Nonito Donaire will be stepping on the ring in his next fight against a much-taller fighter, but the Filipino champion is looking to get bigger and stronger to cancel out the height advantage.
The “Filipino Flash”, who is set to collide with African champion Jeffrey Mathebula in a title-unification bout on July 8, said that he will be at his biggest size ever, making him much stronger and fit to fight in his division.
“My last fight at 122 pounds I was pretty small, I was walking at 128 pounds. For this fight I had been walking at 133 to 138 pounds, which is a big difference,” Donaire said.
Donaire admitted that he was not in his best shape during his fight against Wilfredo Vasquez last February, but has been hitting the gym since then. Because of it, Donaire believes that he got bigger and stronger compared to his physique in the Vasquez bout, which makes him ready to face the much-taller Mathebula.
“After my last fight with Vazquez, I went right back to the gym to work with the weights,” Donaire said. “So when I went to camp, which was two months ago, that’s when I began the boxing and I was a lot bigger and stronger than the last fight.”
Donaire has a lot to gain in his upcoming bout, since a win would force Top Rank Boss Bob Arum to set him up in a big money fight against superstars in the bantamweight division.
“Those who follow boxing know that the 122-pound division is chock-full of superstars,” Arum said. “We have a long list of guys who will be making tremendous fights.”
Included on Donaire’s radar are World Boxing Council champion Toshiaki Nishioka, World Boxing Association ruler Guillermo Rigondeaux, and former world champion Jorge Arce.