Donaire-Vazquez: Remember the Alamodome

By Robert Ecksel on February 3, 2012
Donaire-Vazquez: Remember the Alamodome
The two fighters were in each other's face at yesterday's presser (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

If Vazquez doesn’t bring his A-game into the ring down in Texas, it could be a very long, or perhaps very short, night…

Nonito Donaire has something to prove. Not everyone agrees and likes to hear that, nor should they. But his last fight at Madison Square Garden against Omar Narvaez revealed holes in Donaire’s offense, of all things, because his opponent “didn’t come to fight” and Donaire failed to adequately adjust.

Donaire isn’t the first or last champion who faced similar challenges in the ring. The Darwinian survival of the fittest has been known to take many forms. History is replete with examples of competitors who came not to fight but to survive—can anyone say David Haye?—and the champs they were up against didn’t necessarily get frustrated, lose their cool, let it disrupt their game plan, or affect their reputation.

Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas, in a fight broadcast on HBO as the co-main event before Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Marco Antonio Rubio, Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) moves up in weight to get it on with former champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 18 KOs) for the vacant WBO super bantamweight title.

The 27-year-old Vazquez is to the manner born, so to speak, since his father was one of the great Puerto Rican champions in history. But he has proven himself a worthy successor to the Vazquez name. His only loss was to Jorge Arce last May, and if one has to have one’s perfect record blemished, who better to do the blemishing than Jorge Arce?

That loss, however, may not bode well for Vazquez when he fights Donaire, who has yet to reach either his full size or potential. The Filipino Flash is one of those boxers who talks as well as fights a good game, and as he continues to move up in weight and class expectations will continue to rise accordingly.

There’s been some noticeably bad blood between the two fighters. (There’s worse blood between their wives, but we only write about women who fight between the ropes, not those who fight between appointments with their stylists.) At yesterday’s presser at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Donaire and Vazquez were literally in each other’s face—and the cameras loved every minute of it.

Before things got out of hand, the 29-year-old Donaire said, “I know I will be facing the best Vazquez. He’s the kind of kid who gets better and better. I can’t look past that. I think he has good power and decent speed. I can’t take him lightly.

“Boxing is about heart. Filipino, Puerto Rican, Mexican—it’s all about heart. We take it, with all of the respect, that’s what it’s all about. It’s the beauty of boxing. This is going to be an amazing fight. Both sides have respect for each other. Both sides will do everything they can. They’ll bring their heart, to bring their pride. It’s going to be fun.”

“I’m just happy to be here,” Vazquez said. “I’m well-prepared. And I’m here to regain my championship.”

Vazquez won’t retreat in his shell never to emerge as was the case with Narvaez. The fighter from Bayamon, Puerto Rico comes to fight and packs a wallop. But a momentary lapse of attention or less than perfect execution could spell doom for Papito. If he doesn’t bring his A-game into the ring down in Texas, it could be a very long, or perhaps very short, night.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Nonito Donaire vs Wilfredo Vazquez Jr (Sledgehammer Promo)

Nonito Donaire vs Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. Fight on February 4 2012

Nonito Donaire vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.: Donaire full media workout video

Nonito Donaire Media Day Workout

Jorge Arce vs Wilfredo Vazquez Jr Highlights

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  1. bk don 12:32pm, 02/03/2012

    Fighters are given too much crap for losing to top level competition, but Jorge Arce, at this point of his career, i don’t think makes for top level competition. So the fact that he was able to come from behind to stop V Jr. really raises a red flag. The flash is usually good for rebounding after subpar fights so i expect him to come out and put V Jr. on his backside. If this fight is short, maybe their wives could fight a 3 rounder.

  2. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:18pm, 02/03/2012

    Icing time! It will be a treat to watch Donaire deliver the icing before the Chavez/Rubio cake is served!

  3. the thresher 05:29am, 02/03/2012

    Donaire waxes this Vazquez.

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