Friday, February 3, 2012

Donaire looms large in debut at 122 Saturday, and he’ll win big

source: Colin Seymour |

In our lingering image of Wildredo Vasquez Jr., he’s breaking down in the late rounds and getting caught by aged, overstuffed Jorge Arce last May. That’s reason No. 1 it’s difficult to imagine how Vasquez will avoid getting caught by Nonito Donaire on Saturday in San Antonio.

The bout on HBO marks the former flyweight and bantamweight champion Donaire’s debut as 122 pounds, with the WBO super-bantamweight title at stake. The Filipino Flash, by way of San Leandro and San Mateo, is a big favorite to dispatch Vasquez, whose 20-0-1 record with 17 knockouts before the Arce fight gave him an imposing image until the loss to Arce.

Some reports list Donaire (27-1, 18 knockouts) as a 12-1 favorite, but he has been emphasing that he won’t be overconfident, and his trainer, Robert Garcia, backs that up. “Sometimes a lot of people feel, oh, he lost to Arce, so he is no good,” Garcia told Glendale Boxing Examiner Igor Frank. “But a lot of fighters learn from those losses. So may be we are going to get a better Vasquez than before.

To that end, it would be tempting to invest a couple of sawbucks in Vasquez, because the odds should be more like 5-1.

But before you get excited about Vasquez, take a look at the photo (above left) of the two combatants together. And compare them in the photo of their scuffle Thursday brought on by an impudent email Vasquez’s wife sent to the Donaires.

Donaire towers over the guy, and it looks to be a man vs. boy mismatch much as Donaire’s fights at the lower weights always looked. Donaire looms very large at 122, which is only about 15 shy of his walking-around weight.

And he’s been sparring with featherweights and even lightweights frequently during the past two years.

Yes, people, it’s not like Donaire is straining mightily to gain weight, despite something to the contrary I read somewhere. At the lower weights in recent years, he’s reached a point where his weight loss was claiming muscle mass. He’s better off at 122 and he’ll prove it thunderously Saturday at the Alamodome.

Vasquez will win two or three rounds, but he’ll get hurt in an early round. Although Vasquez will survive into the late rounds, Donaire’s domination of the bout will force the Puerto Rican’s corner to toss in the towel. Say the ninth round.