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Always-learning Nonito Donaire links up with legendary trainer for Burnett battle

Nonito Donaire is a reinvigorated man ahead of his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final versus Ireland’s Ryan Burnett [19(9)-0].

The Filipino veteran challenges for the WBA bantamweight title at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and does so with a new trainer.

Donaire linked up with coach Brandon Woods during the summer but the trainer has had to pull out due to a family emergency and in has stepped the legendary Kenny Woods.

The 76-year-old worked with the U.S. Olympic team and has trained 26 world champions to date including Edwin Valero, Jorge Linares, Ray Mercer, and Johnny Tapia.

“I am looking for number 27!” exclaimed the outspoken Adams. “He is already a champion, I am just adding to what he is doing.”

kenny adams

35 years of age and already a four-weight world champion, Donaire admits that even he has room for learning and improving under Adams.

“Kenny sparked my initial desire for learning again,” revealed the ‘Filipino Flash’.

“It has been amazing to learn new things. He’s doing a fantastic job, there is great mutual respect between us; it just works. There is never a limit to learning.”

Donaire [38(24)-5(1)] was a surprise entry to the eight-man tournament and drops down two weight divisions following his loss to Burnett’s countryman, Carl Frampton, back in April.

The American-raised Asian remains hungry ahead of the big-money competition which brings together the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles.

“I was given the opportunity to be part of an amazing tournament and I know I can win it,” explained Donaire before noting that he is a glamorous name that Burnett will want on his record.

“I have pretty much achieved everything in boxing,” said the former pound-for-pound #3.

“Fighter of the year, knockout of the year, multiple division world champion. I have had all the belts. I am a big, big name to put in people’s resume.”

A massive underdog on Saturday, Donaire promises to negate what 26-year-old Burnett brings to the table while still entertaining.

He outlined how “Burnett is a smart, rugged guy and I don’t doubt what he’s capable of, so I will use everything in my capabilities to take that away.”

“It is going to be an exciting fight. My fights are always exciting!”


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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