Most recently, Andre Berto credited Conte with helping him to overcome problems associated with over-training and anemia prior toward dethroning Jan Zaveck as IBF welterweight titleholder by fifth-round knockout on Sept. 3.
But Conte said that the associations with Judah and Berto were the results of counsel with Donaire, whom he called, “the gatekeeper” to further boxing-related pairings between himself and fighters.
Without Donaire’s approval, Conte said he won’t work with othe boxers.
“I consider Nonito Donaire to be the gatekeeper, this is his team here at The Undisputed Gym, and if Nonito decides that he wants to welcome them into the Undisputed boxing gym family, because that’s what it is, then we’ll consider that,” said Conte, who provides his services out of San Francisco.
“No question that Nonito is the gatekeeper. I’m not a hired gun, my business does very well, I’m 61 years old, I’m kind of semi-retired, I do this with the athletes because this is what I enjoy doing. If I enjoyed playing golf, I would be out on a golf course somewhere. This is what I like to do.”
Berto and Donaire trained simultaneously at one point, with Donaire beginning his preparations for an Oct. 22 defense against WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Omar Narvaez.
“I don’t want any sort of tension or issues or problems in my life at this point, so I got Nonito’s approval before I agreed to Andre bringing his head trainer Tony Morgan and his brother Cleveland here to the camp,” said Conte.
“We discussed it at a Team Donaire meeting, and this was something that everybody involved wanted to do, and Nonito gave it his blessing, so we carried it forward.”
Conte also said he won’t train outside of San Francisco.
“I’m not going to go to Los Angeles, I’m not going to go to Las Vegas, I’m not going to go to Mexico, I’m not going to go wherever the fighters do what they do to help them with their nutrition and hypoxic training,” said Conte.
“I’m going to do what I do here, and if an athlete wants to work with me, and Nonito Donaire gives it his blessing, and I decide to do so, and the rest of the Undisputed team would like to participate and become involved with this boxer, then we will do that.”
Conte did a prison stint for his work with illegal performance-enhancing drugs in numerous professional sports after building a four-year career out of helping athletes to circumvent Olympic-style drug testing policies until BALCO was raided in 2003.
But since being released from prison, Conte, since 1988, has run SNAC, an acronym for Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning, which is an organization that supplies legal sports nutrition products and supplements.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org