MANILA – Former world champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire says his upcoming title fight against South African Simpiwe Vetyeka will mark a new beginning in his career that was on the downswing last year.
2013 was not a kind year for Donaire, as his 30-fight winning streak ended in April at the hands of Cuban champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
He then struggled in his rematch against Vic Darchinyan in November, only to salvage a win when he knocked out the Armenian in the ninth round.
Donaire believes his May 31 match against Vetyeka will be a boost to his career as he tries to win a title in a new weight division.
"The fight against Vetyeka signals a new beginning," Donaire told Ronnie Nathanielsz in a Boxing Scene report.
"I'm trying to show that I have more, after people looked at me as one of the top guys out there before," he added.
Donaire had risen in many pound-for-pound rankings after a magical 2012 campaign that saw him win four title matches, but has since tumbled in the lower half of the ratings.
A victory over Vetyeka will give Donaire the WBA featherweight title, and "The Filipino Flash" assures his fans that he is nearly at peak form for the 12-round title fight.
"We are almost there," he said. "We'll be ready when we get there."