Nonito Donaire Jr. guns for his fourth title in as many weight divisions when he clashes with former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. for the vacant WBO super bantamweight title Sunday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The lean, hard-punching Donaire, dubbed as the Filipino Flash, easily made the weight Friday evening at 121.6 lb while the slugger from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, tipped the scale at the 122-lb limit after rapidly shedding at least 9 lb the past seven days.
Donaire held world titles in the flyweight (112 lb), super flyweight (115), bantamweight (118) and is hoping to follow Manny Pacquiao’s blazing trail of glory.
Ranked highly in pound-for-pound lists but never quite a pay-per-view force, Donaire (27-1 with 18 knockouts) hopes to engage Vazquez (21-1-1 18 KOs) in an exciting battle in only his third fight covered by cable giant HBO.
A heavy favorite, Donaire has shown skills, speed and power, making him No. 4 in the Ring Magazine pound for pound list behind Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao, and Argentine Sergio Martinez.
But Vazquez, who lost the super bantamweight crown to Mexican Jorge Arce via 12th round TKO after scoring knockdowns in the fourth last year, is also feared for his heavy fists and explosive presence in the ring.
Rafael Ramos will be the referee for the fight with Levi Martinez, Don Trella and Dr. Ruben Garcia as judges.
Nine years ago at the same venue, Pacquiao pummeled Mexican superstar Marco Antonio Barrera and helped cement his place in the sport’s A-list.
Now Donaire is raring to do the same, staking his 11-year, 26-fight unbeaten slate. He has stopped four of his last five foes, including an annihilation of bantamweight king Fernando Montiel in a stunning second-round stoppage in Las Vegas last year.