MANILA - Now back as reigning world champion, Filipino American Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Philippines is readying to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight belt.
It was gathered that Donaire may fight again in April next year, the same month world boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is expected to return to the boxing arena one year after he lost to American champion, now retired, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Donaire won the title after winning over Mexican Cesar Juarez in Puerto Rico. He now has a 36-3 record with 23 knockouts.
Only Donaire and Donnie “Ahas” Nietes are the reigning Filipino world champions in boxing at present.
Donaire, who was edged out by fellow FilAm Brian Viloria for an Olympic slot for the United States team years ago, is vacationing in the Philippines with his wife Rachel and their two sons Jarel and Jarel Logan.
He said he will pursue bigger fights for his fans and for his countrymen, adding he could fight in the Philippines if supported by his promoters.
Donaire, who has reconciled with his father Nonito Donaire Sr. who is back as his personal trainer, joined the ABS-CBN thanksgiving breakfast hosted by chairman Gabby Lopez III, new president and CEO Carlo Katigbak and ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena.
Donaire did not rule out a rematch with Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux adding, “now that I have this (WBO Superbantamweight belt), we can definitely work something out. But I’m not ruling out other fights.”
“We’re really happy for Jun and continue to wish him the best in all his endeavors and future fights. ABS-CBN Sports will always support the Filipino Flash and air his fights for the Filipinos to see,” said ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena.
Prior to defeating Juarez, Donaire was knocked out by Nicholas Walters last year and was thus considered “done” by boxing experts.and could no longer bounce back.
But after two confidence booster fights in March and July respectively, Donaire was back into the world championship stage this December with a win over hard-hitting, world rated Cesar Juarez of Mexico. Donaire was clearly ahead in the early going, even dropping the game Juarez twice in the fourth round. But after hurting his left foot along the bout, Donaire’s boxing and movement were reduced significantly, forcing him to let go of the game plan and instead get into a slugfest with Juarez.
Boxing analyst JM Siasat wrote that Donaire dug deep, fought hard and motivated even while looking exhausted in the championship rounds. Donaire’s fighting heart carried him to the final bell as he defeated Juarez by unanimous decision to bag the vacant WBO world super bantamweight title