[PHOTO AT LEFT - Nonito Donaire. JOEY MENDOZA MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, AUGUST 26, 2009 (PHILIPPINE STAR)  Nonito Donaire will not stay long in the super-flyweight class and yesterday said he sees himself fighting up to the featherweight class in the years to come.

Donaire gave up his IBF/IBO flyweight (112 lb) crowns and took the WBA Interim super-flyweight (115 lb) class with a big win over Rafael Concepcion last week at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The 26-year-old Filipino graced yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s UN Avenue. He came with his wife, Rachel, and talked about his immediate plans on the ring.

“My promoter, Bob Arum, told me that Dec. 12 is the date of my next fight. And we’re looking at Jorge Arce,” said Donaire, who gave up a lot in size when he fought Concepcion in his debut as a super-flyweight.

Concepcion failed to make the 115 weight limit, and tipped the scales on the eve of the fight at 119 1/2. The Panamanian climbed the ring the following day at 134 lb while Donaire, from 115, came to the fight at 122 lb.

“I want one more fight at 115 before I climb to 118,” said Donaire, adding that if the fight against Arce, the Mexican warrior, does not push through then they will try WBA super-flyweight champ Nobuo Nashiro of Japan.

Nashiro, 13-1-0 with eight knockouts, has never fought outside of Japan, but had already indicated that if it’s against Donaire then he’d be willing to fight in the United States.

Asked how far he can go, Donaire said he thinks he can handle himself well as a featherweight (126 lb) or as a super-featherweight (130 lb) the way Manny Pacquiao did it.

Pacquiao has won six world titles in different divisions from the flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight and most recently, the light-welterweight (140 lbs) class.

Pacquiao shoots for a record seventh crown when he faces Miguel Cotto for the Puerto Rican’s WBO welterweight (147 lb) title on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

“Right now my ideal weight is 118. I’m getting bigger, my muscles are getting bigger, so fighting at 115 pounds won’t be that easy for me. At 118, there’s no need for me to reduce in weight,” said Donaire.

Donaire said Concepcion was practically three divisions higher when he showed up for the fight at 134 lb against the Filipino’s 122 lb.

“A 12-pound difference for smaller fighters like us is almost like a 30-pound difference for the bigger ones. And I think I handled him pretty well. You just don’t mix it up with a heavier guy so that explains why I failed to knock him out,” said Donaire.

Donaire hurt his hand during the fight, but a recent bone scan suggested that he can go back to training after a few weeks. Right now he said he wants to enjoy his time with his family.

Cotto ready for long grind By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated August 26, 2009 12:00 AM

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Miguel Cotto MANILA, Philippines]

Fitness expert Phil Landman, tasked to make sure that Miguel Cotto will be in the best shape possible for his Nov. 14 clash with Manny Pacquiao, is now with the WBO welterweight champion in his training quarters in Puerto Rico.

The 37-year-old Landman, a South African now based in Los Angeles, liked what he saw.

“Miguel looks strong, happy and very motivated,” said Landman, whose arrival in Puerto Rico marked the start of Cotto’s heavy 11-week training for what many ring experts consider as the biggest fight of the year.

“It’s not like Miguel has lacked any motivation in the past. It’s just that I see something different (in him). You know it’s an important fight and he’s taking things seriously,” Landman told Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora.

“Mentally, Miguel looks ready for the long work that awaits him. This time the training camp will last around 11 weeks and it helps to ensure that Miguel reaches a certain condition before having to do the promotional tour,” said the fitness expert.

The promotional tour begins on Sept. 10 and will take Cotto and Pacquiao to Puerto Rico, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cotto’s training then shifts to Florida where he’ll stay until the fight draws closer.

“There are a few things we can improve (on) and there we will be concentrating on a combination of things,” added Landman of some of their plans for the fight to be held at a catchweight of 145 lb, two short of the welterweight limit.

Cotto has been at the gym for almost two weeks now, saying he needed three months to prepare for Pacquiao. But it’s the next 11 weeks that will really count in his training for the biggest fight of his career.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, is busy with some other things, like the filming of his new movie, the shooting of new commercials, and taping of his regular television shows.

Pacquiao said there’s no reason to hurry as far as training is concerned, since it’s been proven effectively in the past that seven, eight or nine weeks of training will do it for him.

Pacquiao, however, said he plans to start getting in shape soon by playing basketball. He said he weighs around 152 to 153 pounds, just about the right weight before he starts training to get down to 140.

Pacquiao said right after the press tour, he’d fly back to the Philippines to start training in Baguio City, the chilly summer capital of the country. Then he goes to Mexico for the long grind, and then either in LA or Las Vegas 10 days before the fight.

He said it doesn’t matter if Cotto had gone way ahead in training.

“Maganda ‘yan para pagdating sa laban hindi na siya maka-suntok (That’s good so when the fight comes he can barely throw a punch),” Pacquiao told scribes during a break in his movie shooting.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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