Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank –
By: Ronnie Nathannielsz
WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire expects a tactical fight early on in his unification title bout against WBA champion and former Cuban two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux at the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York on Saturday – Sunday morning in Manila.
The fight will be telecast by ABS-CBN Sports over Channel 2 with a “live” pay per view telecast over SkyCable and The Filipino Channel with replays on Studio 23 and the cable sports channel, Balls.
Donaire spoke to BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard after his team’s arrival in New York where the 2012 “Fighter of the Year” and four division world champion and the undefeated southpaw Rigondeaux will hold Manhattan media workouts on Tuesday at the Mendez Boxing Gym.
Donaire who had an intense training session in New York on Monday night told us “training has been very good and I’m now trying to cut down on my weight” since he is about 7 pounds over the 122 limit but indicated it should be no problem.
Donaire said he sparred twice last week, going twelve rounds on one day and then eight in his last sparring session at the Undisputed Gym in San Carlos City, California against talented fighters in Erik De Leon and southpaw featherweight Victor Pasillas.
Donaire said Pasillas is “a good lefty very tough, very strong” and believes the 21 year old southpaw is even better than his April 13 opponent, WBA champion Rigondeaux who has a record of 11-0 with 8 knockouts.
Pasillas who is from East Los Angeles won his pro debut beating Jose Garcia from King City, California in a featherweight bout by a 40-36 shutout over four rounds in an off-TV fight on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fourth showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last December 8.
Donaire said he “feels really good and can’t wait for the fight to happen.”
At the same time the Ring Magazine top five pound for pound champion said he is continuing his commitment to random drug testing and warned that “a lot of people take advantage of a lot of things and people are going to get hurt” unless the various world boxing organizations and commissions do something about instituting random drug tests at least for championship fights.
Donaire who expressed surprise that former WBC flyweight champion Malcom Tunacao lost to Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka by a 12th round TKO in Tokyo on Sunday and WBO/WBA flyweight champion Brian Viloria lost his title to an amazingly conditioned and strong Juan Francisco Estrada is now in a situation to ease the pain of those two losses by beating Rigondeaux.