Nonito Donaire is ready to carry the title as best Filipino fighter in the world. His skills will be on full display when he battles the formidable Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
The Philipines most popular fighter, Manny Pacquiao, is nearing the end of his career and it is time Donaire received his just due. Donaire's career has been stellar thus far, as he boasts a record of 28-1 with 18 KOs.
Donaire's opponent is no slouch. Vazquez is 27-1 with 18 KOs to his own credit.
He rebounded from his first defeat at the hands of hard-charging, but weak-punching Jorge Arce. In that fight he lost the WBO Super Bantamweight title. The championship has since been vacated and now he will fight Donaire to regain it.
If he thinks Arce was a difficult draw, he ain't seen nothing yet.
The two almost got into a scuffle in the pre-fight press conference and Vazquez has attempted to gain a mental advantage with trash talk.
Donaire has vowed to stay focused on his game plan, despite his personal feelings:
I have never been angry as much as I am now but I realize that I need to relax and just follow my game plan.
Vazquez's posturing at the weigh-in said anything but confidence. When young, unproven fighters are as animated as Vazquez was here, it's genuinely to mask a ton of nervousness:
In his fight with Arce, he was gassed by the eighth round, and was clearly bothered by Arce's head-first style. Donaire won't fight Vazquez that way, but he does bring one of the most dangerous combinations of speed and power in to the ring.
Donaire represents the best fighter by far Vazquez will have ever faced, and it will show in the ring. Donaire has KOd quality fighters like Fernando Montiel and TKOd the tough Vic Darchinyan in his career. Vazquez will be next in line for a beating.
With the victory, Donaire will continue to climb into the consciousness of fight fans. As Manny Pacquiao's Hall of Fame career slowly winds down, Donaire is here to carry a now-impressive Filipino fighting tradition.
My pick is Donaire by 6th round KO.