NONITO Donaire has high respect for fellow world champion Nicholas Walters.
But the Filipino doesn’t see his Jamaican opponent being in the same level as he is.
“Walters is a good champion but really, how many quality fights has he been in compared to where I have been in my career?” asked Donaire during the media workouts the two had on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The quality of fighters he has faced in a career that spans 13 years is what makes the 31-year-old Donaire optimistic about a win on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) when he faces Walters in a world featherweight unification title bout at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
A four-time world champion, Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs) dueled some of boxing’s finest champions in recent years, the likes of Jorge Arce, Vic Darchinyian, Wilfredo Vasquez Jr., and Fernando Montiel.
He is coming off a fifth-round technical decision over South African Simpiwe Vetyeka to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight belt at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
Walters saw action in the undercard of the Donaire-Vetyeka title match which saw the Jaimacan destroy Darchinyan inside five rounds to retain his WBA featherweight crown.
Although the 28-year-old unbeaten champion (24-0, 20 KOs) holds his Filipino opponent in high esteem, Walters admitted he fights well especially when the stakes are high.
“I was born to fight. The bigger the fight, the better,” said Walters, who began his pro career in 2008.
The Jamaican fighter warned Donaire to fight him the right way or else, the Filipino will find himself getting knocked out.
“If Donaire isn’t right, he’s going to get knocked out. Maybe five rounds, maybe less. Not sure yet,” he said.
But Donaire was quick to remind him that previous opponents also told him the same thing but ended up losing anyway.
“Confident fighters are dangerous fighters. I know that. But there are other fighters who said before a fight they we’re stronger than me, hit harder, we’re going to knock me out.
“We both have speed, we both have power. It’s an explosive fight. This is going to end in a knockout. I will go into the ring and do my best,” said Donaire.