South African Mathebula to face Donaire—reports
LOS ANGELES—Filipino star Nonito Donaire and South Africa’s Jeffrey Mathebula will fight to unify their world super-bantamweight titles, according to numerous reports citing comments from promoters.
Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN that the fight would be staged at the Home Depot Center near Los Angeles on June 30 or July 7 while other US and Filipino website reports have said the bout would be in Las Vegas.
The showdown will match 29-year-old “Filipino Flash” Donaire, 28-1 with 18 knockouts, risking the World Boxing Organization crown against International Boxing Federation champion Mathebula, 26-3 with two drawn and 14 knockouts.
Donaire dropped two world bantamweight crowns to move up a division in February and won a 12-round split decision over Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Vazquez Jnr for the vacant WBO crown.
Mathebula, 32, will be an unusual foe for Donaire in that he is taller than the Asian star.
The South African won the IBF crown last March with a 12-round split decision over compatriot Takalani Ndlovu, who had won his first fight with Mathebula by split decision in 2010.
Mathebula’s only other loss since 2003 came in his only other world title fight, a 2009 split-decision loss at Panama to home-nation hero Celestino Caballero for the IBF and World Boxing Association super bantamweight crowns.