By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Sports Illustrated “Trainer of the Year” Robert Garcia says both he and WBO super bantamweight title contender Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire need to be worried about former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr whom Donaire fights for the vacant 122 pound title at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas on February 4.
In an overseas telephone conversation with the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Garcia said Vazquez Jr “is a very good fighter, a great fighter and definitely we have to be worried because he’s a former world champion and his Dad (Wilfredo Vazquez Sr) has a world of experience atop the ring.”
Garcia said “they’ve been in everything, they’ve done it all so we got to train hard and be in great shape for Vazquez. Right now, everything is going well. ”
Garcia, himself a former world champion said Donaire is “doing really good. We’ve got two sparring partners that are giving him really good work and he (Donaire) is doing what he needs to do right now. He’s doing a really good job in sparring and it’s a case of little-by-little.”
The trainer couldn’t recall the name of Donaire’s undefeated Russian sparring partner who he said is a featherweight with a record of 11 wins and no defeats and Javier Garcia, Robert’s nephew who has had four fights this year winning all four with three of them coming by way of knockouts and has a total record of 7-2.
Garcia said his nephew who retired for three years has made a comeback and is now fighting at 130-135.
Donaire who was in Manila recently to do a commercial for Globe Tatoo took the opportunity to spar for three days at the Wild Card Gym of Rommel Nazario with featherweight Vergel Poton and then spent a couple of days training in Japan. Donaire sparred on two occasions with Japan’s No. 1 super bantamweight Yasutaka Ishimoto (19-5, 3 KO’s) aside from doing the punch-mitts with former world light welterweight champion Morris East and working on the heavy bag.
Knowing the importance of the Vazquez fight in his quest for more world titles after winning three titles in separate weight divisions so far , Donaire even sparred on Christmas day in the US.
He told us earlier “ I feel great about the fight against Vazquez Jr . It’s a fight I’ve been looking forward to.”
In a press conference to launch the blockbuster double-header WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and No.1 contender Marco Antonio Rubio was loaded with tension.
Chavez went on the offensive. He noted Rubio had said in the past “that I would never face him. But I’m here now. If I have to die in the ring, then I’ll die in the ring because this is a fight I really want to win. l’’ Rubio who had repeatedly branded Chavez Jr “a coward” made no such claims and merely promised a great fight.
Donaire and Vazquez Jr were friendly in contrast with Vazquez vowing to take the title back to Puerto Rico and Donaire promising “ fireworks.”
Vazquez is the same fighter who scored a 4th round knockout of “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona to win the vacant 122 pound crown on February 27, 2010 in Puerto Rico.