There are a lot of reasons to believe that Nonito Donaire [38(24)-5(1)] was a ‘smart’ pick for Ryan Burnett but ‘The Filipino Flash’ has warned that he still has a bit left to go.
Belfast’s Burnett [19(9)-0] chose Donaire last week as his opening round opponent for the World Boxing Super Series and will defend his WBA bantamweight title against the four-weight champion at some stage this Autumn.
Burnett, the top seed, will be a favourite against Donaire in a bout which that is hoped, by all parties, will be in Belfast.
However, Donaire, who endeared himself to Irish fights before, during, and after his clash with Carl Frampton earlier this year, has not entered the big-money tournament lightly.
That said, the California-raised South East Asian understands why he was picked by Burnett ahead of former bantamweight champ Juan Carlos Payano and Russian amateur star Misha Aloyan
Donaire told BoxingScene that “you know, not to be considered boastful, but I have a marquee name, I’m a well-known figure and a multi-time champion.”
“Everyone wants a piece of me.”
Donaire is okay with being a man in demand and even feels his selection has been something of a miscalculation on the part of Burnett – who he went out for dinner with following the Draft Gala in Moscow last Friday night.
Having not made the 118lbs bantamweight limit in seven years, many have raised questions over whether Donaire can make the weight for the tournament.
Indeed, even if he can, there are question marks over how much this will take out of a fighter that took on Carl Frampton up at featherweight just three months ago.
Later-career moves down in weight rarely end in success but the Ringstar fighter is confident he can be different.
“I’m no a spring chicken but I’m still capable of some tricks,” Donaire said
“Yes, he [Burnett] is making a big mistake.”