By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire who makes the first defense of the title he won from former champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr against IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula in a unification bout at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on July 7, “looks terrific.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum used the words to describe the four division world champion in a conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard even as Donaire continued to work out at the Undisputed Gym in San Carlos, California.
In what is expected to be a crucial test for Donaire, who looks to move up in weight and take on some of the best fighters in the featherweight division later on, has been sparring with taller opponents who approximate the 5’10” height of Mathebula.
Donaire’s sparring partners are Mexican featherweight Gilberto Sanchez Leon who is 5’11” tall and junior lightweight Robert Rodriguez of Clorado who is almost the same height.
Arum said Donaire was “not just good but sensational” indicating that fights fans are going to witness Ring Magazine’s No. 4 in the pound for pound ranking at his best.
Former world champion and Donaire’s trainer Robert Garcia said that the 122 pound champion “ looks very strong and is very, very quick” adding that Donaire “is ready.”
Garcia said Donaire is “very strong” and has gained a lot of muscle working with Olympic track coach Remy Korchemny and James Bassel.
The Donaire-Mathebula title fight will be telecast by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN Channel 2 at 10:00 a.m. on July 8.
Well known South African promoter Branco Milenkovic told us that they expect Mathebula’s “height and reach advantage to make a difference.”
Mathebula won the IBF title from countryman Takalani Ndlovu last March 24 and returned to the gym some three weeks later. He trains three times a day and is ready to take on the highly-touted Donaire.