REIGNING International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula talked tough as he vowed to knock out World Boxing Organization counterpart Nonito Donaire Jr. in their super-bantamweight unification showdown this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The end for Donaire may come either in the eighth or ninth round, according to the South African during the media workout held by both fighters at the Fortune gym in Los Angeles Tuesday.
“This is going to be his second loss. I’m taller and better than him,” said Mathebula.
The 33-year-old South African came over wearing a black baseball cap over a black jacket where the words 'Undisputed King of Champions’ were written on the right upper side in white bold letters.
But Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs), bringing with him to the ring an 11-year winning streak, is unfazed by Mathebula’s threat.
With his opponent taller than him by about four inches, the 5-foot-7 Donaire admitted the 33-year-old IBF champion may prove to be his toughest test yet.
“The fans who count Mathebula out and say that he isn’t as good as (Guillermo) Rigondeaux or (Abner) Mares say that because they don’t know who he is,” said the Filipino Flash, who wore a white shirt with the words `Nothing to Hide. Everything to Prove’ printed on its back, obviously in reference to the drug-testing procedure he is currently undertaking to show the world that he is drug-free.
“He’s definitely tall, and he uses his jab really well, kind of like Thomas Hearns did at welterweight,” Donaire said. “I’m really, really excited knowing I’ll be in with a taller fighter and one who is good.”
Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs) is fighting out of South Africa for just the second time in his career, although he is coming off a 12-round split decision over compatriot Takalani Ndlovu to win the IBF crown last March.
Donaire admitted having seen that match on tape and described it as "a good fight."
The Filipino also scored a 12-round split decision in his last fight against Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. to wrest the WBO title and win his third world championship.