by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire is in awesome shape after training like he never trained before for his WBO super bantamweight title defense in a unification bout with IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa on July 7 at the Home Dept Center in Carson City, California.
In an exclusive interview with the BoxingScene.om/Manila Standard Sunday morning, Donaire said “the training camp so far has been tremendous. This is going to be the first time that I am in awesome shape. I traimed really hard for the (Fernando) Montiel fight but I didn’t train as hard as I am training for this fight.”
While he always wants to “put on a show” Donaire clarified “I’ve never been in this territory before where I’m fighting a guy who is taller than me. He’s 5’10” and is really taller than me and I always fought opponent who were shorter than me so I need to change in every way. I need to use my legs and if I can fight like (Floyd) Mayweather and (Diego) Corrales I will. If I need to fight mike Mike Tyson and the other bigger guys I will. I have to change every step of the way however he (Mathebula) intends the fight to be.”
Donaire explained “if he uses his jab I got to get around the jab. I have to have a lot of head movement and at the same time use lateral movements. You need strong legs and I’m training harder that I ever trained in my life.”
Trainer Robert Garcia who was joining Donaire at the Undisputed Gym in Northern California over the weekend and was taking along a 5’11 Mexican sparring partner to add to another 5’11”sparring partner that Donaire recruited last Wednesday from Colorado who has a record of 6-1.
Garcia earlier told the Manila Standard that he believes Donaire will handle a taller opponent better than a shorter challenger to which Donaire agreed saying “I think so. I will be able to use a lot of my power, a lot of my speed than against a shorter fighter where I have to be more of a boxer . This time I can use my power against the taller guy. We’ll see how it goes on fight night but we are very excited about this fight.”
Donaire disclosed that he had seen the video of only one Mathebula fight against Takalani Ndlovu. He said Mathebula “is a decent boxer and I can understand why he won a decision against the tall Panamanian Celestino Caballero. He knows how to use his jab. He can box but his power is not as dominant but he has pretty decent boxing skills.”
“The Filipino Flash” who is coming off a twelve round split decision victory over former WBO champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in a fight he dominated most of the way told us “I would want to put on a good show for everyone and a better show than in the last when Vazquez was talking too much trash and I thought he would go in and make the fight happen but he ended up flopping a lot. I need somebody to fight.”
He believes Mathebula will “come in and engage because he’s a taller guy ands he’s going to need to. He has the advantage to start off.”