by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is looking to put WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in a title defense on a fight card on July 21. However, no venue was mentioned. It was previously mentioned that Donaire would fight on July 14th at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Donaire will defend his 122 pound title against either Cristian Mijares, the classy former world champion or possibly South Africa’s IBF champion Jeffrey “Mongoose” Mathebula.
The 32 year old Mathebula has a record of 26-3-2 with 14 knockouts while the 30 year old Mijares who fights Eddy Julio in Mexico on Saturday has a record of 44-6-2 with 30 knockouts and has moved up to super bantamweight winning his last two fights by back-to-back 3rd round TKOs.
Mathebula won the IBF title in a rematch with former champion Takali Ndlovu, also a South African, on March 24 this year after losing his first title fight against Ndlovu by a split decision on September 1, 2010.
Arum said he hopes to finalize details for the Donaire title defense in a meeting with HBO Sports executive in New York next week.
At the same time Arum expressed his elation over the change in pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao’s lifestyle which showed during his workout at the MP Towers gym which sits on the old site of the L&M Gym where he trained as a teenager in his quest for his first world title.
Arum said reports of Pacquiao’s incredible hand-speed and amazing punching power was “probably because his lifestyle has changed.”
The astute promoter who has nurtured Pacquiao’s career and helped him win eight world titles in eight different weight divisions said the performance of Manny in training so far “is great news.”
Childhood friend and Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez who did the punch-mitts with Pacquiao who was in explosive form, ripping combination punches and sometimes throwing as many as eight punches in a flurry told the Manila Standard “this is the old Manny Pacquiao. The fire has returned and he has peace of mind which is a major plus.”
Fernandez predicted that when trainer Freddie Roach begins working with Pacquiao in his training camp in Baguio City, “he will be surprised.”