Nonito Donaire lost his rematch against top pound-for-pound boxer Naoya Inoue last June, but “The Filipino Flash” is adamant about not hanging up the gloves just yet.
Donaire, who turns 40 this November, says he actually plans on cutting weight and dropping down to 115 lbs next, targeting a shot at being a five-division world champion. He mentioned WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka, and “Chocolatito” Roman Gonzalez as possible opponents.
“Before the fight with Inoue, Richard Schaefer and I talked about going down to 115,” Donaire said through his promoters in Probellum. “Making the weight was very simple for me and I made it quickly. I even made 117 before stepping on the scales.
“Richard and I were talking and saying that regardless of what happens here, maybe I can go down to 115 and fight the guys in that division,” he said. “Richard is talking with Ioka’s people, with Mr Honda and he is talking to Chocolatito as well. It’s exciting, there are a lot of things to look forward to.”
Donaire didn’t close the door on going back to 118 lbs after, but says the two match ups at 115 lbs are intriguing.
“It’s a really good fight with Chocolatito and people are saying it would be ‘legend versus legend.’ It’s a big fight. But I do like the Ioka fight as well because I want to get that title and become a five-division champion,” he said.
Donaire hasn’t fought at super flyweight in about 12 years, when he held the interim WBA title from 2009-2010. That technically doesn’t count as a world title, but the surefire Hall of Famer has already won championships at flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight.
Ioka, 33, is coming off a July decision win over Donaire’s countryman and longtime world champ Donnie Nietes for his fifth straight defense of the WBO title.
Chocolatito, 35, has been a big name boxing star for a while now, but he lost his super flyweight title in 2021 to Juan Francisco Estrada. He rebounded last March, winning a decision over Julio Cesar Martinez.
Like Donaire, both Chocolatito and Ioka are also four-division world champions.
Donaire made history during his late career resurgence by being the oldest boxer to win a bantamweight championship last year. He certainly has nothing left to prove in his decorated career, but can the Filipino actually drop down another division and continue to turn back father time?