HOUSTON – Rare are the fighters who train at nighttime. Count Nonito Donaire Jr. among them.
In order to adapt to fight day itself, the reigning super-bantamweight champion of the world held his training sessions at night in the week leading to his fight against famed Mexican slugger Jorge Arce at the Toyota Center here.
Since the 12-round title fight will be held at night – as most boxing matches do – Donaire and his team made the adjustments and trained in the gym at night so his body clock can adapt to fight night.
“Iba `yung sa akin. If I train in the morning, at night minsan inaantok na ako. Kaya pag fight, inaantok ka na rin,” Donaire explained. “So we trained at night, so that you’re awake at the time. Alam mo na yung schedule ng katawan mo when it comes to it.”
But he did the routine only on the week of the fight, as his training camp – which lasted for only five weeks and a total of 75 rounds of sparring – was held in the afternoon.
On Thursday afternoon, Donaire did personal interviews with members of the media. He later spent the rest of the day by going at the nearby mall and shopped with wife Rachel and immediate members of his family.
When night fell, there he was sweating it out in the gym with trainer Robert Garcia.
“Shadow box lang. Nagpa-pawis for about one hour,” said the World Boxing Organization title holder.
Donaire is about three pounds over the weight limit of 122 on the eve of the weigh-in, but following the workout, he went two pounds under.
The official weigh-in is set on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) at the food court stage of the PlazAmericas Mall.
The 30-year-old Filipino (30-1, 19 KOs) said he plans to come in at around 127 to 128 lbs. on fight day itself. He expects Arce (61-6-2, 46 KOs) to enter the ring at a heavy weight of 132 to 135 lbs.
More importantly, his body clock will already be accustomed fighting at night.