Jerry Glick reporting: Watching WBC/WBO Bantamweight Champion Nonito Donaire hit the pads as he worked out for the media at Kingsway Gym in Manhattan, made one think about which would be worse, bring punched by a 250 pound heavyweight or the 118 pound Donaire? Tough call; the big guys hit hard but generally do it slowly. Donaire’s punches, however, exploded on impact with his trainers pads. His power comes not from weight, but speed.
The 28 year old Donaire, is preparing to defend his belts against 36 year old undefeated, 35-0-2 (19 KOs), WBO Super-Flyweight Champion Omar Andres Narvaez, from Argentina, on the Top Rank show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, this Saturday, October 22.
He knows that this is his big chance to move into super stardom. This is his debut in New York, and therefore his debut at the Garden as well. He knows what he must accomplish; not a “w”, but a “W”. He needs to impress and excite and he knows what he must do to get where he wants to be in boxing.
Donaire, 26-1 (18 KOs), is a charming, funny, boxer/puncher who just happens to be a dynamic presence in the ring. He shadow boxed tossing lightning fast combination and did the same with the gloves on against those pads. This 28 year old Filipino raised in the US but always a son of his birthplace, is proud of his heritage and of other great fighters to come from the Philippines including the great Manny Pacquiao and the all time great former Junior-Lightweight Champion of the World for seven years, Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.
In his two most important wins, a second round destruction of Fernando Montiel, and a fifth round knockout of Vic Darchinyan, were both accomplished with the same counter-left hook that put the lights out for both former champions.
“I’ve trained for that hook for a long time,” said Donaire. “We knew to train for that hook for Darchinyan because he was open for that, as well as Montiel.”
He added that you cannot make a mistake against him. “If Narvaez gives me the opportunity with the left hook or even the straight (right), we’ll take him out with it,” added the Filipino Flash. “The thing about me is, if you make a mistake in front of me I’ll make you pay for it.”
He said that mistakes are the things that he tries to avoid making himself. “Same goes for me; minor mistakes are fine but not the big mistakes where he can counter me and take advantage of the situation.”
He admitted that he sees an opportunity in his opponent’s stance. “I didn’t watch his tapes but I believe that I can take advantage of the way he stands.”
They called the Ortiz-Mayweather fight Star Power, but it is Donaire who has that indefinable quality, and he expects to leave that Garden ring with all of his intact.
FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW