By Robert Coster
“I want to knock Mayol out,” says former world champion Omar Nino as he is getting set for his February 27th showdown against WBC light flyweight champion Rodell Mayol of the Philippines in Mexico City. Those are bold words from Nino (28-3-1, 11 KOs), reputed to be more of a pure boxer than puncher. But the Guadalajara-born fighter seems intent on making his countrymen proud and winning the title “which I should never have lost in the first place.”
In October 2006, Nino wrested the WBC crown from favored and then unbeaten Brian Viloria with a clear-cut decision in Las Vegas. However, the Mexican champion was then stripped of the belt on doping charges, allegations which then turned out to be false. “The Nevada Athletic Comission made a mistake and they have recently apologized to me,” said Nino. “I think it is the only such case in boxing”.
It took Nino three-and-a-half years to fight his way back into contention. “It’s a terrible feeling to be punished for something you haven’t done but all that is in the past. I’m back from the brink and really pumped up. I will bring the title back to Mexico,” promises Nino.
As for Mayol’s reputation as a dirty fighter who frequently uses his head as a weapon (back to back controversial endings against Ivan Calderon and Edgar Sosa)? “Against Mayol one has to be mobile, not a fixed target,” considers Nino, “Rodell’s stamina is suspect and I’m looking for a late round stoppage.”