Nonito Donaire invites fight fans to big Belfast reunion TONIGHT


Born in the Philippines, raised in America, and loved in Belfast, Nonito Donaire is back in the Titanic City today.

‘The Filipino Flash’ jets in today ahead of an important weekend of fights but the WBA bantamweight has plenty of time for the fans.

Tomorrow morning at Peak Physique he will be running a class (DETAILS) but tonight he will hit the pub.

Donaire [40(26)-5(1)] has invited fight fans to a meet and greet at the Crown Bar on Great Victoria Street at 7:00pm.

It’s the same venue where he hosted a relatively impromptu get-together following his clash with Carl Frampton last April.

Donaire had been defeated by featherweight Frampton a few days previously but the future first-ballot Hall of Famer won over fight fans during the build-up and in a fight which looked to be something of his last stand.

However, a few months later he made a surprise jump back down to bantamweight and was a wildcard entry to the World Boxing Super Series.

The Belfast love-in continued when he was selected by Ryan Burnett and, in freak circumstances, he claimed the WBA belt following a back injury suffered by the champion mid-way through the fight.

Again there was plenty of respect and classy gestures and Donaire will take in Burnett’s comeback fight tomorrow night versus his countryman Jelbirt Gomera.

The South East Asian 36-year-old is currently enjoying some down-time following his WBSS semi-final win over late replacement Stephon Young earlier this month and, following Burnett-Gomera, Donaire will head to Glasgow for the corresponding semi between IBF champ Manny Rodriguez and tournament favourite Naoya Inoue.

Donaire certainly looks quite revitalised at 118lbs and his stunning KO win over Young was well-received throughout the boxing world.

Indeed, when considered in tandem with his interaction with fans, it’s little wonder that Donaire remains one of the most popular figures in the sport.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie