Donaire says sparring with Pacquiao is like fighting 10 people

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2021 11:47 PM

Not many people know that WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. once sparred with boxing legend and fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao.

Donaire said he traded leather with Pacquiao while the latter was preparing for his US debut against Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001.

"I sparred with him a long time ago back in the day, I was 17," the "Filipino Flash" said in an interview with FightHype. "I was helping him spar for the Ledwaba, before he fought Ledwaba."

Pacquiao dominated and scored a shock upset win against Ledwaba and this served as his formal introduction to American fight fans before becoming the boxing superstar he is today.

Donaire said he learned a lot from his ring skirmish with Pacquiao, especially quick movements.

"There's a lot of movement, he was already a former world champion at that time. I learned a lot from him from sparring," said Donaire.

"He's a tricky guy, he's got a lot of manipulation in distance and the way he moves... He's like an energizer bunny. It's like you have 10 guys in front of you."

Regarding Pacquiao's fight against Cuba's Yordenis Ugas, Donaire believes his fellow Filipino is more likely to win the bout.

But it won't be easy, as Donaire considers Ugas as a dangerous fighter.

"On paper it looks easy because the guy is stationary, easy to hit, and you have a guy who's mobile in Manny, but sometimes things don't work as the paper says," said Donaire.

"I would say that Manny is an incredible fighter and is most likely to win this fight with high probability... Ugas is a tough guy but I think you have a high probability of stopping him because Ugas will fight. He's stay in front of you."

"But it's dangerous because he'll punch with you. Anybody who punches with Manny puts him in dangerous position too."

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