MANILA, Philippines – Former world champion Nonito Donaire admitted that he struggled to make the weight limit for his title unification clash against Guillermo Rigondeaux last week, but “The Filipino Flash” had other issues that affected his preparation for the bout.
After his unanimous decision loss to Rigondeaux – his first defeat in 12 years – Donaire revealed that he fought with an injured shoulder that will require surgery.
Later, he admitted in an interview with ABS-CBN News that he did not study game tapes of Rigondeaux.
“Di ko naman ina-underestimate. Di ko akalain na I would have a problem with that,” he said. “Di ko pinanood ang mga laban niya. From this point on, gagawin ko nang mandatory ‘yun.”
It was also revealed that Donaire did not spend a lot of time with his trainer, Robert Garcia, during the build up for the Rigondeaux clash.
“Robert was very busy with Brandon (Rios’) fight and that was only two weeks ago,” said featherweight star Mikey Garcia, Robert’s younger brother and a good friend of Donaire’s.
“It could have possibly hurt them,” the younger Garcia acknowledged in an interview on Hustle Boss. “But with Donaire’s experience and the caliber of fighter he is, he is still very, very capable of figuring out his opponents in the ring.”
“But it definitely could have been a small factor, that they didn’t spend enough time together. That could have also been part of the way they fought.”
In between rounds, Garcia could be heard imploring Donaire to throw more punches and combinations, but “The Filipino Flash” was often inactive, waiting to see an opening for a big shot.
“Di ko ginawa yung game plan,” Donaire admitted. “Dapat kumbinasyon, maraming suntok. Pero isa-isa lang ang suntok ko eh.”
“Ilang beses niya sinabi sa akin, bakit ayaw mo sumuntok? Kailangang sumuntok ka ng marami. Sa isip ko, ewan ko ba. Parang gusto ko na ma-knockout ang kalaban ko,” he said.
ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael said Donaire had put himself in a “ridiculous situation.”
“It also became public that (Donaire) had spent very little time working with his trainer, Robert Garcia, as they did a lot of their fight planning on the telephone instead of training together in the gym,” Rafael wrote in his Scorecard column.
“That is a ridiculous situation for an elite fighter to put himself in, and Donaire obviously paid the price,” he said.
Donaire is working on correcting at least one mistake: he is set to move up to the featherweight division for his next fight, possibly against former champion Juan Manuel Lopez.