HE MAY still have to hurdle his title fight tomorrow against Manuel Vargas, but Nonito Donaire Jr. is setting his sights on a much bigger foe--the undefeated Juan Manuel Lopez.
Donaire Jr., who will make his first defense of his WBA super flyweight title tomorrow, said a bout against Lopez, who is in a division three rungs higher, is a great challenge for him.
“People really get excited and get talking about boxing when you put the best guys in with the best. There’s no one out there that gets that fire burning inside me … like it does when I hear people talking about JuanMa,” Donaire told Yahoo boxing columnist Kevin Iole.
Lopez is a fearsome boxer who won all his 28 fights, 25 by knockouts.
He also beat Daniel Ponce de Leon—the boxer who only needed one round to knock out Rey Bautista—--in the first round.
Donaire said a fight with Lopez will be good for boxing.
Cameron Dunkin, Donaire’s manager, believes that his ward can compete with Lopez because he has a the height and body frame that of a featherweight.
“I watch him in the gym and he spars lightweights and junior lightweights and he competes with them with no problem,” said Dunkin. “When he’s at 130, 128, 132 [in training camp], those kinds of weights, he hits so much harder and he’s just as fast.”
Aside from a potential bout with Lopez, who is the featherweight champion, Bob Arum also wants to pit Donaire Jr. against Vic Darchinyan, while Dunkin eyes Mexican legends Jorge Arce and Israel Vasquez.
Meanwhile, ALA boy Z Gorres, who will watch Donaire’s bout in Pinoy Power 3, will finally be returning to Cebu City, along with his wife Datches, on Feb. 16.
Gorres will be leaving for Manila from the US on Feb. 14 and will fly to Cebu City after a day’s rest.
He will be arriving at the Mactan International Airport at 10:30 a.m.
Gorres, 27, is recuperating from a head injury he got after his fight with Luis Melendez last Nov. 13 at the Mandalay Bay House of Blues.