It’s back to the future for Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire as he finishes off a training camp that hasn’t been this rigorous and back to basics since his stellar year in 2012. Donaire is moving up yet another weight division, this time to challenge Featherweight champion Simpiwe “V12” Vetyeka.
Check out some photos and quotes from Donaire, and some other details about the entire fight card taking place in Macau.
Vetyeka vs. Donaire will be televised from the Cotai Arena at The Venetian® Macao This Saturday May 31, on HBO, beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET/PT.
“Last year I got away from what made me successful and I paid the price for that when I met Guillermo Rigondeaux. And even when I knocked out Vic Darchinyan in our rematch last year, that wasn’t the best me,” said a very candid Donaire.
“I agree with Nonito 100%,” said his father Nonito Donaire, Sr., who is back in his corner as head trainer. “Nonito got away from what made him great – his speed and footwork in combination with his power. Last year he just came forward, didn’t move his head and relied too much on his power, and that’s exactly the wrong way to fight a pure boxer like Rigondeaux as we all saw. This camp we went back to Nonito’s bread and butter – creating a mix that combines speed, movement and power. I have never seen a fighter work harder and totally dedicate himself to his tasks than Nonito did during this training camp.”
The Donaires remember all too well what it was like to enter a world championship fight as underdogs. Seven years and 15 pounds ago, Donaire shook up the boxing world with a one-punch stoppage of undefeated International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan, ending his three-year world title reign. It was the consensus Knockout of the Year and Upset of the Year for 2007.
“It’s been a long time since I entered a fight as an underdog but that has inspired me more,” said the four-division world champion. “I reevaluated everything. I moved my training camp to the Philippines to take advantage of the heat and humidity and to eliminate the distractions I had in Las Vegas. It was a great move. I let a lot of things I worked hard to achieve slip through my fingers last year. I want to return to where I was in 2012 and go beyond that for the reminder of my boxing career.
“I had to work on a lot of things in camp because Vetyeka is so multidimensional inside the ring. He’s dangerous and has a lot of weapons. His last two fights were knockout victories of Daud Yordan and Chris John. Those are two tough guys. But I am confident I have the game plan and the talent to beat him. There is no doubt that May 31 at The Venetian Macao is going to be my finest hour.”
Donaire vs. Vetyeka is one of three featherweight world championship battles headlining Featherweight Fury! at Cotai Arena. Undefeated WBA world featherweight champion Nicholas “The Axe Man” Walters will defend his title against two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan; and undefeated IBF champion Evgeny “The Mexican Russian” Gradovich, making his third consecutive featherweight title defense at the Cotai Arena, will be battling No. 1 contender Alexander Miskirtchian.
Walters vs. Darchinyan and Gradovich vs. Miskirtchian and most of the undercard will be streamed live via http://www.toprank.tv. The only undercard bout not available via the live stream will be the IBF junior featherweight title elimination bout between Top-Five contenders CHRIS “The Hit Man” AVALOS and YASUTAKA ISHIMOTO. That fight will be televised via same-day delay as the main event on Sólo Boxeo Tecate on UniMás. The winner will be declared the IBF’s No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger to IBF junior featherweight world champion Kiko Martinez.