ANAHEIM - Filipino bantamweight star Nonito Donaire will try to stay on course for a planned February 19 showdown with world champion Fernando Montiel by beating Wladimiro Sidorenko on Saturday.
Donaire, on a 23-fight win streak over nine-and-a-half years, fights for the interim World Boxing Association bantamweight crown against the Ukranian former WBA champion with an eye to facing World Boxing Council champion Montiel.
"I want to make a statement of who Nonito Donaire really is," Donaire said. "This is finally the chance I have been looking for."
Former world flyweight champion Donaire, 24-1 with 16 knockouts, must dispatch Sidorenko, 22-2-2 with seven knockouts, in order to get to Mexico's Montiel, 43-2-2 with 33 knockouts.
"When I have Montiel in my sight, as my target, I feel totally motivated. I have no fear," Donaire said. "They are going to see a different guy going in there. I'm motivated with Montiel on the horizon. This is where I want to be.
"I want to send a message to Montiel but I won't take Sidorenko lightly."
Montiel has some work to do as well to set up the showdown. He faces a 10-round non-title fight on December 11 in Mexico against compatriot Eduardo Garcia.
Sidorenko lost the WBA bantamweight crown to Panamanian southpaw Anselmo Moreno in 2008 and dropped a title rematch in 2009 but bounced back from his only defeats with an August decision over Tanzanian southpaw Mbwana Matumla.
"I'm really confident and working really hard," Donaire said. "I want to be the first guy to knock this guy out and that's what I'm going to try to do."
Also on the card is an all-Mexican showdown with Humberto Soto, 53-7 with two drawn and 32 knockouts, defending his WBC lightweight crown against Urbano Antillon, 28-1 with 20 knockouts.