By Ronnie Nathanielsz
AMERICAN trainer Rick Stahaley said he can’t see Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire losing to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in their battle for the vacant World Boxing Organization super bantamweight title at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas on Feb. 4.
Stahaley is best remembered as the trainer of Manny Pacquiao when the Filipino champ won his first world title, the World Boxing Council flyweight championship against Chatchai Sasakul in Thailand on Dec. 4, 1998. Pacquiao was behind on the scorecards of all three judges, when he hurt Sasakul in Round 7 with a vicious body shot and smashed him to the canvas in the next round.
“I don’t think it’s a very tough fight for him (Donaire). I think he wins the fight rather easily if he (Vazquez) comes to fight. Nonito will open him up pretty good,” Stahaley told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard.
Vazquez Jr. won the vacant WBO 122-pound title with a fourth-round knockout over former WBO super flyweight champion Marvelous Marvin Sonsona.
Stahaley agreed that the Puerto Rican son of the great Wilfredo Vazquez Sr. “has a great bloodline.”
However, Stahaley jokingly added: “I think he’d have a much better chance if both him and his father were fighting Nonito at the same time although we know that’s not going to happen.”
The trainer pointed out that while Sonsona was the youngest Filipino world champion ever, “he is not in the same league as Nonito. If Donaire fights (Jorge) Arce next, I think that will be an even easier fight.”
He said in his view, the three best fighters in the world today are Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Nonito Donaire.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum earlier told the Manila Standard that he was planning to stage Donaire’s next title defense, after Vazquez Jr., at the spanking new Mall of Asia stadium against either Arce or Japan’s WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka.
Nishioka, who was voted the “Best Boxer of 2011” by the Japan Boxing Commission, the Boxing Writers Club in Tokyo and the Japan Professional Boxing Association, said he hopes to fight Donaire in a unification bout in May.