Donaire gets flack for training with Victor Conte

Nonito Donaire, the "Filipino Flash" from San Leandro, is headed to a top ranked fight card in Las Vegas, but first had to face Larry Beil.

February 18, 2011 10:29:11 PM PST
We did a profile of Bay Area boxer Nonito Donaire recently. He fights Saturday night in Las Vegas, facing bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel. Donaire has raised some eyebrows because of one of the key members of his training team and that would be BALCO mastermind Victor Conte.

Donaire has surprising power for a guy who weighs only 118 pounds. He says his strength and stamina have increased since he started working with Conte last year. Conte is often at ringside when Donaire works out.

"We measure seven different physiological parameters. He wears what's called a memory belt... so we keep track of his improvement in his fitness," said Conte.

Many of Donaire's friends told the boxer to stay away from Conte, who was at the center of the BALCO scandal and did serve jail time.

"I've talked to guys, 'You know Victor Conte?' and he's like, 'Man, you're signing yourself to the devil.' And I didn't want to prejudge anybody," said Donaire.

"I think they're very open and that's the great news for me is that a lot of people, I think, have been unable to find in their heart to forgive me for the serious mistakes that I've made in the past," said Conte.

Conte vows he left steroids in his past. He's helped Donaire with hypoxic training, which simulates high altitude breathing. And for anybody who doubts whether Donaire is taking any banned performance enhancers, Donaire says, "You got a needle, I got a vain, test me 24/7. No need for preparation, I'm always ready to prove that I'm for real. Victor is for real."