By T.K. Stewart
Within the past twenty-four hours, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire has undergone some drama. His original opponent for this weekend’s pay-per-view main event, Gerson Guerrero, failed an eye exam and was scratched from the card.
With approximately 72 hours before the first bell was set to ring, Top Rank scrambled to find a replacement that would keep the main event intact. They found Mexican contender Manuel Vargas, 26-4-1, 11 KO, who will step in to fill the void on the card that will take place at the Las Vegas Hilton.
With that crisis resolved, next up could be a potential problem on the scales.
Donaire’s struggles with his weight have been well documented. He was forced to drop 29 pounds in the weeks before his Dec. 2007 IBF flyweight title fight against Luis Maldonado. Donaire went from 140 pounds all the way down to 111 and he blamed the weight loss on his legs feeling week throughout the bout. Prior to his April 2009 match with Raul Martinez, Donaire admitted to again having a problem making 112-pounds and claimed that he lost over 10 pounds the week of the fight.
As of Tuesday, Donaire weighed 123 pounds. He needs to make 115 by Friday afternoon’s official weigh-in.
Donaire is now in Las Vegas and has been seen running and doing calisthenics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas outdoor track. He is training under the guidance of Jonathan Penalosa and has been on a strict diet, low in carbohydrates, in an effort to hit 115-pounds. Camp insiders say that he has not eaten rice in the past month and between now and Friday he is restricted to a sparse smattering of soup, eggs, fruits and vegetables.
One of the staples of Donaire’s weight-loss regimen is Pedialyte - which is actually a drink intended for children and infants that helps to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes suffered during dehydration.
Donaire, 27, claims he has been training for this weekend's fight for two months and that he has been sparring with some young fighters who are on the verge of turning pro. His “walk-around” weight is in the neighborhood of 140-pounds.
Donaire, 22-1, 14 KO, told me after the Luis Maldonado fight that he could see himself one-day fighting at featherweight or super featherweight and perhaps higher. He also said that he thought he would be able to put on the weight in an effective manner and retain his punching power as he moved up.