Donaire wants to join ring greats

2 days ago

Nonito Donaire, though coming from a devastating defeat, is not yet ready to call it a day.

In fact, the Filipino-American puncher wants a crack at becoming a five-division world champion as he sets his sights on adding a title to his cherish collection of four in the flyweight, bantam, super-bantam and feather.

Donaire told his promotional outfit Probellum that he is hell-belt on capturing a title at super-fly by beating Japanese Kazuto Ioka, who recently repulsed fellow four-division champion Donnie Nietes in Dubai.

While also expressing the desire to battle Nicaraguan great Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in what grizzled fight fans mouthwateringly describe as a clash between “legend versus legend,” Donaire swears it is paramount that he becomes a five-division titlist.

“It’s (Chocolatito fight) a big fight. But I do like the Ioka fight as well because I want to get that title and become a five-division champion and then move back to 118 (bantamweight) and go for the undisputed crown once everything else is open and I get another opportunity for it,” Donaire, who turns 40 in November, said.

Donaire sustained heavy damage in his last fight, a rematch with Japanese Naoya Inoue, who dealt him a brutal second-round knockout last June in Saitama.

Ringsiders thought Donaire is going to hang up his gloves following the beatdown but the future Hall of Famer insists he still has a lot of championship juice left in the tank.

To prove that he can still do it, Donaire reveals talks about going down to 115 lbs even during the runup to the second meeting with Inoue, stressing that he wasn’t experiencing trouble shedding off.

The super-fly title escaped Donaire during his peak years although he did win an interim crown in the same weight class and made two successful defenses.

But Donaire, who will probably go down in history as the greatest Filipino boxer next to Manny Pacquiao, wants a regular championship at that weight division to formally make him as a five-division titleholder.

Pacquiao is the only fighter to win eight titles in as many weight classes, capturing top honors at fly, super-bantam, bantam. super-bantam, feather, super-feather, lightweight, super-lightweight, welter and super-welter.

Next to him is Oscar De La Hoya, who had won six, followed by former archrivals Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, both five-division holders.

Richard Schaefer, who heads Probellum, according to Donaire, is currently engaged in exploratory talks with the camps of Ioka and Gonzalez.

For Donaire, nothing is impossible.


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