MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire admitted that he is not sure what to expect from his next opponent, Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa.
Donaire, the WBO super bantamweight titlist, will fight Mathebula, the IBF champion, on July 8 in California in an effort to unify the belts.
“I don’t know what to expect from him, because he is so tall,” Donaire said, as quoted by PhilBoxing.
At 5-foot-10, Mathebula will have a three-inch height advantage over Donaire.
“Mathebula is a very tough fighter. He is a tall guy, the tallest fighter I will have faced,” Donaire said.
He added that his manager, Cameron Dunkin, is nervous about this particular fight.
“But I told Cameron I wanted this fight. I knew this guy would motivate me and he made me train as hard as I did,” Donaire said.
Donaire said he and his team have studied Mathebula quite a bit, and expects the South African to use his range and height advantage.
“He is going to go out there and throw combinations. But we are in tremendous shape and ready for anything,” he said.
His trainer, Robert Garcia, prepared “The Filipino Flash” by bringing in taller and heavier sparring partners.
“People are pushing him every day and when I come in I see the results. He has been sparring with tall sparring partners and people that are a lot heavier than him,” Garcia said.
“He has been pushing himself really hard to come out and put on a really good performance,” he added.
“We are very confident,” Donaire said. “No matter what he brings to table, we are ready for it.”