Former trainer Nonito Donaire Sr., father of dethroned World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr., said he was surprised that his son lost to Jessie Magdaleno on Sunday (Saturday in US) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
“How did it happen? I never thought he would lose because I believe Nonito (Donaire Jr.) was in condition the last time we talked,” Donaire Sr. told The Manila Times via overseas call Sunday. “Magdaleno isn’t that tough if you’ll ask me.”
Donaire Sr. was replaced by Cuban trainer Ismael Salas last August.
Magdaleno, who got a favorable 116-112, 118-110, 118-110 scores from the judges, dominated Donaire Jr. throughout the fight especially in the ninth round to stay undefeated in 24 fights with 17 knockouts. Donaire Jr. now drops to 37-4 win-loss record with 24 knockouts.
“I’m hoping he gets back and redeem himself in the future,” added the older Donaire. “I will pray for his return in the ring again. I believe this is not the end yet of his career.”
Asked if there’s a chance to return to his son’s corner, Donaire Sr. said: “Let’s see.”
It looked like Donaire Jr. was not in his usual aggressive form during the fight. Magdaleno managed to counter-punch Donaire’s assault particularly in the later rounds. Instead of attacking his opponent, Donaire backpedaled most of the time after getting hurt by Magdaleno.
“I can’t believe I won the title and I won it against a fighter like Donaire,” said Magdaleno. “I don’t have the words to describe it.”
Donaire struggled in the first two rounds but found his rhythm in the fourth round against his opponent who is nine years at 24. Magdaleno, however, ruled sixth to ninth round with his effective counter-punching and evading Donaire’s strong left hook.
It was Donaire’s first loss after he was badly beaten in 2014 by Nicholas Walters via sixth round technical knockout for the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title. .
“We definitely won the fight. Losing never crossed my mind,” said Donaire. “I never thought I could lose this. I had a great second half and I thought I controlled the fight.”
JOSEF T. RAMOS WITH AFP