According to Donaire’s manager Cameron Dunkin, the reigning World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion is aware that Mathebula is a tough champion, but Donaire declared that he is confident with his chances against the South African champion.
Dunkin said that Donaire wanted to challenge himself in his next fight that led to the decision of choosing Mathebula, who is three-inch taller than the Filipino champion.
“Nonito is usually the taller guy. He won’t be for this fight, so I asked him if he wanted that problem,” Dunkin said in an ESPN interview.
“I think this will motivate him but it’s a dangerous fight, a scary fight. But it’s what he wanted. He specifically asked for it,” Dunkin added.
The 32-year-old South African captured the International Boxing Federation super bantamweight title last March after scoring a 12-round split decision victory over fellow South African Takalani Ndlovu, who defeated him in their first fight two years ago.
Mathebula, who represented South Africa in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, reigned as the World Boxing Council International featherweight champion from 2005 to 2008 and was also a former International Boxing Organization Intercontinental super bantamweight champion.
Mathebula’s manager, Branco Milenkovic expressed excitement after getting the fight deal done and they vowed to give the Filipino champion a run for his money once he and Mathebula step on the ring in July.
“If I believed Jeffrey had no chance to win this fight, I wouldn’t make the fight,” Milenkovic confidently said. “He can win the fight and he is excited to make his first trip to America to fight a big fight and be on HBO. Without a doubt, Nonito is the favorite. He’s a great fighter, but I believe Jeffrey will come to win.”
Donaire, who gave up his bantamweight belts to move up in weight, is coming off a decision win over Wilfredo Vasquez Jr, the win that gave him the formerly vacant WBO super bantamweight title.