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 Arum: Lomachenko is Superhuman, Rigo Was Totally Bewildered! Video: Francisco Vargas Talks Comeback Win, Future Plans Lomachenko: Gary Russell Really Doesn't Want a Rematch With Me DeGale Unsure of Career Future, To Decide After New Year White Warns Arum: We'll See Where You Stand When Smoke Clears! Video: Miguel Roman Reflects on KO of Salido, Future Opponents Tevin Farmer: I Worked Too Hard To Get Robbed, I Deserved Win Video: Andre Ward on Loma-Rigo, Salido, Kovalev Return, More Lomachenko On Rigondeaux Injury: I've Fought With One Hand Macklin Expects Michael Conlan To Step Things Up in 2018 Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux Generates Big Rating For ESPN Marquice Weston Wins, James Ballard Stretched in Upset Arum: Lomachenko Would Make Joke of Mikey Garcia, Make Him Quit Tyson Fury: I'll Annihilate Bellew, Uppercut Him To The Roof! Photos: Miguel Roman Stops, Retires Orlando Salido in a War Lomachenko on Rigondeaux: I Learned Nothing, It Was Easy! Photos: Lomachenko Makes Guillermo Rigondeaux Quit in Six Photos: Michael Conlan, Shakur Stevenson, Diaz, Jennings Win Photos: Jean Pascal Ends Career With Shock Stoppage of Elbiali Truax: The Fights DeGale Kept Talking About - Now They Are Mine! Lomachenko: Rigondeaux is Not a Big Win For Me, Not His Weight Video: Team Rigondeaux Provide Update on Hand Injury Lomachenko-Rigondeaux: CompuBox Punch Stats, Other Facts Arum: Where Did Rigo Hurt His Hand? In The Dressing Room? Video: Vasyl Lomachenko Reacts To Rigondeaux Quitting Lomachenko: I Should Change My Name To 'No Mas Chenko' Orlando Salido: That's It, I'm Done, This Was My Last Fight Miguel Roman Drops, Shocks Orlando Salido For Big TKO Win Orlando Salido vs. Miguel Roman - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Kenichi Ogawa Wins Split Decision Over Tevin Farmer For IBF Title Lomachenko Makes Rigondeaux Quit After Six For TKO Victory Francisco Vargas Gains Technical Nod, Smith With Severe Injury Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Michael Conlan Wins, Goes Distance for First Time Christopher Diaz Destroys Bryant Cruz in Three Rounds Roman: I Will Be More Intelligent, Different Fighter With Salido Rene Alvarado Stuns Denis Shafikov, Wins Split Decision Shakur Stevenson Stops Mendoza in Second Round Salido: I'm Going To Do My Best To Make This an Action-Fight Bryant Jennings Stops Donnie Haynesworth in Third Round
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement