MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire watched at ringside as his friend, unbeaten super middleweight king Andre Ward, dominated Chad Dawson and came away highly impressed.
Ward easily overcame the physical advantages that Dawson – who usually competes at light heavyweight – brought, and won via a 10th-round technical knockout to retain all his title belts.
Donaire was at ringside at the Oracle Arena to watch his friend, and later, “The Filipino Flash” told Ronnie Nathanielsz of PhilBoxing that Ward had put on “an incredible performance.”
“(Ward) was amazing and he came in with a great game-plan,” Donaire said. “It was incredible.”
Donaire said Ward’s performance inspired him for his own fight, a clash with Japanese fighter Toshiaki Nishioka at the Home Depot Center on October 13.
“I’m inspired, that’s for sure. I am inspired to go back to my roots. Andre Ward inspired me to go back to how I fight,” Donaire said.
Ward, the 2011 Fighter of the Year, remains undefeated with a 26-0 record.
Donaire said Ward also gave him some advice: “(Ward) came up to me and said, ‘Work hard and if you work hard, you can’t be beaten, Nonito.”
“While that inspired me, I have been working really hard trying to make things go and now we’re very confident,” he added.
Donaire will defend his IBF and WBO world super bantamweight titles against Nishioka. Also at stake in the fight are the WBC diamond belt and The RING super bantamweight belt.