MANILA, Philippines – “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire Jr. said he has bulked himself up to take on the best of the super bantamweight division has to offer.
Donaire, World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion, is scheduled for a July 7 unification title bout against International Boxing Federation (IBF) king Jeffrey Mathebula.
Before training for the Mathebula fight, the 5-foot-7 Donaire said he ballooned himself to as much as 138 pounds for a sturdier physique.
“My last fight at 122 pounds I was pretty small, I was walking at 128 pounds. For this fight I had been walking at 133 to 138 pounds, which is a big difference,” Donaire said in Philboxing.
With the added bulk, he felt a lot stronger compared to his conditioning in his recent victory over Wilfredo Vazquez last February.
“After my last fight with Vazquez, I went right back to the gym to work with the weights. So when I went to camp, which was two months ago, that’s when I began the boxing and I was a lot bigger and stronger then the last fight,” he said.
Donaire hopes the improvement in strength will come in handy when he squares off against the taller Mathebula, who at 5-foot-10 enjoys a three-inch advantage over the Filipino.
Aside from facing the IBF champion, Donaire also plans to take on other super bantamweight titlist, as well.
Currently on his list are World Boxing Council (WBC) emeritus champion Toshiaki Nishioka, World Boxing Association king Guillermo Rigondeaux and possibly WBC regular champion Abner Mares.