Glenn Donaire TKOs Sanchez for interim belt


Glenn Donaire TKOs Sanchez for interim belt

San Leandros Glenn Filipino Bomber Donaire triumphantly returned to the ring Friday night with an eighth-round technical knockout of former strawweight world champion Alex Nene Sanchez of Puerto Rico in Kissimmee, Fla., for the WBC Latino interim flyweight title.

On the heels of a three-year hiatus from boxing, Donaire (18-4-1, 10 KOs) had some initial trouble with the shorter Sanchez (31-8-1, 21 KOs), but true to his nickname, the Filipino-American called on his power in the second round to floor his foe twice.

The first knockdown came via a right hand that dazed Sanchez and caused his gloves to touch the canvas. However, the referee hesitated before giving Sanchez an eight-count, which prompted Donaire to land two more short right hands to ensure the knockdown ruling.

After rising to his feet on shaky ground, Sanchez tried to withstand the onslaught by returning fire, but with seconds left in the frame, he lay prone on the canvas yet again from a furious flurry from Donaire, punctuated by an overhand right.

While Sanchez would get up once more and wobble to his corner after the bell, the damage had been done, and Donaires confidence level had risen to the point where he fearlessly stood in front of him willing to trade as the clash progressed.

By the end of the eighth, Donaire had built a sizable lead. Rather than answer the bell to commence the ninth, Sanchez would not budge from his stool, signaling the stoppage victory for the East Bay resident, who subsequently wept tears of joy with his father and trainer Nonito Sr.

Official time was 3:00.
Thank you guys for your well wishes! Thank you Kennel Boxing Gym! See you all next week, Donaire posted on his Facebook account following the bout.

Word of the victory quickly reached the Philippines, where Glenns younger brother, unified bantamweight champ Nonito Donaire Jr., sent his congratulations:

Just got wind here in the Philippines that my older brother Glenn won his comeback fight. Congrats Manoy (older brother) Boyet on your victory. I know we have our differences in life but your kids will be very proud and thankful for the dinner you put on the table tonight and every night after because its your hard work and no one else's. God bless.

With the win, the elder Donaire figures to be a candidate for Comcast SportsNet Bay Areas Comeback Fighter of the Year Award. The list of nominees for the inaugural Northern California Boxing Awards will be unveiled next Thursday on

Boxing correspondent Ryan Maquiana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazines Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at, check out his blog at or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice


Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin were out at Raiders practice Wednesday for the stretching period. Both edge rushers left one-at-a-time during the individual period, which open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.

There was no reaction, certainly no surprise, from the coaching staff or players on the field. Irvin and new defensive coordinator John Pagano were seen joking around on the field before practice began in earnest. 

Both guys were given a day off, one scheduled earlier in the day. A Raiders official called it a day off/rest-type day that was not injury related. The Silver and Black typically practice in pads or shells on Wednesday, but were in jerseys and sweats in the interest of recovery.

Wednesday marked the first practice Irvin has missed since training camp. Mack hasn’t missed one in months.

Mack and Irvin’s downtime comes a day after beloved defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s firing.

Mack and Irvin especially were among those loyal to Norton. Mack and Norton developed a bond after the coach was named defensive coordinator in 2015. Norton and Irvin go way back to their days together in Seattle. Irvin credits Norton for helping him get on the right path and stay there.

Neither player was happy Norton got the axe. Irvin made his displeasure clear, tweeting “BULLS***” shortly after news of Norton’s demise broke. Mack told ESPN “I like to keep my thoughts private.”

It isn’t immediately clear if the non-injury related day off was related to Norton’s dismissal. Head coach Jack Del Rio won’t speak to the media again until Friday. New defensive coordinator John Pagano is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon.

Del Rio addressed the media before Wednesday’s practice, and was asked how he’ll handle players unhappy with the in-season shake-up.

“I don’t try and 'handle' them,” Del Rio said. “I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship, respect that, give him a little space and then at the end of the day, we’re going to get on with our work. But, I’m human. It wasn’t easy for me either.”

Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing


Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio put out a statement Tuesday explaining why he fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

He went into greater detail Wednesday afternoon, his first time facing the media since a change was made

Specifics will be discussed further down this story. We don’t, however, want to bury the lede.

Del Rio’s main message wasn’t about Norton. It applied to all in Silver and Black. This season has not met lofty expectations. That is unacceptable.

“I know one thing,” Del Rio said. “Nobody should feel comfortable, because what I’ve been watching is not good enough.”

Del Rio didn’t absolve himself from blame. Norton got fired, but everyone has played a part in this disappointing 4-6 record.

“It’s always shared,” Del Rio said. “A change was made, obviously. We all share in it, all of us, starting with me. It’s coaches and players. It’s a team game, and we’re all in it together. And nobody is coming to help us.”

The Raiders must look inward to start a prolonged winning streak they’ve shown little evidence they can create.

The seat will be warm under players and coaches alike, even if only one change was made. Expect further shakeup on the coaching staff after the season, if vast improvements don’t come down the stretch, possibly with several position coaches being shown the door. More than a few higher profile players could be cut or allowed to leave, especially on defense.

While Del Rio has taken more heat the past month than at any other time in his Raiders tenure, expect him to be around a longer term. He was given a contract extension in February, and has significant capitol built after changing the culture in Oakland and re-teaching this team how to win. One bad year, even if this season continues heading downhill, shouldn’t erase that.

Del Rio was looking to shake things up, and Norton was the obvious move. Experienced play caller John Pagano was on staff – he was Chargers defensive coordinator from 2012-2016 – and firing the popular Pagano’s style could create some new waves and looks that any offensive Norton would make an impact in the locker room and prove this story’s opening quote, that no one should feel comfortable.

Del Rio hopes firing Norton will be a shock to the defense’s system.

“I really felt like I needed to shake things up,” Del Rio said. “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.”