Donaire wary of ‘hungry’ Vazquez
MANILA, Philippines—Three-division world boxing champion Nonito Donaire Jr. yesterday said it would be foolhardy for him to look past Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. when he debuts in the junior featherweight division on Feb. 4 in San Antonio, Texas.
Donaire wrote on his Facebook wall page that Vazquez reminds him of himself when he fought and wrested the IBF-IBO flyweight crown from the then-unbeaten Armenian Vic Dar-chinyan via a spectacular fifth-round knockout in 2007.
Donaire will battle Vazquez at the Alamodome in San Antonio for the vacant World Boxing Organization junior featherweight title.
“Remember, Darcy looked past me but I was hungrier,” said Donaire. “It will be a test for me to see if my power and speed carries to the next weight. It would be foolish of me to look past [Vazquez] for any reason.”
Vazquez’s credentials include a fourth-round knockout win over Filipino Marvin Sonsona in 2010. The son of three-division champion and boxing legend Wilfredo Vazquez is also coming off a third-round KO of Roberto Carlos Leyva last October.
Despite that and a 21-1-1 (18 by KO) record, Vazquez still can’t be ranged against the big shots on Donaire’s checklist like bantamweight champion Jorge Arce, Olympic champion and former IBF featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Japanese Toshiaki Nishioka, who holds the WBC super bantam crown.
Vazquez held that same WBO junior featherweight belt until last May, when he lost it to Arce. In that fight, Vazquez unleashed several thundering shots to floor Arce in the fourth round, but the classy Mexican picked himself up to score a stunning 12th-round TKO.
Arce has since relinquished that title in order to fight at 118 pounds.
“I’m fighting Vazquez because he’s a formidable opponent for my debut in 122 lb,” said Donaire. “He’s a former world champ, a great boxer, is comfortable at 122 and is hungry.”
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