EVER since coming into the consciousness of world boxing with a devastating fifth-round knockout of Vic Darchinyan in 2007, interim World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. has not fought a high profile fighter again.
However, he believes that it will all change if he beats Mexican Manuel Vargas today, in the main event of Pinoy Power 3, which features five Pinoys against Latinos.
“This fight is a gate for my future fights. I have to win this fight before I get those bigger names...I try to stay focused as much as I can, though when I train, I get the vision of fighting those other guys and it’s hard to focus on this guy,” Donaire told Espn.com.
Donaire wants to face both Darchinyan, WBO super flyweight titleholder Jorge Arce, and unify the 115-pound belts before moving up in weight.
“I’m not purposely looking ahead, but part of my mind and body is so excited about those other fights that it’s hard not to.”
Vargas, who challenged ALA boy Donnie Nietes for the WBO mini-flyweight title last year in Mexico, is a last-minute replacement for Gerson Guerrero, who was pulled out of the fight when physicians found out he had a detached retina.
Donaire is 22-1 with 14 KOs, while the 28-year-old Vargas is 26-4-1 with 11 KOs.
In the supporting bouts, unbeaten Ciso Morales (14-0, 8 KOs) will face Fernando Montiel (39-2-2, 29 KO’s) for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title, while Gerry Peñalosa (54-7-2, 36 KOs) ends a 10-month layoff against Puerto Rican Eric Morel (41-2, 21 KOs) for the interim WBO bantamweight crown.
Bernabe Concepcion (27-3-1, 15 KOs) will also face Mario Santiago (21-1-1, 14 KOs) and ALA boy Mark Jason Melligen (16-2, 12 KOs) is also in a do-or-die eight-round match with unbeaten American Raymond Gatica (11-0, 6 KOs).