Lem Satterfield

Donaire weighs in at 116.4 pounds, Narvaez at 117

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Garcia expects Donaire to re-hydrate and walk into the ring weighing "between 128 and 130 pounds."

"He'll probably gain about 10 or 12 pounds, but that's not going to be a problem. I know the fighter that I have," said Garcia. "I know that Nonito is mentally and physically ready for this. We know what's coming next, so we're ready for this fight and it's going to be a great fight."

Future plans for Donaire in the eyes of Top Rank CEO Bob Arum include a potential matchup opposite WBO junior featherweight beltholder Jorge Arce (58-6-1, 44 KOs), of Mexico, in January or February, followed by one against WBC junior featherweight titleholder Toshiaki Nishioka  (39-4-3, 24 KOs), of Tokyo, in May or June.

"The plans are to go up to 122, not only because he does have a hard time making the weight," said Garcia. "But eventually we want to end up at featherweight maybe sometime next year. So we'll see at our next fight. But that's the plan, to move up in weight."

Arce defended his belt with a fourth-round stoppage of Simphiwe Nongqayi (16-2-1, 6 KOs) on Sept. 15. The 32-year-old Arce is 6-0-1 with five knockouts since last suffering defeat, that loss being against Nongqayi by unanimous decision in Sept. of 2009.

The 35-year-old Nishioka scored his 16th-straight victory with a unanimous decision over former two-division titleholder Rafael Marquez (40-7, 36 KOs) on Oct. 1.

Nishioka is also the last man to defeat WBC featherweight titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez (50-7, 44 KOs) in May of 2009, a fight in which Nishioka rose from a first-round knockdown and then floored Gonzalez in the third to score a knockout.

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Called "a tremendously capable fighter with great reflexes and great ring smarts" by Arum, Narvaez is 20-0-1 in world title fights. The 36-year-old southpaw is coming off a unanimous decision over William Urina in June that represented his third successful defense of the belt he won from Everth Briceno in May of last year.

Prior to that, Narvaez made 16 defenses of the WBO's flyweight belt after dethroning Adonis Rivas in July 2002.

"Narvaez is a tremendous fighter. He's very, very experienced and has a great heart," said Donaire during Thursday's final press conference. "He knows how to beat a champion. He knows how to win."

Narvaez's manager, Osvaldo Rivero, said that his fighter made the weight comfortably and expressed surprise at Donaire's.

"The weight is the weight. I think that he was really tight and dry, but tomorrow, that's a different thing. Nonito Donaire is a professional, and I think that by then, he will recover. Our guy made the weight very comfortably. He was eating yesterday. He ate dinner. No problem at all," said Rivero.

"We're ready. We're hoping to win. We have a lot of confidence. Fights are fights. We'll see tomorrow. Nonito Donaire is a really good boxer, and he's very brave, and he's a terrific puncher. But we're very, very confident in this case thanks to our experience."

Garcia sees Narvaez as an opponent to be respected.

"Narvaez was in shape. Of course, we can't look past Narvaez. He's a tremendous champion and a great fighter.  He's a sharp fighter who looks good. He's got many world title fights. He broke Carlos Monzon's record of 14 title defense in Argentina, so that tells you a lot right there with 16 title defenses," said Garcia.

"Narvaez has beaten good fighters and I've seen his fighters. He's got the experience, and he does it in a way that a lot of fight fans might not like because he doesn't have the knockouts. But he makes the fights go into the later rounds and he wins those rounds. He knows how to win. He's undefeated. So he does no how to win. We're in for a tough fight."

For the featherweight undercard bout, unbeaten Mikey Garcia (26-0, 22 KOs), the younger brother of Robert Garcia, weighed in at 125 pounds compared to his opponent, Juan Carlos Martinez (18-12-1, 6 KOs), who took two hours to make the 126-pound limit.

 

Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.

 

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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