WBO super bantamweight champion, Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18 knockouts), aka the Filipino Flash, is back in the ring this Saturday, July 7th, against South African IBF super bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 knockouts) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
This world title unification fight can be seen live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT).
The HBO Boxing After Dark commentator team will include: Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr.
Mathebula, from Johannesburg, goes by the moniker "Marvelous Mongoose." He is coming off of a close split decision win over his fellow country man Takalani Ndlovu, a former champion who defeated him two years ago.
Mathebula has only fought outside of his native land four times. Should he defeat Donaire Saturday, he will become the first South African fighter to be a unified world champion.
Mathebula has been listed as being as tall as 5'10". The press photos where he is standing next to Donaire make it evident that he will be towering over him on Saturday night.
It will be interesting to see how Donaire deals with fighting a much taller opponent this time around.
Donaire is widely regarded as one of the top-pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Many publications have him as high as #3 or #4 on rankings list.
Nonito is also the most wanted man in the 122 lbs and even 126 lbs weight division, all while not even having fought above 122 lbs so far. This will be his fourth time fighting on HBO.
Also on the televised portion of HBO's Boxing After Dark will be heavy handed former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik will be taking on Edwin Rodriguez, replacing the previously scheduled Brandon Rios vs. Mauricio Herrera fight.
Friday Afternoon at the Weigh-In:
All fighters made weight. Donaire weighed in at 121.4 lbs, and Mathebula 121.8 lbs.
Both fighters meant business as they stared each other down, but there definitely is a lot more respect than the intense bad blood in Donaire's last fight against Vazquez back in February. Donaire had to look upward to stare down Mathebula, displaying the significant height advantage of the South African champion.
Kelly Pavlik and Edwin Rosinsky both weighed in at 168.2 lbs.
King J will be live ringside at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California and will be updating his blog with breaking details from the fight night. Continue to check back in for additional real time updates and real time photos. Follow King J on Twitter at: @KingJ323