The World Boxing Super Series top seed Ryan Burnett picked ‘The Filipino Flash’ as his bantamweight quarter-final opponent at the Draft Gala in Moscow during the summer and will trade leather with the 35-year-old in Glasgow on Saturday November 3rd.
Burnett’s fellow Belfast star, Carl Frampton already outpointed the future Hall of Famer over 12 rounds at the SSE Odyssey Arena in April.
Featherweight Frampton dominated much of this fight – bar an eleventh round last stand from Donaire [38(24)-5(1)] – but Burnett claims he isn’t overlooking the Asian whose move down two weight classes has raised eyebrows..
While he is a stronger favourite with the bookies than Frampton was, the Adam Booth-trained fighter believes the four-weight world champ will be more at home at bantamweight than featherweight and, as a result, will be a more dangerous proposition.
Donaire, who last fought at 118lbs when he held the WBC and WBO belts back in 2011, noted after the Frampton fight that he was badly outsized and, while some feel it is a risky move from the L.A.-based fighter, both he and Burnett predict a stronger fighter at the lighter weight.
Speaking to Boxing News, Burnett recalled how “I thought that it was a good fight between him and Carl, obviously Carl won it and won it well but now Nonito’s dropping down to bantamweight, he hasn’t been a bantamweight in seven years and I’m looking forward to him coming down, I think that’s his natural weight.”
“He’ll get back to him feeling his best, but between me and Nonito I see myself just being the classier boxer and winning every round.”
“There’s no way I can look over this guy and like I’ve said Nonito is an incredible boxer and it’s going to take my best, which I will bring, to beat him.
Paying tribute to his well-liked opponent – who he shared a meal with following the Draft Gala – Burnett outlined how “Nonito is a former pound-for-pound fighter, he’s one of the best in the world.”
“He’s won four world titles in four weight divisions, you have to be an incredible fighter to be able to do that.
“I’m not looking at the Nonito that’s 35, I’m looking at the best Donaire and that’s the fighter I’m focusing on.”