NONITO Donaire Jr is ready for whatever fight plan lanky South African Jeffrey Mathebula has in store for their super-bantamweight title unification bout next week at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The 29-year-old Filipino said he is confident of beating the current holder of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) version of the 122-lb belt, regardless of whether he opts to fight toe to toe or uses his edge in size and reach and box from long range.
“No matter what he brings to the table, we are ready for it,” said the World Boxing Organization champion during the conference call arranged by Top Rank Promotions for the July 7 (July 8, Manila time) title match.
“We have looked at ways he is going to fight. He is going to use his range and use his height. He is going to go out there and throw combinations,” added Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs). “But we are in tremendous shape and ready for anything – that’s why we are very confident."
The fight is the first step of Donaire's grand plan to unify the entire super-bantamweight division.
Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux is the owner of the World Boxing Association (WBA) championship, while Abner Mares, like Rigondeaux also unbeaten, is the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight king.
“The motivation is in my heart to work toward my goals and my dreams. To be a unified champion, then challenge anyone out there and make it undisputed is a dream, and hopefully, I can make it happen,” said the Filipino `Flash,’ who is unbeaten for the last 11 years.
“There are incredible fighters in this weight class and we are going to take them. And I am going to keep all the belts.”
That doesn’t mean however, that Donaire is looking past Mathebula, who has fought outside South Africa just once in his 11-year career.
“He is a tall guy, the tallest fighter I will have faced,” said the Filipino, who, at 5-foot-7, stands three inches shorter than the South African. “But I knew this guy would motivate me and he made me train as hard as I did. I don’t know what to expect because he is so tall.”
Donaire, who held his last sparring session at the Undisputed Gym in San Carlos Friday, is coming off a 12-round split decision of Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez last February to win the vacant WBO title belt.
A similar split decision pulled off by Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs) against compatriot Takalani Ndlovu in March gave him the IBF championship.