Fan favourite Nonito Donaire to return to Belfast


Nonito Donaire [40(26)-5(1)] may just cement his status as Ireland’s most revered away fighter next week.

‘The Filipino Flash’ endeared himself to Irish and Belfast fight fans in particular with his behaviour pre and post his high-profile clashes with the citys only two unified world champions Carl Frampton and Ryan Burnett.

Donaire won hearts in the fight-mad city and seemed to develop a real bond with the boxing capital of Ireland and its people.

The veteran power-puncher involved local children at the public work-out ahead of the Frampton fight and afterwards he would go to dinner with ‘The Jackal’ and their respective partners – as well as treating fans to pints at Robinson’s bar.

When selected by Burnett for the World Boxing Super Series [WBSS] quarter-finals at the Draft Gala in Moscow, the pair also went to dinner and, following Burnett’s injury-enforced retirement from their clash, Donaire would commiserate his fallen foe.

The four-weight world champ and current WBA bantamweight titlist will increase that bond further and raise the levels of affection for him in the city as he not only shows face at the Ulster Hall to support Burnett in his comeback fight next weekend, but will also take a Boxercise class in a Belfast gym.

Speaking on Twitter, Donaire revealed he will be taking the class at Peak Physique on the Lisburn Road next Friday morning, explaining: “We miss you Belfast so we are coming back with a couple events! One is our favorite at Peak Physique on May 17th at 930am we will be teaching Boxercise! Spaces limited so call in and reserve your space! Stay tuned for other events!!”

The future first-ballot Hall of Fame fighter based the final stages of his training camp at Peak Physique in the build-up to his April 2018 bout with ‘The Jackal’.

36-year-old Donaire is currently awaiting the winner of the WBSS semi-final between Japan’s Naoya Inoue and Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez which is due to take place in Scotland next Saturday – another bout he will be attending during his whistle-stop European tour.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com