Nonito Donaire’s trainer, Kenny Adams, praises the ‘Filipino Flash’ after Saturday’s WBSS semi-final KO victory over Stephon Young. Donaire expects to face off with Inoue.
“I’ve been in boxing for a long, long time,” said Donaire’s trainer, 78-year-old Kenny Adams, who has worked with multiple Olympians and world champions. “But of all the champions I’ve had, this is the hardest working guy that you’re ever going to find.”
“I’m a disciplinarian,” said Adams. “I served in the US Army for 30 years in the Airborne Division. I have worked with the 1984 and 1988 American Olympic Team, I have trained the United States Army team, but nothing compares to the work rate of Nonito.
“He’s very disciplined when it comes to taking care of his body and I attribute that to the support his family gives him. His wife Rachel really works hard at giving Nonito everything he needs to succeed. It’s a family thing. That’s what makes him so strong and I’m proud to be part of his family.”
36-year-old Donaire has told that the WBSS is making him 20 years younger. He is thriving under the Ali Trophy lights, Adams told. “The WBSS is great for boxing. It’s put the sport on a pedestal and it’s a great platform for Nonito. It suits his personality.”
Donaire might be a veteran of the professional boxing game, but the ‘Filipino Flash’ looked to be in his prime when he caught No. 5 contender Stephon Young with a devastating left hook and ended the bout at 2:37 of the sixth round to retain his WBA-title and advance to the final.
Young went down hard, and Donaire went up on the ropes to celebrate his win with the crowd at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, USA. Just three days before Donaire’s original opponent Zolani Tete, the WBO champion, had to pull out of the fight with a shoulder injury.
“We did have an initial gameplan but it wasn’t enough to solidify, because we didn’t have time to spar or work it out,” said Donaire.
“Young was very skillful and very slick. At the same time, we were trying to land something different and it wasn’t working, so we tried to cut down the distance from the second round to the third round to take away his confidence and take away his game plan.”
Donaire will now fight the winner of the Naoya Inoue-Emmanuel Rodriguez semi-final on May 18 in Glasgow for the Ali Trophy. And he will be there watching from ringside.
“Both guys (Rodriguez and Inoue) are amazing, but there was an unspoken thing with me and (Inoue), and how much I respect him, and I love Japan, as well,” said Donaire. “There was an unspoken respect and a goal between me and Naoya Inoue that we were going to go to the finals. So he’s always supported me to get to the final, that’s where I’m gonna be supporting him to get to the final so we can face off with each other.”
Tickets for the Monster WBSS Semi-Finals night, Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez on 18 May at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland are on sale now from TheSSEHydro.com