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 Video: Mikey Garcia Talks Lomachenko-Linares, Lipinets, More McGuigan: Groves' Shoulder is Massive Concern For Tournament DeGale To Eubank Jr: Now Go Crawl Back Under Your Rock! Photos: David Benavidez Hands a Pure Beating To Ronald Gavril Photos: Victor Ortiz, Devon Alexander Fight To Controversial Draw Photos: Danny Garcia Blasts Brandon Rios With a Monster Shot Thurman: Spence Can Beat Me? I Will Handle Him, Whoop His Ass! Photos: Groves Hands a Bloody Chris Eubank Jr. a Boxing Lesson Photos: Yordenis Ugas Stops Ray Robinson To Secure Spence Video: Brandon Rios Post-Fight Reaction To Knockout, More Video: Thurman, Porter Sit Down and Negotiate Rematch in Vegas Benavidez: I Was Told Gavril Suffered a Broken Jaw, Broken Nose Vincent Feigenbutz With Controversial TKO of Ryno Liebenberg Video: Angel Garcia Post-Fight Reaction To Rios Knockout, More Video: Danny Garcia Post-Fight Reaction To Rios Knockout, More Video: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter- Confrontation in Las Vegas Photos: Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter - Face To Face, Trade Words Yordenis Ugas is Ready: I Want Errol Spence Next! Victor Ortiz Not Happy With Draw: I Did Enough To Win! Danny Garcia Drills a Very Game Brandon Rios in Ninth Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard David Benavidez Beats Down Ronald Gavril, Wins Decision David Benavidez vs. Ronald Gavril II - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Yordenis Ugas Stops Ray Robinson in Seven, Secures Spence Shot Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz Battle To a Majority Draw Benavidez Intends to ‘Destroy’ Gavril, Solidify Spot in Division Caleb Plant Easily Out-Boxes ‘Porky’ Medina, Remains Unbeaten Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios - CompuBox Historical Review Eubank Jr: Did I Underestimate George Groves? Maybe. Hamed Rips Eubank Jr: He Should Retire, Not at Level He Thinks He Is! George Groves vs. Chris Eubank - CompuBox Punch Stats Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios - LIVE Results From Las Vegas George Groves Decisions a Bloody Chris Eubank Jr. George Groves vs. Chris Eubank - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Alexander: My Power Surprises People; Ortiz Will Be No Different Ronald Gavril: I'm a Smarter, Stronger Fighter Than Benavidez Sauerland: I Want To See Best Fighting The Best Every Year! Tony Bellew Sides With Groves, Dave Coldwell Picks Eubank Groves vs. Eubank - LIVE Results From Manchester Lolenga Mock vs. John Ryder in Play For April
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement