By Michael Marley
Trainer Robert Garcia, who knows what it takes to be a world champion at 130 pounds, sees Growing Boy Nonito Donaire Jr., one of his two prized pupils along with new lightweight ruler Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios, topping out a junior lightweight but possibly bulking up to the 135 pound limit in the years ahead.
I spoke to the "Pride Of Oxnard" (a title he shares with his old stablemate Ferocious Fernando Vargas and now Rios) Wednesday and he said there's no reason for the 28 year old "Filipino Flash" not to be ready for fellow lefty and WBA bantamweight champ Anselmo "Chemito" Moreno in a unification title bout on May 28.
Donaire manager Cameron Dunkin said the match might be held in Oakland in order to draw on the big Filipino Bay Area population.
It might seem too soon coming off Donaire's wreckage of Mexican veteran Fernando Montiel in two rounds 10 days ago but Garcia said no.
"We're striking when the iron is hot and, boy, is it hot," Garcia said. "He has no bumps, lumps or bruises so Nonito is ready to lock it in.
"We've got March, April until the end of May, three full months, that's enough. If Nonito wanted to lay back and enjoy the Montiel victory, it would be different."
Garcia said he's glanced at Moreno, a WBA ruler dating back to 2008, only briefly on Youtube.
"When the fight is all signed, then we'll get all the tapes on the guy."
Garcia sees junior lightweight as the topping out point for the Gensan Kid unless some muscular alteration takes place.
"We'd have to get more of a body buildup to go up a bit higher," Garcia said. "His body is still developing, I can see 130 pounds and maybe 135."
Donaire stands 5-7 1/2 and enjoys a 68-inch reach. His pro mark is 26-1 with a sizzling 18 knockouts.
Moreno, who has a 30-1-1 record but only 10 KOs, is slightly taller at 5-8.
For the record, when he held an IBF title strap, Robert was 5-7 but did not have Donaire's airplane wingspan reach.
Moreno seems cocky telling a reporter the fight will prove whether the Fil-Am fighter "is capable of hitting a ghost."
Moreno might find himself "haunted" by Donaire's sizzling hand and foot speed not to mention his lights out power.
The way not only Donaire but also trainer Garcia and manager Dunkin have been hot streaking lately, maybe Moreno means whether he has "a ghost of a chance" in that fight.