MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super flyweight champ Nonito Donaire Jr. needs to shed off weight to make the 115-pound limit for his title defense against Mexican challenger Hernan “Little Tyson” Marquez in Puerto Rico on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Donaire still has 3 pounds to go to make the 115 limit before the official weigh-in, but he feels strong and ready to rumble.
“Nag-ensayo ako ng husto…nandoon ang mga tao, nagsusuporta sa akin, all of that put together para bigyan ako ng extra determination,” said the “Filipino Flash”, who is ranked as the No. 4 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Donaire earlier said he plans to move up in weight after the fight because of his struggle to make the super flyweight limit.
On the other hand, his challenger Marquez is moving up from 112 pounds to 115 for a shot at the WBA interim title.
“Gugulatin ko ang mundo ng boxing. Kahit maliit ako kaya kong manalo. Ang knockout punch ko nanggagaling sa kanan o kaliwa. Parehong malakas,” Marquez said in Spanish.
He noted that out of 27 wins, he has put down 24 opponents. Donaire, meanwhile, has 23 wins with 15 knockouts. Both boxers have suffered only 1 career loss.
The Donaire-Marquez match is part of “The Challenge” fight card, which headlines the Juan Manuel Lopez-Bernabe Concepcion World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title clash at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in Hato Rey.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who arrived in Puerto Rico for the fights, is confident that Donaire will come out victorious.
“Donaire is one of the best boxers around today and I expect him to be successful,” he said.
Also fighting in the undercard is Filipino super bantamweight Eden Sonsona, who will face Puerto Rican Jonathan Oquendo for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) title.
Arum warned that Filipino fighters need to be ready for Puerto Rico’s die-hard boxing fans who will dominate the coliseum.
“Nobody screams more than Puerto Ricans so it should be a fun night,” he said.
“The Challenge” will be shown on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday beginning 10 a.m. It will be replayed on Studio 23 at 7 p.m.
Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News