Nonito Donaire needs to fight smart against Zsolt Bedak

Four-division world champion and reigning WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (36-3, 23 KO’s) is deep in training for his upcoming title defense against Hungary’s Zsolt Bedak (25-1, 8 KO’s). But unlike the ‘old’ Donaire, the new version promises to do whatever it takes to prove he still has much left in the tank.

The 12-round super bantamweight bout is scheduled for April 23, at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines and will be for Donaire’s WBO strap which he won by unanimous decision in a bout against Cesar Juarez last year.

The 33-year old Donaire has seen highs and lows of boxing, after being at the pinnacle of the sport for the greater part of the last 10 years. Early on in his career, Donaire relied heavily on his thudding knockout power which proved exceptional in the lower weight classes.

He had difficulty after moving up to featherweight for a brief period, despite winning a world title there in a short reign.

Against Bedak, Donaire resumes his stay at the top of the mountain.

He has won his last three bouts since suffering a heartbreaking knockout loss to Jamaican sensation, Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters back in 2014. Two of his last three wins have also come within the distance.

The relatively unknown Bedak himself is sporting a 10-fight winning streak, with three of those coming by stoppage. Bedak isn’t exactly the biggest of punchers, and opts to use his boxing skills instead to get the job done — something Donaire is well aware of.

Bedak’s most high profile fight came against Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. who knocked him out in 2010.

Donaire, who has had issues with getting up for fights in the past, claims that he was not operating at full potential last year and only mustered enough effort to get by. He says he’s learned from his mistakes and that he’s ready to make another incredible run this year.

Yet despite Donaire’s advantage in power, he says he is prepared to outthink Bedak who likes to box his opponents. Donaire who once relied on power before, realizes that he’ll need to fight smart against Bedak.

Donaire had his best run as a professional boxer in 2012, when he went 4-0 against four high-profile opponents which include Wilfredo Vasquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce. – By Carlos Cinco

Follow this writer on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB