By Ronnie Nathanielsz
San Antonio, Texas -- Three division world champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire wants to teach Wilfredo Vazquz Jr a painful lesson when they battle for the vacant WBO super bantamweight title here at the sprawling Alamadome in the charming city of San Antonio on Saturday night.
WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel informed us that the referee signed to the fight is veteran Rafael Ramos and the judges are Levi Martinez of New Mexico, Donald Trella of Connecticut and Ruben Garcia of Texas.
In a brief interview with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard and ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo after the weigh-in Donaire said - "I am ready because this guy (Vazquez) is a braggart. I want to put him in his place. " He also revealed that his wife Rachel and members of his team told him that since he is a top fighter all your opponents will try to mess up with your head. I was really angry yesterday and told him if you want to fight let's do it in the ring."
He said "I have never been angry as much as I am now but I realize that I need to relax and just follow my game plan." Donaire said he expects to come into the ring at 128 to 130 pounds and I won't be surprised if he comes in as a welterweight. If he comes in big, thats good. Let him. I know I'm a little guy but I know I hit harder than him."
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told us "We have two great fights and people will love watching it. Donaire is in a real fight with Vazquez, its going to be very, very exciting because the two guys come to fight and (Julio Cesar) Chavez and (Marco Antonio) Rubio is a real battle. I can't wait for Saturday night."
He said Donaire has "a big chance to knock out Vazquez because they are both offensive fighters but that means he has a chance to get knocked out himself so it's a very, very dangerous fight."
Donaire and his wife Rachel have been upset by the "cheap shots" that Vazquez' wife first took when she referred to Nonito as a coward on one of her tweets which drew a naturally fiery response from taekwondo champion Rachel.
As Donaire's affable manager Cameron Dunkin noted, if Rachel and Vazquez' wife tangle it will end quicker than Donaire's fight with her husband. Donaire was visibly incensed when Vazquez moved his cap and tried to get rid of it prompting Donaire to pull off Vazquez own skull-cap that sparked an angry verbal exchange.
Donaire who has been sparring with lightweights said Vazquez is going to feel his power in the scheduled twelve round clash and said he would knock him out.
Although the WBC middleweight title fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and No. 1 ranked Marco Antonio Rubio is the main event and expected to draw a large crowd of Mexicans, its the Donaire-Vazquez fight that appears have stolen the spotlight and is likely to be an explosive encounter.
The Top Rank blockbuster promotion is titled "Welcome To The Future" and for Nonito Donaire his real future begins right here as he seeks to follow the incredible ring journey of pound for pound king and "Fighter of the Decade" Manny Pacquiao who won an unprecedented eight world titles in eight separate weight divisions.
Significantly, with two world titles to his name - the WBC flyweight crown and the IBF super bantamweight title - Pacquiao captured the imagination of boxing fans both in the US and around the world with an unmerciful hammering of Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera at this very same Alamadome in November 2003 when Barrera's brother Jorge jumped into the
ring to embrace Marco with tears in his eyes as Pacquiao nailed him with a flurry of devastating punches as Barrera lay helpless on the ropes.
We recall that Pacquiao was fully motivated for the Barrera fight and was relaxed and all smiles. Donaire has found the motivation to tread the path that Pacquiao has taken as the crossover icon's heir-apparent. Two days before the showdown, Donaire received added motivation to make Vazquez pay the price for what Donaire, wife Rachel and trainer Robert Garcia branded as the Puerto Rican's "disrespectful behavior."
To Donaire the boasts of Vazquez that he is the stronger fighter, the heavier hitter, will be a welterweight on fight night and knock him out "is music to my ears." He said "life is a challenge and when there is a challenge because all my life I've had challenges and come out on top . What they have said has really fired me up because this is what boxing is all about. Its all about heart. This is going to be an incredible fight, an amazing fight and both sides will do anything and everything they can to bring their pride. And its going to be fun."
Donaire's manager Cameron Dunkin said that "if everything goes okay next would be a (Jorge) Arce fight in front of us and that will be a huge fight, then we have the great Japanese champion (Toshiaki Nishioka) as well as Guilermo Rigondeaux who is coming to watch the fight. There are so many guys at 122 we are really excited.I plan on him staying here but Nonito told me the other night, three or four fights and I'm gonna go to 126. Just got to get through this."
Dunkin confirmed what Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told us about doing one of Donaire's fights this year in Manila. Dunkin said Arum had told him it would be around September after the Arce fight in May or June at the new SM venue of the Mall of Asia.
The manager said Donaire "had asked me to get him five fights this year so I'm going to get him four which is good enough."