NONITO Donaire Jr. seeks a fourth world title on Saturday night when he vies for the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight championship against reigning title holder Simpiwe Vetyeka at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
Despite fighting just for the second time in his heaviest weight class ever, the 'Filipino Flash’ is feeling good and likes his chances of dethroning the champion from South Africa.
“I feel great. I am thankful for the opportunity to fight for another title,” said Donaire, who reigned as world champion in the flyweight, bantamweight, and super-bantamweight divisions.
The 31-year-old Filipino based in San Leandro, California, tipped in at exactly 126 lbs. on Friday during the official weigh-in for the 12-round title bout. Vetyeka came in at 125.5 lbs.
The 33-year-old African, making the first defense of the title he won against Chris John of Indonesia, believes he has what it takes to beat a fighter of Donaire’s caliber.
“I believe in myself. I am ready for Donaire,” said Vetyeka, who’s sixth-round technical decision over John in December was motivated by the death of the great South African president Nelson Mandela just a day after.
“I will bring the title back to South Africa.”
Donaire is coming off a technical knockout win over old rival Vic Darchinyan six months ago in a 10-round fight the Filipino appeared to be losing until he decked the cocky Armenian in the ninth to win their long-awaited rematch.
But Donaire’s trainer and father, Nonito Sr., said his son has prepared enough and is ready to go to war against the African champion.
“Nonito trained like a soldier for this fight. He will bring a lot of bullets to the fight,” the elder Donaire said.
The challenger sports a 32-2 record with 21 KOs, while the champion is 28-2 with 16 KOs.
Luis Pabon will be the third man on the ring, while the three judges scoring the fight are Raul Caiz Jr., Francisco Martinez, and Levi Martinez.