The father and trainer of World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. said the start of his son’s first world title defense rigid preparation against Russian-Mexican Evgeny Gradovich would be in February.
Nonito Donaire Sr., who also trains other local and foreign boxers in the US, remains confident that there is no need to rush the training. “If they ask to train him immediately, I will go there the soonest but it is too early. I will be there in February,” Donaire Sr. told The Manila Times on Sunday (Saturday in US).
“There is more time left and Manny Pacquiao’s fight (April 9 in US) will go first before our fight.”
Gradovich, 29, is a natural featherweight fighter (126 lbs) who will go down to super bantam to face Donaire Jr. for his first world title defense scheduled in April mostly on the 16th or in the 23rd in Manila.
In terms of style, Donaire Sr. said Gradovich (20-1-1 win-loss-draw record with nine knockouts) is a kind of fighter who mostly attacks and throws a lot of punches, but he is not bothered.
“Gradovich keeps coming forward but his punches have no enough power. Nonito is faster than him, I think,” said Donaire Sr. “Gradovich throws volume of punches.”
Donaire Jr., according to his father, believes also that Gradovich would have a hard time fighting Donaire Jr. in the 122 weight category. “I think so [it is a disadvantage for Gradovich]. It depends on how much his walking weight to go down to 122.”
“We have no any problem in the 122 class and we can fight anybody,” Donaire Sr. added. “Gradovich should come down to 122.”
Donaire Jr. regained the WBO super bantamweight belt winning over Mexican Cesar Juarez in Puerto Rico last December 11.
With that win, he ended the year with three wins and no loss. He crushed William Prado last March and Anthony Settoul last July both via second round technical knockout.