LAS VEGAS – Nonito Donaire resorted to an ancient intimidation method Thursday when he took to the stage and employed what appeared and sounded like a Haka war dance and Braveheart-like chant before an amused crowd at The Wynn.
A couple of days before defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight throne against Jessie Magdaleno at the Thomas and Mack Center, Donaire was introduced by Top Rank chief Bob Arum for the customary podium message.
Instead of approaching the microphone, Donaire, dressed in a burgundy-colored pants and vest with matching dark long-sleeved shirt, took off his dark shades and motioned to his team members to get ready.
“Team, Victory!” shouted Donaire.
“Team,” Donaire shouted back again.
“Victory,” answered his entourage that trooped to the press conference clad in eye-catching green track suits and jackets.
The audience, mostly made up of journalists, looked more stunned than entertained following Donaire’s performance.
Magdaleno, nine years younger at 24, wasn’t charmed nor intimidated by Donaire and assured everyone that he is looking forward to dethroning the Filipino-American titleholder.
“This fight is not going past eight rounds,” said Magdaleno, who has an unbeaten record of 23-0 with 17 KOs.
Donaire, who has deefated many big names in racking up a 37-3 slate with 24 KOs, feels it will be other way around.
“My only focus is victory and I don’t worry about what he does, how fast he is. I don’t know him much because he’s just a kid. They’re facing a monster.”