Donaire fights taller sparring mates for Mathebula fight

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 20 2012 07:22 PM | Updated as of Jun 21 2012 03:22 AM

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire is gearing up for another exciting bout as he faces Jeffrey Mathebula on July 7 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Donaire is fighting at 122 pounds in a WBO-IBF super bantamweight unification title bout.

The 5-foot-10 South African Mathebula enjoys a 3-inch height advantage over Donaire. He has a record of 26 wins, 14 knockouts and three losses.

Donaire, on the other hand, has 28 wins 18 knockouts and one defeat.

Unfazed by a bigger opponent, the Filipino Flash said his speed and fighting fortitude shall prevail inside the ring.

“Excited nga ako na matangkad itong kalaban ko, kase ‘di pa ako nakakalaban ng mas matangkad pa sa akin, at ‘di ko alam 'yung gagawin namin. But, of course, we have a game plan, but ang challenge dun kase mas matangkad siya,” he said.

Donaire said he is going through an intensive training regimen at the Undisputed Gym.

Although Donaire lives in Las Vegas, he opted to train in the Bay area.

“’Yung last fight ko dito ako ng training, pero parang kulang ‘yung motivation ko so pumunta ako ng Bay area, California at nag-training ako ng isang araw. ‘Dun ang dami kong motivation, the desire to train lahat, lahat nandun,” he said.

Donaire carefully studied Mathebula’s style and watched all the fight videos of the South African.

He also picked taller sparring partners.

“I expect a knock out, his power is incredibly strong for 122,” said his sparring partner Robert Rodriguez.

“Now, packing on the muscle before the actual cutting down to 122 is gonna show big results,” said Mike Bazzel, Donaire’s strength trainer.

The Donaire versus Mathebula bout will be the main event of the July 7 showdown.