By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former WBC/IBF and WBA super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares who has moved up to super bantamweight is being groomed as the next opponent of newly crowned WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire when he makes his first title defense planned for July 14 in Texas.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that promoter Fernando Beltran was visiting the Top Rank office this week and hopefully they will finalize details for the title defense against Mijares on July 14.
He said Mijares has a scheduled fight against former WBO bantamweight champion Cruz Carbajal (32-18-2, 26 KO’s) in Mexico on April 14 “and then he’ll be ready to fight Donaire in July.”
The 30 year old Mijares is an excellent boxer but does not have the power of Donaire even though Mijares won his last two fights as a super bantamweight by stoppages. He scored a 3rd round TKO over 25 year old Jonathan Perez (19-9, 16 KO’s” on September 10, 2011 and followed it up with another 3rd round TKO over 28 year old Alejandro Valdez (25-6-2, 19 KO’s) on December 17, 2011.
Mijares won the WBC super flyweight title with a 10th round TKO over Japan’s Katsushige Kawashima opn January 3, 2007 and grabbed the IBF title with a unanimous twelve round decision over Juan Alberto Rosas on December 11, 2010 after winning the WBA 115 pound title with a twelve round split decision over Alexander Munoz on May 17, 2008.
After losing the bantamweight crown to Nehomar Cermeno on September 12, 2009, Mijares has won 8 fights in a row, 5 of them by knockout and 2 at 122 pounds.
Four division champion Donaire is coming off an impressive twelve round unanimous decision over former WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in San Antonio, Texas last February 4 in which he dropped Vazquez in the 9th round with a patented left hook despite having hurt his hand early in the fight..
The 29 year old has a record of 28-1 with 18 knockouts and is ranked No. 4 in Ring Magazine’s pound for pound list headed by his countryman and eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
For his smashing 2nd round demolition of veteran Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel to win the WBC/WBO bantamweight title last February 19, 2011 and his twelve round shutout win his first defense against previously undefeated two division champion Andres Narvaez of Argentina on October 19, 2011 the prestigious Philippine Sportswriters Association named Donaire the “Athlete of the Year” for 2011.