Manny at 80 percent can beat Timothy–DonaireBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LAS VEGAS—Manny Pacquiao need not be perfect to beat Timothy Bradley.
Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire made this assessment Thursday during a dinner tendered in his honor by Top Rank chief Bob Arum.
“Manny has always been at the top of his game, but even at 80 percent, it would be enough (for him to win),” Donaire told Filipino sportswriters.
He said Pacquiao’s speed and power, coupled with his experience, would overwhelm Bradley, whom he described as “youth and roughness” endowed with a big head.
“He’s not afraid to bang heads; it’s his style ever since,” added Donaire, who grew up with and trained alongside Bradley during their amateur days in California. “He works hard.”
The WBO super bantamweight champion Donaire is scheduled to fight IBF counterpart Jeffrey Mathebula in a unification bout on July 7 in Carson, California.
Donaire—also the former WBC and WBO bantamweight, WBA interim super flyweight and IBF flyweight champion—said his training schedule might prevent him from watching Pacquiao-Bradley on Saturday.
He is working double time to prepare for Mathebula after the bout that was originally slated July 30 was moved forward by 23 days.
“Good luck to Manny,” said Donaire, who will be treading unfamiliar territory when he battles Mathebula.
The 5-foot-6 Donaire said this will be the first time that he will fight a taller foe. Mathebula is 5-10.
“This will be a new challenge, fighting as the smaller guy against a talented opponent,” said the Filipino Flash.
Donaire, ranked anywhere from No. 4 to No. 6 in the pound-for-pound list, described Mathebula as a “little awkward.”
Mathebula, a South African, has the same style as Panamanian Celestino Caballero, the former undisputed super bantamweight champion, according to Donaire, whose weight hovers at 135 pounds and should have no trouble making the 122 lb limit.