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Donaire excited for WBC world bantamweight title showdown in Las Vegas vs Mexican foe

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspodent | July 28,2023 - 06:49 PM

Nonito Donaire Jr. (left) and Alexandro Santiago (right).

Nonito Donaire Jr. (left) and Alexandro Santiago (right). | Photo from Showtime Boxing’s Twitter

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and his opponent Alexandro Santiago of Mexico faced each other for the first time a few days before their World Boxing Council (WBC) world bantamweight title showdown in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Donaire Jr. and Santiago even engaged in a stare-down during the official press conference of their bout which is part of the undercard bouts of the Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford world title unification showdown in the main event.

Instead of trash talking, both boxers expressed their tremendous respect for each other, but each vowed to win the world title on Saturday evening (Sunday, Manila time).

“It’s always exciting for me, It’s amazing to be out here and get the opportunity, yet again for me in the purpose to keep winning and get the title. I’m very, very grateful to everybody, it’s a big card, that in itself is a treat,” said Donaire Jr. during the presser on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

“It’s the adrenaline. You fight the younger guys, and you prove [to] them and just keep continuing to beat the record.”

Donaire Jr. eyes to set a record in boxing as the oldest bantamweight world champion by reclaiming the WBC world bantamweight title at 40. He held the title last year.

However, he lost it to Japanese boxing superstar Naoya Inoue during their rematch in Tokyo, Japan.

This time, Donaire wants to prove that despite his age, he still has what it takes to win a world title.

Donaire Jr. trained in Cebu for several months in a well-known boxing gym.

“This is the biggest fight out there; who wouldn’t jump into this opportunity with everybody watching millions around the world. So, this is the fight I’m blessed to be in,” Donaire said when he was asked how he felt when the bout was rescheduled.

The bout was first scheduled last July 15 but it was moved to the Spence-Crawford undercard.

“Mexican fighters are very very tough. For me I’m very smart, I’ve all the knowledge and experience. I can fight on whoever, wherever, so I’m ready for it,” said Donaire Jr.

For his part, Santiago said that he has matured a lot since his first world title bout in 2018. He fought for the IBF world super flyweight title then against another Filipino, Jerwin Ancajas, but he lost via split decision.

“Back in 2018, i was young, but it was in the past. Through hard work, discipline and having a great team, I was able to grow, and I’m more matured now and I’m ready to become a world champion and that’s what I came here to do,” said Santiago through a translator.

“All respect for Nonito, I respect him a lot, but on Saturday night, people all around the world are going to know Alexandro Santiago will be the world champion,” he added.


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TAGS: Las Vegas, Mexican, Naoya Inoue, Nonito Donaire Jr, WBC

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