MANILA, Philippines – Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire returned to the win column on Sunday, routing Ruben Garcia Hernandez over the course of 10 rounds to claim the WBC silver featherweight title in San Antonio, Texas.
Fighting for the first time since losing to Jessie Magdaleno in November 2016, Donaire employed a more disciplined approach, opting to box instead of succumbing to his brawling instincts.
The result was a comprehensive 100-90, 97-93, 99-91victory that put him back on the world championship picture.
Donaire credits a new, carb-free diet and a new voice in his corner as the major factors in his victory.
"The ketegonic diet has been the missing factor for me," Donaire said in an exclusive interview with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News. "My body has never been this cut or this in shape. My lungs have been tremendous."
"The ketogenic diet has helped me a lot… no sugar, no carbs, walang kanin, walang potatoes, fries, corn," he explained.
Donaire has been on the ketogenic diet for six months, and the results have been impressive, according to the boxer.
"It's only hard if you think that it's hard, if you think you can't do it," he said. "But kapag andoon 'yung focus mo talaga, kaya mo 'to. Kakayanin mo talaga."
Aside from the diet, Donaire also revealed that his wife's presence in his corner during his fight against Garcia Hernandez was the key to his triumph. Donaire has gone through a bevy of coaches in his career, including his own father.
But this time, it was his wife, Rachel, who was giving him instructions.
"I had a secret coach, actually," he revealed. "Actually, si Michael Bazzel 'yung main coach namin. But 'yung strategy person, the strategy voice is actually my wife, Rachel."
"Rachel was the voice in the corner, because it's just that I recognize her voice," he added. "So you know, I'll give her strategies, and she will come up with her own strategies and she will tell me in the corner."
Rachel's presence in his corner proved to be a massive help, said Donaire. He admitted that he did not always follow his previous coaches' game plans, precisely because he could not hear them when they speak.
"But with her, ginagamit ko 'yung game plan, kasi naririnig ko siya," he explained.
"Nare-remember ko 'yung strategy ko, as compared to 'yung ibang mga coaches. Even though they're tremendously amazing coaches, but the effect of Rachel's voice was dominant," he added.
Donaire is not yet sure who he will fight next, and intends to celebrate the victory with his family first. But he made it clear that he is very motivated to return to the world championship level.
"'Yun ang nasa isip ko palagi," he says. "I'm training very hard."
"If they (world champions) want to fight me… Alam mo naman, malakas ako in terms of my power, and there's a lot of risks (in fighting me). So, if they're willing to take that risks, and that's a yes to me," he added.
Otherwise, Donaire is willing to take on more fights and work his way up to become the mandatory challenger for a world title.
"This is just a stepping stone for me to get to that level," he said of his bout against Garcia Hernandez. "So hinihintay ko pa lang kung sino 'yung makakalaban ko sa susunod."
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