MANILA, Philippines – South African boxing champion Jeffrey Mathebula is confident he can pull off a shocker against the more popular boxer, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr.
Mathebula, the International Boxing federation super bantamweight title holder, the public will get to know him better once he beats Donaire.
“People don't really know me,” he said in an interview with RingTV. “I think I'm quicker than him, I'm taller than him, I'm smarter than him."
The lanky Mathebula stands 5-foot-10 and enjoys a three-inch height advantage over the Filipino Flash.
Donaire said Mathebula knows how to use his range against shorter fighters, just like Thomas Hearns in his heyday.
Not a popularity contest
The little known South African, who has 26 wins, 3 defeats and two draws, is only two victories behind Donaire, who has a record of 28 wins and one draw.
But Donaire, the World Boxing Organization super bantamweight king, is more recognizable to fight fans because of his status as the world’s No. 4 pound-for-pound best.
Mathebula isn’t bothered by Donaire’s popularity.
“Donaire is one of the best fighters in the world, but after this fight I'll be the best,” he said.
The Donaire-Mathebula fight card will be aired locally on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday, starting 10 a.m.