweight and said after the fight with Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs), a 34-year-old French southpaw making his third title defense, he would like to drop down in weight and go for it.

Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs), of Las Vegas, was a dominating flyweight champion before vacating his title and moving up to junior bantamweight in 2009. In his first bout in the 115-pound division Donaire won a unanimous decision against Rafael Concepcion to claim an interim title. But Donaire could not get the opportunity to fight for a fill world title in the division and elected to move up to bantamweight in 2010.

While Donaire said he could also move back up to junior featherweight and featherweight, and even perhaps even go as high as junior lightweight, he has not forgotten how he did not have an opportunity to win a full junior bantamweight world title.

“I still want to go back down to 115 and get a title there and then go up to 130. I can do that,” Donaire told “When I was weighing in at the last fight with Inoue I was 117.5 but I had to drink a little bit of water because I was 116. So I don’t have a problem making that (115-pound) weight. I would want to stamp that fifth division. The only reason I couldn’t get that before was because everybody was running away from me at 115 and I couldn’t get the title.

“It’s something I can do and something I want to do. After that I can say I am a five-division champion and then go up to 130 afterwards. My wife (and manager Rachel Donaire) is looking at me crazy right now. I’m getting that look right now. She’s telling me no 130.”

A move next year to junior bantamweight is far more likely he said. The division is stocked with talent, including world titleholders Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada, Kazuto Ioka and fellow Filipino Jerwin Ancajas, as well as former world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

But if Donaire could pick just one of them to fight, however, he said it is an easy call. He would go for fellow smaller-weight all-time great Gonzalez, a four-division world champion and also a surefire International Boxing Hall of Famer.

“I think that would be a great fight with Roman,” Donaire said. “And you have a lot of guys there that are incredible. I’ve seen them fight. I do look at those fights and I enjoy those fights. The little guys are incredible fighters. We just go in there and tee off with each other. All of that can happen, but right now the main focus is Oubaali."

Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports, who promotes Donaire, said he was very pleased to be able to line up Donaire’s title shot against Oubaali, whom he used to promote, but believes there are more notable fights for him to come.

“What Nonito Donaire deserves at this stage of his career is to get the fights where he can make the most money and we are not afraid to fight anyone at 118, 122 and 126. And if the right opportunity comes up, Nonito told me even at 130 pounds,” Schaefer said. “For example, a Leo Santa Cruz at fight at 130 isn’t something Nonito would shy away from. So there are a lot of big names between 118 and 130 and we are going to see what are the fights that make him the most money, and what are the fights that are most attractive to the fans, which are usually the ones that make the most money.

“Many of those big names (between 118 and 130) are under the PBC umbrella so these fights would be relatively easy to make. I have talked to (PBC boss) Al (Haymon) about it and Nonito is a legend. Who from these guys wouldn’t want to fight a legend?”

Dan Rafael was's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Letmaku on 10-21-2020

Chocolatito will only fight Asians Japanese and No Filipinos and no more Thailander?!

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 10-20-2020

Nonito vs Chocolatito would be a badass fight.

Comment by RJJ-94-02=GOAT on 10-20-2020

If Donaire fought Chocolatito, I honestly wouldn’t know who to root for. Huge fan of both.

Comment by BigZ44 on 10-20-2020

If he beats Oubaali, how about SSR comes up to 118 to fight Donaire? That would be rad!

Comment by Fangedgrowl on 10-20-2020

Can Donaire even make 115. I think Donaire needs to stay at like 122.

Top Headlines
Anthony Yarde: People Don’t Care About Excuses, There's a Job To Be Done Vito Mielnicki Jr. Confident His Abilities Are Growing Under Goossen Lyndon Arthur Hopes To Use Yarde as Springboard To World Title Fight Crawford: Spence Fight Not Important, I Don't Need Him For My Legacy - He Needs Me! Cardozo, Romero Make Weight For Interim-WBA 122-Pound Clash Has Canelo Alvarez Made a Mistake? Spence: I Picked Danny Garcia So I Could Rise To The Occasion WBC Prez Views Canelo vs. Spence as Mega-Fight in Future Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia: Judges, Referee For Fight Saturday Night Fundora vs. Ahmed, Lopez vs. Santana - Weights Errol Spence, Danny Garcia - Ready For Showdown in Texas Billy Joe Saunders Dominates, Batters Martin Murray For Wide Decision Billy Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard James Tennyson Destroys Josh O'Reilly in One Round Lerrone Richards Wins Matchroom Debut, Shannon Courtenay Bounces Back Claressa Shields Shreds Savannah Marshall: She Lives Off That Amateur Win Clay Collard, Robeisy Ramirez To Stay Busy on Stevenson-Clary Card Errol Spence-Danny Garcia Weigh-In Results From Dallas Zach Parker-Cesar Nunez Pulled From Saunders-Murray Bill Due To Late Positive COVID Test Arum: Wilder Has No Rights To Third Fury Fight, Claim Will Be Denied Anthony Yarde, Lyndon Arthur - Ready For War Yunieski Gonzalez To Face Alex Theran in Miami, Florida Martin Murray: Saunders Fight A Few Years Late But We're Both Looking Forward To It Spence: Weird People On Twitter Told Me, 'I Wish You Would've Died' In Car Accident Mike Tyson: YouTube Stars Make Boxing Alive - UFC Was Kicking Our Butt! Saunders: Four, Five Weeks Not Enough Time For Smith To Prepare To Beat Canelo Martin Murray: I Don't Think Saunders Has Fought Anyone Like Me Nazarena Romero Battles Julieta Cardozo for Interim-WBA Title in Argentina Hearn Wants To See Tyson Fury at Ringside at Joshua-Pulev We Can't Know 'The Truth' About Errol Spence Until We See Him Fight Danny Garcia Ashley Theophane Reflects on Career as Sam Eggington Clash Nears Morgan Believes a Knockout is Needed To Defeat Tim Tszyu Foreman: If Mike Tyson Has 3 More Exhibitions Like That - I'd Back Him Over Any Contender Brandon Adams Demolishes Sonny Duversonne in Two Gor Yeritsyan Breaks Down, Stops Mahonri Montes in Sixth Brian Ceballo Decisions Larry Gomez Over Ten Rounds Ring City USA LIVE Results: Danielle Perkins Stops Princess Hairston Saunders: I Don't Blame Golovkin For Not Facing Me Berchelt Fends Off COVID, Eager To Get in The Ring With Valdez Fundora-Ahmed, Lopez-Santana, Ramirez-Flores - Face-Offs
Latest Forum Threads