NONITO Donaire showed on Saturday night he still has what it takes to get back to the top of the boxing world.
But he was man enough to admit, too, that he has a long way to go.
The former five-time world champion said there’s still a lot of work to be done despite his second-round technical knockout win over William Prado of Brazil to herald his return to the ring at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“From a scale of 1 to 10, I probably rate my performance at 7,” said Donaire during the post-fight press conference for the “Pinoy Pride 30’ boxing card.
“I do believe that with a little bit of work, I’ll be ready. We’re doing it step by step.”
[See Donaire marks return with second-round TKO of Brazilian]
The fight was Donaire’s first since being stopped in the sixth round by Jamaican Nicholas Walters in their World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight title fight last October.
It was the first knockout loss for the ‘Filipino Flash,' forcing him to go down in weight and campaign again as a super-bantamweight.
At 122-lbs, Donaire showed he’s a cut above the rest the way he dominated and demolished the 31-year-old Prado, who once vied for the world super-bantamweight title.
“It’s definitely a statement win for me. The guy is no joke,” said Donaire of his opponent from Sao Paolo, Brazil, who had a record of 22-5-1, with 15 KOs going into the match. “We knew he had power so we’re really careful during the fight.”
Donaire said there will be no break for him as he tries to keep in shape and look forward to his next fight in July.
He still can’t say if a world title fight will be in the horizon for him before the year ends, but if given the chance, Donaire said he’ll be more than willing to accept it.
“With proper preparation we can only do better,” said the expectant father of another baby boy.