AMERICAN trainer Rick Stehely, who led Manny Pacquiao to his first world title, the World Boxing Council flyweight championship in Thailand in December 1998, said Nonito Donaire can win at least six world titles in different weight divisions and follow the path of the reigning pound-for-pound king.
Stehely told insidesports.ph, Manila Standard and Viva Sports: “Everytime I watch this guy, he is just amazing. The upscale with Nonito is just incredible and I think that he can win five, six maybe even seven or eight world titles in different weight classes if he doesn’t skip any.”
The trainer, who is based in Angeles City, said Donaire “is just an incredible talent and I think he’s only going to get better and as he matures, he will grow into these other weight classes and I really expect great things from him.”
Informed that Donaire wants to fight WBC/World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel, who doesn’t seem too keen on accepting the challenge, Stehely said: “I don’t know whether anybody wants to fight him because he is a special fighter. It’s risk and reward in boxing. If they go out and offer Montiel huge money, then maybe he’ll go out there and risk his title in a fight with him. I think they know it’s really tough beating him on the day.”
Told that Donaire’s manager Cameron Dunkin is not keen on fighting Montiel in Mexico because he thinks they won’t get a fair deal, Stehely indicated: “It’s always hard to fight on the road in boxing. If it goes 12 rounds, you never know what’s going to happen with the judges. You can’t knock everybody out on the day so that’s a good managerial stance. You got to be careful when you go on the road.”
Meantime, multi-award winning Australian promoter and popular TV boxing host Peter Maniatis said a clash between Donaire and Montiel would be “a cracker of a fight,” although he indicated Montiel would be hard to beat.
Maniatis said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum must back up Donaire and make Montiel an offer he can’t refuse because the Filipino is a special talent. “While you can’t compare him to Manny Pacquiao, he can come through and make Filipinos proud once Manny retires, no doubt about that.”