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article imageOp-Ed: Why Nonito Donaire's move to 126 pounds would be risky

By Leo Reyes     Oct 26, 2016 in Sports
Barely a week before his second defense of his WBO super bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Jessie Magdaleno, Filipino-American boxing star Nonito Donaire is now talking about moving up again to 126 pounds in search of more lucrative fights.
Next Saturday, Nov. 5, Donaire is set to clash with unbeaten young challenger Jessie Magdaleno at 122 pounds super bantamweight limit.
It appears that Donaire is moving up again because there is an apparent lack of challengers in the 122 pounds limit who can bring him more dollars. Most of the money-making fights are found at 126 pounds including a potential clash with Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton.
Earlier in the week Donaire said fans will see a different fighter in him as he talked about his new trainer Ismael Salas, who once trained Magdaleno as in the past.
"The truth is that if I win on November 5th, the next thing I want to do is going against Leo Santa Cruz or Carl Frampton. I'm a warrior and I want the big fights. Expect me in big fights at 126 pounds. This November 5th you will see a new era, that is what Ismael Salas has given me. They will see a different Nonito, with very strong mentality, from this point moving forward," Donaire told ESPN Deportes.
While Donaire had won some fights in the 126-pound featherweight limit, his ring performance and moves were not as snappy as he fought at 122.
One of Donaire's most devastating defeats happened at 126 pounds against Nicholas Walters of Jamaica in 2014. His Manager warned him of his move to 126 but he was insistent and as expected he appeared dull and slow, allowing Walters to catch Donaire with solid combinations that dropped him twice en route to a sixth round TKO loss.
It is understandable though for Donaire to seek money-making fights and certainly Fampton and Santa Cruz would be a match that could be financially rewarding for him.
Donaire will be 34 in about two weeks and indeed he is reaching past his prime. Maybe it would be wiser for him to stay a little bit more at 122 for him to really prepare well for another chance to land a lucrative fight at 126 pounds.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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