MANILA, Philippines – To succeed against a fearsome body puncher like Fernando Montiel, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” will have to consistently use his jab.
Boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said Donaire owns a very powerful jab, which will come in handy when he goes toe-to-toe against the Mexican champion this Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
“I believe Donaire not only owns a good jab, he owns has a very powerful jab. It was his jab that broke the nose of Vladimir Sidorenko in his last fight," Tolentino said on ANC’s sports show, Hardball.
Tolentino said Montiel, described as a complete fighter, will be Donaire’s real test.
“I think it's gonna be a very scientific fight. The key factor here will be the jab of Donaire. It's very important to keep that jab going all night,” he said.
Tolentino said Donaire’s 2-inch reach advantage, coupled with his jab, will prevent Montiel from throwing his strong left hook.
It’s that same left hook that landed on the body of Filipino prospect Ciso Morales in his defeat to Montiel last year. After taking that hit, Morales crumpled on the canvass and was immediately counted out for his first career loss.
“If he (Montiel) tries to leap to Donaire throwing a left hook, he will find difficulty to land it because the jab will keep him at a very safe distance,” said Tolentino.
Aside from the jab, Tolentino said Donaire can also use his switch-hitting style to confuse the Mexican champion.
“He can deliver a natural right hander jab, he can deliver a southpaw jab… I see Donaire switch-hitting because Montiel fought Z Gorres a few years back and showed he was fragile when it comes to handling southpaw fighters,” said Tolentino.
Donaire will be challenging Montiel for the World Boxing council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight titles.
The fight will take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Melligen dreams of boxing superstardom
Meanwhile, Filipino welterweight "Mighty" Mark Jason Melligen is hoping to follow the steps of his fellow Filipinos, Donaire and Manny Pacquiao, as he attempts on his own path to become a boxing star.
Melligen will fight Mexico’s Gabriel Martinez in the undercard of the Donaire-Montiel bout.
He said he hopes his performance against Martinez will get him more fights in the US.
"After the Martinez fight where I will do all I can to win, I hope to further my campaign in the US and hopefully have a busy year," he told 15Rounds.com.
However, the Filipino acknowledged that his career path direction will be up to his boxing promoters.
"I feel I am still young and it really is up to Top Rank and ALA Promotions what direction my career is headed. I will just train hard and fight hard to win matches and if an opportunity comes I will embrace it and do my best to win," he said.
For now, the 24-year-old Melligen vows to go all out versus Martinez in their undercard welterweight bout.
Catch Ang Pagtutuos: Nonito Donaire vs. Fernando Montiel on Feb. 20, Sunday at 10:15 a.m. on ABS-CBN Channel 2 (replay at 11:30 p.m.) and 9 p.m. on Studio 23.