Advertisement
Advertisement

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 Crawford: Postol Did NOT Want To Fight or Exchange, He Ran Video: Viktor Postol Explains His Defeat To Terence Crawford Ryota Murata Wants Billy Joe Saunders Title Shot Delvin Rodriguez Gets Close Decision Over Shawn Cameron Tim Bradley on Amir Khan's MMA Move - "He's a Clown!" Video: Terence Crawford Talks Postol Victory, Strategy, More Roach: Crawford's Speed Was Too Much, We Needed a KO Jessie Vargas, Jose Benavidez Trade Words - Fight Looming? Brandon Figueroa Admits Sluggish Performance, Plans Brief Rest Video: Nonito Doniare on Pacquiao-Crawford, Postol, More Video: Sulaiman on Crawford, Amir Khan, Chocolatito, Wilder Video: Tim Bradley on Pacquiao-Crawford, Coming Back, More Marcos Maidana Noncommittal on Ring Return Photos: Oscar Valdez Demolishes Rueda For First World Title Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Joe Smith Jr. WBC Eliminator in Play Photos: Crawford Dominates Postol To Unify - HUGE Gallery Postol: I Tried To Make an Exciting Fight, Crawford Was Running Anthony Mundine vs. Danny Green Rematch Inching Closer Photos: Marcos Maidana Resurfaces in The United States Crawford: Yuriorkis Gamboa is Still The Toughest Fight I've Had Terence Crawford: Manny Pacquiao Must Fight Me at 140! Roach Likes The Idea of Pacquiao vs. Crawford, at 140-Pounds Crawford Trainer: We Weren't on Roach's Level? Freddie Who? Crawford: I Hurt Postol With Every Solid Shot That Connected Terence Crawford Drops, Dominates Postol To Unify Titles Crawford vs. Postol LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Oscar Valdez Crushes Rueda in Two, Wins WBO Title Jose Benavidez Decisions Francisco Santana in Bruising Bout Gvozdyk Gets Off The Floor To Stop Karpency in Six Maidana Breaks Down Maysonet In Six Rounds Ryota Murata Demolishes Comanche Boy in One Round Roach Admits Confusion in Golovkin-Ward Comments Fabian Maidana Aims To Emerge From Marcos' Shadow Lenny Zappavigna Stops Ik Yang in Six Rounds Video: Jose Benavidez Pumped For Santana Showdown Salido: They Have To Pay Me A lot For Lomachenko, Vargas! Crawford vs. Postol LIVE Results From Las Vegas Roach: Brook Has NO Shot To Beat Gennady Golovkin Video: David Benavidez Discusses His Future, Return, More Video: Francisco Santana Ready For War With Benavidez
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement