San Leandro's Nonito Donaire Will Fight Jeffrey Mathebula in July

Categories: Sports

nonito-donaire.jpg
Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire
Nonito Donaire, the WBO junior featherweight champion from San Leandro who ranks as the second best boxer of Filipino descent, inked his next fight earlier this week: a July 7 title unification match with IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula.
 

This will be the Filipino Flash's second fight at 122 lbs. In his February junior featherweight debut, he shut out then-undefeated Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision.

While Donaire (28-1) will step into the ring as the odds-on favorite, Mathebula (26-3) does present a dangerous match-up: for one of the few times in his career, the 5-foot-7 Donaire will be the shorter man, coming up three inches smaller than his opponent.

Donaire often dictates a fight's tempo by bouncing around the ring, keeping space between him and his opponent to exploit his longer arms, reeling the opponent into his devastating left hook. Mathebula could challenge him to evolve his arsenal.

After his impressive second-round knockout of bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel in February 2011, Donaire jumped into the top five of most pound-for-pound best boxer lists. (Throw in Andre Ward, the 2011 Boxing Writers Association of America's fighter of the year, and the East Bay boasts two of the five best boxers on the planet.)

Donaire's won 27 straight fights -- his only loss came in his second career pro bout 11 years ago. Over the last four years, he has won world titles in four different eight classes.

The fight, hosted in the Carson Home Depot Center, will headline HBO's Boxing After Dark card, ESPN reported.

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