Fernando Montiel Planning to Knock Out Nonito Donaire
WBO and WBC bantamweight (118 pounds) champion Fernando Montiel, of Mexico, will carry a great deal of pride into the ring on Saturday night at the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas for an HBO televised, clash against WBA interim super flyweight (115 pounds) titlist Nonito Donaire.
The 31-year-old Montiel (44-2-2, 34 knockouts) is riding an 11-0-1 unbeaten streak that includes nine knockouts, four straight stoppages and a mark of 5-0-1, with five knockouts in his past six fights.
In addition, Montiel is among five Mexican fighters to have won world titles over the course of three divisions -- the others being WBA and WBO lightweight (135 pounds) titlist Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (107-6-2, 86 KOs), Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) and Marco Antonio Barrera (67-7, 44 KOs).
In April, Montiel trailed on the cards when he scored a sensational fourth-round knockout over Hozumi Hasegawa (29-3, 12 KOs), a man who was in search of his sixth straight stoppage during a 25-fight winning streak that had included 11 knockouts.
But the 28-year-old Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a resident of San Leandro, Calif., who arrived in America from his native Philippines at the age of 10, enters his second-ever and second straight bantamweight match up in pursuit of his 25th straight victory and his 10th stoppage in his past 12 fights.
Donaire has patterned himself in the mold of Filipino countryman, Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), a WBO welterweight (147 titlist) who earned his record eighth crown over as many different weight divisions with November's unanimous decision over ex-champion, Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) for the WBC's junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt.
Nicknamed "The Mexecutioner," Pacquiao's 13-fight winning streak includes eight knockouts and victories over fighters of Mexican decent such as Morales, Barrerra, Marquez, Margarito, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, and, Jorge Solis.
Montiel spoke to FanHouse in this Q&A regarding what is at stake for him opposite Donaire.
FanHouse: Do you feel that Nonito Donaire is being positioned as the favorite in this fight?
Fernando Montiel: I'm going to give you a fight that you are going to remember. You know, I love a challenge. It motivates me more than anything.
When I was in against Hasegawa in Japan, I was a 3-to-1 underdog. But I knocked him out and proved everyone wrong. It's the same thing in this fight.
I know that a lot of people think that he's going to win. But a lot of people also think that I'm going to win. A lot of people know what I'm capable of.
So I think that this is a fight where I'm going to show what I'm capable of and earn another great victory for my career.
How much of an incentive is it for you that Nonito Donaire is being compared to Manny Pacquiao, who has dominated Mexican fighters?
I know what people are thinking about him and saying about him as being the next Manny Pacquiao, and, you know what? Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter.
Manny Pacquiao has proven himself. But this guy, Nonito Donaire, has not been tested yet. But he is going to get tested against me.
Believe me, this is a big step that he is taking. This is a very, very large step for Nonito Donaire. And I don't see him getting over it yet.
In the future? Maybe. But for right now? I think that if he believes that he's Manny Pacquiao, then, in me, he's facing Julio Cesar Chavez.
How much pride do you take into the ring as an active, living legend from Mexico, being one of its five three-division champions?
Of course I go into the ring with a lot of pride as a champion representing Mexico. We try to do our best, and I'm very proud of my accomplishments.
I still want to become the first man from Mexico to become a four-division champion. But when you're talking about Julio Cesar Chavez, you're talking about a whole different world.
As an accomplished and battle-tested fighter, what intangibles do you believe you will take into the ring that perhaps will show Nonito Donaire something he has not seen before?
You know, any loss that you have, you always learn from it. It has made me mentally tough to have been in the ring with the kind of fighters that I've faced.
You have to learn from everything, and it makes you a tougher fighter, mentally. So I know how to do my work. I think that Nonito is going to have to learn all of that in this fight.
Even though he's going to lose, I think that he will be okay, because he will be able to start all over again. But for me, it's just been a learning experience.
I really don't know what is inside of him, but we will find out, because I really don't think that he has been tested. He will have to prove himself.
Like if I knock him down, and he gets back up, and then, he comes back at me. I think that those types of things would be all positive things for him.
The fight fans will need to see something like that. But as for me, I already know what I'm capable of. I think that I can still get better. I think that I need to be better.
And I know that I will be better against Nonito Donaire. The question should be asked of him and answered as to whether he is prepared to give some special moments in a special fight.
Do you see this fight being a boxing match, a war, a strategic fight, ending in a knockout, or all of the above?
When I look at the fight, the way that you detailed it going is how I actually see it. I see it as being a very strategic war in there.
But it's my way to always engage, and it's my way to always make it a fight. I'm always in a good engagement and always in a good fight.
I do see it ending in a knockout. I don't see it going the distance. I honestly don't even see it going 10 rounds. I think that it will end in a knockout before 10 rounds.
I'm saying, of course, that I will win by knockout.