Original Article: Yahoo! Sport UK & Ireland
By Kevin Iole
Friday, February 18, 2011
Nonito Donaire will fight Fernando Montiel in a bantamweight title bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and he’s going on about Montiel as if he’s the great Mexican fighter’s publicist.
Donaire praises Montiel’s power, his punching accuracy, his style, his accomplishments. If you’re out of a job and need someone to make a case for you, Nonito Donaire Jr. is your man.
Listen to him rave about Montiel, the World Boxing Council/World Boxing Organization world champion, and you fear for the Filipino’s safety.
“He’s fabulous,” Donaire says of Montiel.
All the while, though, this grin creases Donaire’s face. He’s not being disrespectful to Montiel in any way, because Montiel’s record commands respect. After all, it’s not often you come across a guy with a 44-2 record and world championships in three weight classes. Someone wasn’t paying attention if Montiel isn’t elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame the minute he becomes eligible.
Donaire’s grin, though, is more about what he knows about himself. He knows better than anyone the transformation his body has made in the last 10 months. He knows how much more explosive he is, how much faster he’s become, how much harder he hits and how much more difficult he is to hit.
Everything about Nonito Donaire Jr.’s boxing game has ratcheted up a few notches in the last 10 months, which is saying something since he was a world-class fighter before that.
But since a chance meeting at a Northern California bank with Victor Conte – yes, that Victor Conte – Donaire has transformed himself into a completely different athlete.
“The world is going to see a special athlete and a very special boxer, I believe, on Saturday night,” Conte says.