‘School just opened' – Nonito Donaire will teach Ryan Burnett a lesson says veteran trainer
THE veteran trainer of Nonito Donaire has predicted that the ‘Filipino Flash’ will take Belfast’s Ryan Burnett “to school” when they face off at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow tomorrow night.
Kenny Adams, who has worked with greats of the game like Pernell Whittaker, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Roy Jones jr during a glittering career, will be in Donaire’s corner after family issues forced original trainer Brandon Woods out of the camp.
The 78-year-old – who led the American team at the 1984 and ’88 Olympics - has trained 26 world champions, and believes Donaire will make it 27 tomorrow night.
“He’s a tough, tough individual but his skills are not that great,” said Adams of Burnett.
“We’re going to take him to school, that’s what it’s all about here. He’s tough and lean and mean but we’re going to take him to school. School just opened.
“Donaire is tough plus he’s a smart individual and, in this game, you last longer by being smarter.”
Asked whether he was suggesting Burnett preferred a tear-up rather than using his supreme speed and footwork, Adams’s answer was unequivocal.
“Yes, he does. He wants to brawl but we’re going to put some moves on him that he ain’t seen before.
“We’re going to use our height, our reach to our advantage, and we’ve also got more speed. We’re going to utilise all of that.
“The thing is, you can have a game-plan, but you got to make adjustments and once you make adjustments, that’s the key.”
When Adams’s claims were put to Burnett, the Belfast fighter smiled wryly before saying: “I’ve heard it all before. It’s nothing new to me to hear things like that.”
For the man known Stateside as ‘The Master’, though, it has been a long-held ambition to work with Donaire. And he insists the 35-year-old is still a major force to be reckoned with, especially at bantamweight.
“Yes I do think he is,” said Adams.
“He’s going to excite a lot of people, he’s very explosive, we’ve had a great training camp, his weight has been beautiful - everything has been on time. It’s great.
“I’ve known Donaire quite a while, and I was due to train him some years ago but I got a little sick, had a little cancer, but I’m well now.
“This has just been a beautiful opportunity for me because he is one of the type of fighters I like, his style is very related to what I do.
“This is, maybe not one of my last opportunities, but one of the great ones.”