Former RING junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire said he is targeting a return to the ring and an attempt to, yet again, make the 122-pound limit, but if unable to, he will rise into the featherweight ranks, according to an on-camera interview with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna, on Friday.
“I really have got to try to see about my weight. If they want me to try to go down to 122, I’m at 145 right now, and I’m solid,” said Donaire. “It’s not like I’m fat or anything like that, so we’ll see. I’ll give it two months to see if I can try to drop to 130, and see if I feel comfortable. If I can’t, then I’m going to go up to 126.”
In his last fight in April, Donaire (31-2, 20 knockouts) was dethroned as RING 122-pound champion and WBO beltholder by Guillermo Rigondeaux, who also holds the WBA title.
A 37-year-old southpaw, Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs) has won two straight since falling in consecutive unanimous decision losses to Anselmo Moreno and Shinsuke Yamanaka, and is coming off a fourth-round stoppage win over Javier Gallo in May.
Darchynian was the unbeaten IBF flyweight titleholder in July of 2007 when Donaire scored a fifth-round knockout against him.
Donaire said he will train at the gym of his trainer, Robert Garcia, in Oxnard, Calif., rather than his usual venue, the Undisputed Gym, in San Carlos, Calif.
“I’ve been training at the Undisputed [Gym] for a long time, so I love Undisputed, but I think that a different approach would be in Oxnard,” said Donaire. “I haven’t tried that, and my respect is how great Robert is, and I think that I’m going to try something like that for the next one as well.”
After losing to Rigondeaux, Donaire had arthroscopic surgery performed on his right shoulder by Dr. Shabi Kahn on April 19, at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., to repair two tears.
“The surgery is good. We got it right after the fight,” said Donaire. “We got it a week after the fight, and I feel good. I just have a renewed sense of a mentality.”
Donaire and his wife, Rachel Donaire, are expecting the birth of their son and first child, Jarel Michael, on July 21.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org