By Keith Idec
Nonito Donaire knows his next fight won’t at all resemble his repulsively dull win over Omar Narvaez.
“The Filipino Flash” is heavily favored to defeat Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., too, but Donaire won’t have to worry about Vazquez keeping away from him and not actually trying to win.
“The last fight, the guy didn’t want to fight me,” Donaire said. “But I know that this fight, there’s not going to be room for any boring moments. Because I know that Vazquez, not only is he a good person, you know, he’s a great guy, but I know that he comes out there to fight. He wants to prove to himself, to Puerto Rico and the world that he belongs [on] this level of elite fighters.”
Vazquez lost the WBO super bantamweight title to an aged Jorge Arce on May 7 in Las Vegas, but Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) anticipates facing an improved Vazquez next month in their HBO co-feature.
“From what I saw in the Arce fight, he did a great job,” Donaire said. “But I know that a fighter of his caliber, with the blood that flows in him from his father, he just gets better. And I know that I’m going to fight the best Vazquez Jr. come Feb. 4.
“So I’m going to train to the best of my ability. And this is what makes boxing great, when you have two guys who respect each other, but we go out there to tear each other’s heads off.”
Mexico’s Arce (59-6-2, 45 KOs) and Vazquez (21-1-1, 18 KOs) were even on two scorecards heading into the 12th round of their bout, but Arce hurt him with an array of power punches against the ropes that caused Vazquez’s father/trainer to throw in the towel with 2:05 left in the fight. The 27-year-old Vazquez, who didn’t participate in a single amateur fight before making his pro debut five years ago, thinks his inexperience hurt him against Arce, who has had 67 fights in a 16-year pro career.
“I know everybody is thinking about the Arce fight,” Vazquez said. “I mean, I didn’t have any amateur experience and I got a lot of experience from that fight. I’m learning every day and I’m ready to win the world title.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.