By Karl Freitag
WBO jr featherweight champion Nonito Donaire will collide with IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs) in a world title unification fight on July 7 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Mathebula, from South Africa, brings something to the ring that Nonito has never seen in any of his previous fights. “He’s a taller guy,” said Nonito. “I’ve never faced a taller guy and I know Cameron (manager Cameron Dunkin) is nervous right now, but I wanted this fight. I wanted something to motivate me, to keep me going, I wanted something to create that desire in me to train as hard as I did. Actually this is the first time I’m training really hard because I don’t know what to expect out there.”
There is one thing the Donaire camp does expect, however. Mathebula won’t be another Omar Narvaez. “The video we’ve seen on Mathebula shows he is a fighter that engages,” said promoter Bob Arum. “He comes to fight.” And, this is exactly the type of opponent that brings out the best in the exciting Donaire, so it should be a very good fight.