By JM Siasat
PARANAQUE, Philippines- There is a reason why boxing is called the "Sweet Science". The brutal narratives that takes place inside the squared circle are thoroughly executed and thought of so one does not sustain avoidable physical punishment. As the Mayweather family like to reiterate over the years, boxing is to hit and not get hit. After all, nothing is sweet in taking a punch to the chin and there is no science in fighting face first.
It is this kind of approach that Nonito Donaire Sr. wants to see more of from his son. Donaire Sr. arrived in the Philippines last Saturday and is officially back as Nonito Donaire's chief trainer since his last bout. A few years back, their relationship took a dip, to the point that they didn't speak to each other for two years. Putting the past behind with the help of baby Jarel (Nonito's son), both are back in good graces doing what they do best, and that is to work as a team.
"Peace of mind," said Nonito Donaire when asked what were the advantages of having his father back in training camp. "Mentally (I am) happier, motivated, I think that's one of the biggest advantage I have".
Nonito is well aware that his father would like to work on his speed, use his head all over again and get smart, admitting that it's something he lost in time. Nonito whose been in the Philippines since the last week of March, has been doing moderate training until his father arrived. He weighs around 140lbs and says that his conditioning needs to be worked at with less than 45 days to go but it doesn't bother Donaire Sr. at all.
"We don't have any problem with time but we don't want to waste it anymore because the fight is getting closer," said Donaire Sr. "He's really not in shape but he can handle 4 rounds now (sparring). We still have enough time. He's a hard working fighter, he can push himself. I don't need to tell him to go run, he does it on his own".
A year ago, Nonito Donaire was one of the hottest names in boxing, a pound for pound fighter who possess knockout power in both hands. Donaire was riding high and was on top of his game until he tasted defeat for the first time in twelve years when he squared off against Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013. Though the one-sided loss did not take Donaire's spot off the prestigious pound for pound list, a hard fought victory over Vic Darchinyan did.
In May 31, Nonito will have his hands full yet again when he faces the hard hitting Simpiwe Vetyeka in Macau for the WBA world featherweight title. Nonito will attempt to win his 4th weight division major world title and Donaire Sr. has a game plan ready to make it happen. "I think Vetyeka will run away from him," says Donaire Sr. "We are going to focus in how to (fight) in and out, not stay in front of Vetyeka all the time".
"He (Vetyeka) moves a lot and keeps hitting (throwing punches) at you. If you don't move your head you'll get tagged with his straight right hand and he goes for body shots," added Donaire Sr.. "He's not a one punch knockout fighter. He throws a lot of punches so if you get hit all the time then you're going down so we have to avoid that right hand".
Donaire Sr. is confident that Nonito trusts and believes in the training he provides, citing familiarity with each other over the years. And though he won't disclose their entire game plan nor make a prediction, Donaire Sr. hinted what to expect in Nonito's upcoming bout.
"I want the young version of Nonito (for this fight), that's what we are doing (training for). We will train really hard to win this fight, we're focused to win this fight, get this guy. As long as he (Nonito) don't get beat up in fights he can last more years (in professional boxing). Don't get hit, because when you get hit your brain and body slows down. He has to be smart".
JM Siasat is a freelance boxing journalist whose work can be seen on Boxingscene.com and Rappler. He can be reached at [email protected]