Boxing

Nonito Donaire aiming to become five-weight world champion

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Nonito Donaire is aiming to become a five-weight world champion on Saturday when he squares off against South Africa's Simpiwe Vetyeka for the WBA super world featherweight title.

The Filipino fighter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of countryman and boxing great Manny Pacquiao.

Pacman became a four division champion in 2008 with a WBC world super-featherweight title win of his own, beating rival Juan Manuel Marquez before going on to win titles at a remarkable eight different weight groups.

Donaire would be able to consider himself a success if he is able to replicate any of Pacquiao's achievements, but the 31-year-old isn't getting ahead of himself just yet after having suffered one of the hardest years of his career to date.

"2013 was a year I would say was covered in darkness, but that's how life is," he said on Box Nation.

"For me this is a new beginning with Vetyeka. He's an amazing fighter and we understand what he's capable of. For us this is a statement, regardless of whether I have it or not. And that's something everyone will be excited to see. And we'll find out Saturday."

The featherweight bout will be Donaire's first at the 126 pound weight and he is hoping of erasing the memory of a disappointing 2013.

He lost to the skilled Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in April before scraping past Vic Darchinyan with a ninth round knockout in November, having been down on the judges' scorecards.

"Last year I got away from what made me successful and I paid the price for that when I met Rigondeaux. And even when I knocked out Vic Darchinyan in our rematch last year, that wasn't the best me," said Donaire.

"It's been a long time since I entered a fight as an underdog but that has inspired me more. I re-evaluated everything. I moved my training camp to the Philippines to take advantage of the heat and humidity and to eliminate the distractions I had in Las Vegas.

"It was a great move. I let a lot of things I worked hard to achieve slip through my fingers last year. I want to return to where I was in 2012 and go beyond that for the remainder of my boxing career," he added.

Standing in his way this time is the 33-year-old, Vetyeka, who has won 26 of his 28 professional scraps.

This will be the biggest fight of the South African's career and I believe him to be the underdog going into the contest in Macao, despite him being the defending champion.

He will be entering the ring on a high following his impressive win over the hugely respected Chris John last December.

But the former super-bantamweight king is a big step up in calibre of fighter and will provide Vetyeka with challenges that he may not previously have faced at this weight, not that he seems phased.

"Thank you to Nonito for accepting my challenge. I'm the champion, but I chose to fight Nonito and he accepted. Fight night I'll make sure I defend my title successfully. That's why I'm here," Vetyeka said.

Donaire is well aware of the threat the South African possesses and is confident that he has the right strategy in place to ensure him of victory.

"I had to work on a lot of things in camp because Vetyeka is so multidimensional inside the ring. He's dangerous and has a lot of weapons," he said.

"His last two fights were knockout victories of Daud Yordan and Chris John. Those are two tough guys. But I am confident I have the game plan and the talent to beat him. There is no doubt that May 31st at The Venetian Macao is going to be my finest hour."

The exciting orthodox fighter will have his father back in his corner too, who joins as head trainer, and he will be hoping his son can get his career back on track by becoming a five-weight world champion.

The main event is one of three featherweight world championship fights, with undefeated WBA world featherweight Nicholas Walters defending his title against two-division world champion Darchinyan.

While undefeated IBF champion Evgeny Gradovich will also be taking on number one contender Alexander Miskirtchian.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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