Donaire-Vazquez, which will be televised on HBO from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 4, will be for the WBO’s title that was vacated by Jorge Arce, who dethroned Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 17 KOs) by 12th-round knockout on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Shane Mosley in May.
Promoted by Top Rank Inc., Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) is coming off October’s unanimous decision over WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez, who used a purely defensive style and lost every round on the cards of the three judges at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
THE RING’S No. 4-rated pound-for-pound fighter, Donaire weighed in at a surprisingly light 116.25 pounds for Narvaez, after having having tipped the scales at 118 pounds for each of his previous bantamweight bouts — a fourth-round knockout of Wladimir Sidorenko in his division debut in December of last year, and a follow-up second-round stoppage of three-division titlewinner Fernando Montiel in February.
Donaire walks around at about 145 pounds, weighed 124 pounds two days prior to facing Narvaez, and entered the ring at nearly 132 pounds, necessitating his rise into what he feels is the more natural 122-pound class.
RingTV.com: What are the advantages for you moving up into the next higher weight class?
Nonito Donaire: One thing is that it’s a big challenge and it’s a big step up. The guys are bigger, obviously, and this just shows how hungry I am for this game. How hungry I am to win and how hungry I am in training.
How much I enjoy this game. So it means a lot to me to be able to conquer my opponent in the next fight, and to show how much I love the game and how hungry I am to accept challenges.
RingTV.com: After being disappointed in your last effort, what sort of performance are you looking for against Vazquez?
N D: I want to look specatcular. I know that I can beat a lot of guys with my movement. I want to look spectacular. That’s good for boxing. That’s good for my personal gain as a person.
I want to show improvement every time that I go into the ring. I want to look great, I want to look awesome, I want to look fast, and I want to look fantastic. I want to see how I can do against the bigger guys.
That’s what I want to do. I was disappointed in the last fight, but I came to realize that I had taken a long layoff and that I had dropped a lot of weight abruptly.
This time, right now, I’m actually just a few pounds above where I need to be. I’m about five to seven pounds above the weight limit already of being within where I need to be for this next weight class.
So I’m mentally and physically prepared before even getting into the trainign camp. I’m about 128, which is where I was the last time that I weighed in. When I drop down after my workout, I lose about three pounds.
Maybe to about 125 pounds, which is pretty light considering that usually I’m at about 140 at around this time. So I’m pretty light. I just want to do the right things this time. I want to look great for this fight.
I’m doing the right things. I want to study the tapes like I haven’t done in a long time. I want to study and not be too overconfident and go in there and be able to figure the guys out. I want to have a gameplan from A to Z.