MANILA, Philippines – Training is going well for Nonito Donaire as he continues his preparations for his featherweight title challenge against South Africa's Simpiwe Vetyetka.
During a sparring session Tuesday, "The Filipino Flash" nearly floored WBC super bantamweight Silver Champion Sylvester Lopez with a vicious liver shot, according to Philboxing's Ronnie Nathanielsz.
“[He was] fast and if I didn’t block some of his punches I would have been dropped. He hit me with one big shot but if he repeated it I would have been in trouble,” said Lopez after their session at the Elorde Gym in Paranaque.
Donaire said he had a good sparring session with Lopez, who he considers a good fighter.
“He has an amazing jab and overall our sparring was good,” he said.
The Filipino-American added that he didn’t use much of his punching power during sparring sessions because he was just concentrating with his techniques and movements.
He said he could have floored Lopez if he connected just like the way he does with the mitts sessions.
“I didn’t try to hit Sylvester hard because when I’m sparring I just work. If I hit him the way I hit the mitts then it would be a different story,” said Donaire.
Donaire said he will have to prepare thoroughly for his WBA featherweight title challenge against Vetyeka on May 31. For the first time in years, the Filipino Flash will be coming in as an underdog due to the South African’s ring credentials.
“Overall, I feel good but you know we need a little bit more and then we should be ready,” said Donaire.