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Donaire needs to think about retirement if he struggles against Prado

Nonito DonaireBy Chris Williams: Former four division world champion Nonito Donaire (33-3, 21 KOs) will be back at super bantamweight on Saturday night against a fighter named William Prado (22-4-1, 15 KOs) at the Araneta Coliseum, Barangay Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

This is not supposed to be a competitive fight for the 32-year-old Donaire, which is why he is in a situation where he almost has to win by an impressive stoppage, or at least a one-sided decision.

If the fight turns out to be a competitive match-up, it might be in Donaire’s best interest to think about hanging up his gloves and retiring from boxing. If Donaire can’t even dominate a guy in Prado’s class, then it will be clear that he won’t be able to compete against the best fighters at super bantamweight.

I don’t expect Donaire to retire if he struggles against Prado. I don’t even see Donaire retiring if he loses to him, but he should think seriously about if things don’t go his way, or if he doesn’t shine.

Donaire doesn’t move like he used to, and his cat-like reflexes appear to have slowed to the point where he’s getting hit more and more. However, he can still punch as well as he ever did, and that makes him dangerous for anyone at 122.

Donaire’s problem is he doesn’t seem to have a good enough chin to be able to take the hard shots that he’s going to need to be able to take to beat the better fighters in the super bantamweight division. He can dish it out, but I’m not so certain about his ability to take it in return.

He’s still a very good counter-puncher, so that should keep him afloat for a while in the super bantamweight division, but I still think his days might be numbered.

Donaire can still stick around for another eight years or so if he’s comfortable with being a contender, and with maybe winning and then losing a title every now and then. But I don’t see him being able to win a title at super bantamweight and then holding it down for a long period of time.

I also have doubts whether he’ll be able to make weight for the 122 pound division for too much longer, if at all. A week ago, Donaire was reported to have weighed 130 pounds, and that’s eight pounds of weight he’s going to dehydrate off.

We don’t even know how much he’d already dehydrated off to get down to 130. He was said to have started training camp at 140. My guess is that was a solid 140 with him mostly all muscle. Trimming down muscle to get to 122 has got to be tough for Donaire.

In moving back down to 122, Donaire has visions of him being able to recapture one or more of the titles in the weight class. From 2012 to 2013, Donaire was considered by some in the boxing world to be the best fighter in the super bantamweight division. However, after he was soundly whipped by WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in April 2013, this changed the perceptions.

Instead of staying in the weight class to prove that the loss was just a fluke thing, Donaire moved up in weight to featherweight to try and capture titles in that weight class.

It didn’t work out well for Donaire at 126, as he was knocked out by WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters. It’s an old story with Donaire. Instead of him staying in the weight class to try and avenge the loss, he’s now moving back down to 122.

Also on the card is WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes defending his title against Gilberto Parra.

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