Nonito Donaire will have to prove he still has it when he butts heads with WBA “super” bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett of Ireland in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday (Manila time).
The two will square off in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, and boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said this may be the “Filipino Flash’s” final chance at winning a world title.
“The fight against Ryan Burnett may definitely be Donaire's last hurrah. He is 35 and is clearly no longer in his prime years,” Tolentino said.
The young Irishman whose record stands at 19-0, 9 KOs, would have been an easy fight for Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs) if the bout took place many years ago, said the fight pundit.
“A prime Donaire would have easily handled Burnett. The Irishman is a flashy boxer who tends to hold his hands too low, making him ideal for a counter left hook or overhand right from Donaire. However, we have not really seen a vintage Donaire since he dispatched Jorge Arce in 2012,” said Tolentino.
Although Donaire was dominant when he fought as a bantamweight in 2010 and 2011, it might be different after the Filipino boxer spent 7 years campaigning as a super bantamweight and a featherweight.
“If Donaire took shortcuts in scaling down to 118 lbs., he will look lethargic against the quicker Burnett and this will spell trouble . . . He did say that he changed his diet and tapped a new trainer to work on his conditioning,” said Tolentino.
“(But) Burnett knows that if he can drag this fight into the later rounds, the higher is the probability that Donaire will gas out.”
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