by Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” sparred twelve rounds with two tall sparring partners and looked good.
Trainer Robert Garcia told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Donaire “looks very strong and very, very quick so he’s ready.”
Donaire makes the first defense of the title he won from former champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr last February at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas against International Boxing Federation champion Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa who stands 5’10” tall..
The fight will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on July 7th and will be telecast by ABS-CBN on its pre-eminent Channel 2 with a replay on Studio 23.
Garcia said Donaire went six rounds a piece with Mexican featherweight Gilberto Sanchez Leon who is 5’11” tall and junior lightweight Robert Rodriguez of Colorado who is almost the same height.
The trainer and former world champion told us “I’m sure he (Donaire) is ready” even though he said the champion “still got a few pounds to lose but we will leave that to the last week or so, about 4-5 pounds.”
Garcia said “he is very strong and gained a lot of muscle. He is not really doing weights but all the work that he is doing with Olympic track coach Remi (Korchemny) and (James) Bassel is putting on a lot of muscle.”
The camp of Mathebula made up of well-known promoter Branco Milenkovic and trainer Nick Durandt are not concerned about what Garcia believes, predicting that Mathebula’s “height and reach advantage will make a difference.”
Promoter Branco also thinks that Mathebula is actually a natural junior featherweight and that could give him an edge.
Mathebula won the IBF title from fellow South African Takalani Ndlovu and returned to the gym just three weeks after he won the title last March 24 and said he has been in very hard training as he was preparing for a voluntary title defense when the offer to fight Donaire in a unification title bout was made.
The IBF champion trains three times a day and Milenkovic told us he’d be ready to fight even this weekend.