Tuesday, July 16, 2024  |


Simpiwe Vetyeka 125.5, Nonito Donaire 126

Fighters Network


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RING No. 4-rated WBA featherweight titleholder Simpiwe Vetyeka and former RING junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire weighed 125.5 pounds and 126, respectively, on Friday in advance of Saturday's HBO-televised clash in Macao, China.

The No. 7-rated 126-pounder, Donaire (32-2, 21 knockouts) was last in action for a ring for November's ninth-round TKO of ex-beltholder Vic Darchinyan while Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs) dethroned and retired long-reigning champion Chris John following a sixth-round stoppage win in his last fight in December.

"I trained three months for this fight. When I fought Chris John, it was my third fight at 126 pounds. I knew at that point I had the power to beat him. I was shocked I made him quit on his stool. I expect to see the Nonito Donaire that is a bully in the ring. I am prepared to frustrate him. There is only one way to handle a bully. I am a warrior," said Vetyeka, according to a release.

"I am going to return everything he tries to serve me, only it will be hotter. I will take the fight to Donaire from the first bell. I intend to end this fight early. I have a great deal of respect for Nonito Donaire, but I have no fear of him. I'm glad he accepted to challenge me, but he is not going beat me. This is my title, and, more importantly, this is my time."

Although Donaire acknowledged the difficulty that Vetyeka presents, he, nevertheless, expressed confidence that he will be victorious.

"I only want to fight the best.  In the featherweight division, that's Vetyeka. He beat Chris John.  Vetyeka's the true featherweight champion.  I have trained harder for this fight than I have in years. I will be moving all over the ring and hitting Vetyeka from different angles," said Donaire.

"I feel so strong.  I'm still evolving. As good as I am going to be on Saturday, it's not even close to fulfilling my potential as a championship fighter. The way I feel today, I think I could be world champion in more divisions, all the way up to 140 pounds. I love training again. Boxing is so important to me. Saturday night at The Venetian Macao is going to be my finest hour."

Also on the card, No. 3-ranked IBF featherweight beltholder Evgeny Gradovich (18-0, 9 KOs) and challenger Alexander Miskirtchian (24-2-1, 9 KOs) both weighed 125.5 pounds as did both RING No. 5-rated Jamaican featherweight contender Nicholas Walters (23-0, 19 KOs) and his opponent, Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KOs).

Also on the card, super middleweight Esquiva Falcao (2-0, 1 KO), a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, and Eun-Chang Lee (7-3, 3 KO) weighed 161.5 and 162, respectively.