Mathebula eyes unification bout
NEW IBF junior featherweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula is keeping his fingers crossed that the proposed unification fight with American Nonito Donaire becomes a reality.
Donaire is the current WBO super bantamweight champion and former WBC and WBO bantamweight, WBA super flyweight and IBF flyweight king.
Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday, Mathebula's promoter Branco Milenkovic said negotiations for the fight were at an advanced stage.
Mathebula was presented with his junior featherweight belt, which he captured after defeating Takalani Ndlovu in Brakpan last month.
"We are in discussions with Top Rank Promotions to secure a unification fight against Nonito and are waiting for approval from (US pay TV network) HBO," said Milenkovic.
"We have no doubt Mathebula will do well against Nonito. Initially there was a short-list of four boxers to fight against Nonito but the list has been reduced to two. Mathebula is there with Cristian Mijares. I have no doubt Mathebula will be the one chosen to fight Nonito."
If he is chosen it will not be the first time a fighter from trainer Nick Durandt's gym fights Nonito, after Moruti Mthalane took on the US boxer..
Milenkovic said: "Moruti would have won that fight but was messed up by the cut (in the sixth round).
"I so wish that the fight between Mathebula and Donaire happens because we have a score to settle with him."
Mathebula, who is rated sixth-best super bantamweight in the world by Ring Magazine, said: "Bring Nonito on, I will defeat him too. To be the best in the world, you've got to fight against the best and win. Expect that from me when I enter the ring."