WBO Superbantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. (28-1, 18 knockouts) to face IBF Jr. Featherweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs) of South Africa in the ring in a unification bout, come Saturday July 7, at Home Depot Center in California.
What is known for Mathebula, is that he was the featheweight division boxing representative of his country at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Before turning professional in 2001 Mathebula has piled up an impressive amateur record of 101 wins against just 4 losses .
Most of his fights since turning professional were done at his home country. The first fight he has fought outside South Africa was that of Celestino Caballero of Panama in 2009 which was held in the US where Mathebula lost in a split decision.
This is the first time Donaire faces a fighter towering him by 5 inches, so it could be a real challenge to him, of how he can be able to overcome it.
Maybe it is only a matter of learning some lessons out from the Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns fight or that of Pacquiao-Margarito fight, on how Hagler and Pacquiao were able to neutralize their much taller opponents at their advantage.
Despite their being shorter in reach they were still able to inflict damages on the faces of their taller opponents.
So, I think height here would not be an issue especially to Donaire who has the skill, power and speed.
This time Donaire has to show an impressive win in this fight to avoid replicating the Pacquiao – Bradley controversy.
To avoid such a controversial fight from happening, the fighter has to dictate the pacing of the fight with clean punches in every round or win the bout by knockout as promoter Bob Arum has suggested.