Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Nonito Donaire Prepared For Tall Challenge In Mathebula

By Jake Donovan

Don’t let his happy-go-lucky demeanor beyond the ropes fool you; Nonito Donaire is all the way in when it comes to boxing.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at him during Tuesday’s open workout at Fortune Gym in Hollywood, but Donaire is prepared for the fight of his life this weekend. Awaiting him is fellow 122 lb. titlist Jeffrey Mathebula, as the two collide in an HBO-televised unification bout this Saturday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Both fighters were at the open workout session, providing a stunning visual – the massive height difference between the two.

Normally, it’s Donaire who enjoys a considerable size advantage over his foes during his years in the lower weight classes. This time around, the Fil-Am star is at a massive height and reach disadvantage in facing his tallest foe to date.

“Looking at this guy, he’s a tall challenge,” Donaire (28-1, 18KO) stated, a bit tongue-in-cheek while holding court with the local media. “We’re ready for it. I felt really good for my first fight at this weight. We’ve trained even harder for this fight.”

Donaire first arrived on the sport’s top level with an upset 5th round knockout of Vic Darchinyan, a win whose five-year anniversary comes on fight night. The victory marked the first of three divisions in which Donaire would claim a major belt, having also held championship status at bantamweight and now super bantamweight, along with an interim reign at super flyweight.

The past several years have seen Donaire emerge as one of the very best fighters in the world today. He’s reached a point where nearly every other notable fighter in the lower weights is steadily calling him out, though he’s humble enough to recall a time when he was still largely anonymous.

That very humility allows him to remain focused for the task at hand this weekend, facing the 33-year old Mathebula who is barely known beyond his South Africa homeland.

“I’m really excited knowing that I’m fighting a guy who is going to be a challenge for me,” Donaire says of Mathebula. “Nobody knew who I was when I fought Darchinyan and I knocked him out. Nobody knows who this guy is, but it’s a real fight.”

Both fighters gained 122 lb. titlist status within the span of two months. Mathebula (26-3-2, 14KO) claimed a belt with a 12-round points win in a rematch with countryman Takalani Ndlovu in March. Seven weeks prior, Donaire made his 122 lb. debut with a decision win over former titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. to claim a vacant belt.

For that fight, Donaire was still growing into the division and far too focused on the grudge aspect of the matchup. The result was a credible enough performance to pull out the win, but uneven enough to recognize that more work needed to be done.

“There is definitely a lot more muscle on me now,” Donaire noted, lifting up his t-shirt to jokingly flash his rock-hard abs. “I felt like I was a lot smaller going into the fight (with Vazquez), but feel a lot stronger for this fight. I’m taking this guy seriously.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Bermuda on 07-07-2012

donaire needs to stop fighting midgets!!...oh wait.

Comment by Pinoy4ever on 07-07-2012

They all say Nonito ain't fighting nobody, he just makes them look like nobody

Comment by nycsmooth on 07-07-2012

mathebula hasnt the talent 2 win this & Nono needs 2 look impressive if he's even considering John or Jhonny G, I'd like 2 see him try 2 get by Rigo, which he won't , IMO...

Comment by rey guey on 07-07-2012

Donaire is going to crush this guy. I don't care how much some boxing writers want to hype this fight, they're full of it. Mathebula keeps his hands low, gets tagged with the left often (from what i've seen). Donaire…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker Finalized for HBO Latino, April 15 Bellew Admits He Was Terrified, Wrote a Will Before Haye Fight Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury Not Likely To Leave Auckland Daniel Dubois vs. David Howe Added To Manchester Card Crawford-Diaz Announced for 5/20 at MSG, Not Prudential Center Kosei Tanaka vs. Angel Acosta Finalized For May 20 in Nagoya Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Ticket Information Quigg vs. Simion Could Become Final Eliminator, Says Hearn Cause of Amateur's Death a Mystery as Investigation Continues Warren: Forget Flanagan-Crolla, Let’s Make Flanagan-Linares Amir Khan Eager to Test Out His Surgically Repaired Right Hand Spence's Trainer: Errol is Just as Big, Taller Than Kell Brook Scott Quigg Aims To Reclaim Elite Status With Freddie Roach Paul Butler: Jamie McDonnell Fight Is Close Marcus Morrison: I F***ed Up, Will Be Back Better Andy Lee Tired of "Biased" Commentary During Sky Sports Cards Mikey Garcia Feels Golovkin Made Mistake By Going To PPV Wladimir Klitschko: Guns Are Cocked, I Look Forward To Shooting Hearn: Joshua-Haye is Dead, Haye Needs Bellew Rematch Marriaga Confident of Win: Oscar Valdez is Not Out of This World Golovkin's Coach Has NO Issue With Jacobs Missing IBF Weigh-In De La Hoya Cautions: Canelo Can Not Lose To a Countryman Ricardo Mayorga Ready For Action, Has One Eye on Margarito Klitschko Would Want Farewell Fight at Olimpiyskiy in Ukraine De La Hoya To Mayweather: Forget McGregor, Fight Canelo at 160 DeGale: I Can Fight Gennady Golovkin at 160, Andre Ward at 175 Photos: Barthelemy-Blanco, Hernandez-Davis - Official Weigh-in Katie Taylor Wants Women's Boxing To Have Three Minute Rounds Linares: I'd Love To Face Mikey Garcia in Las Vegas, LA, Anywhere Michael Devine Announces Retirement From Boxing Ohara Davies: Mayweather Advised TMT Boxers To Avoid Me Javier Fortuna Extends Pact With Sampson Boxing Hasim Rahman Jr. Pro Debut Pushed Back To April 14 Jean Pascal To Nick Diaz: You Coward, Don't Talk Sh*t - Fight Me! Lemieux vs. Reyes, Diaz vs. Avila Added To Canelo-Chavez Saunders To Golovkin: If You Have a Pair of Balls, Sign The Contract! Team GB Release Four Fighters: Bateson, Cameron, Marshall, Davies Hearn: Crolla Should Get at Least 1 Million For Flanagan Bout Porter Thinks Chavez Won't Be an Easy Fight For Canelo Lemieux May Land on Canelo-Chavez, Future Foe For Canelo?
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement