by Nick Giongco
Four-division champion Nonito Donaire attempts to join the country’s growing list of world champions today when he challenges Ryan Burnett for the World Boxing Association bantamweight crown at the13,000-capacity SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
During the official weighin on Friday (early Saturday in Manila), Donaire and Burnett both came in at 117.5 lbs.
This will be Donaire’s first fight at 118 lbs in more than seven years as he has had fought at super-bantam (122) and feather (126) the past few years.
Turning 36 on Nov. 16, Donaire brings to the ring a solid 38-5 win-loss record with 24 Kos while Burnett, a gold medalist in the 2010 Youth Olympics, comes in with an immaculate 19-0 card with nine Kos.
Should Donaire score a win, he will join Manny Pacquiao, Jerwin Ancajas and Vic Saludar the country’s reigning world champions.
Two others – minimumweight Mark Anthony Barriga and super-fly Donnie Nietes – are set to fight for world titles before the end of the year.
Barriga faces Mexican-American Carlos Licona for the International Boxing Federation 105-lb throne on Dec. 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Nietes, a three-division titleholder, aims for a fourth one against Kazuto Ioka of Japan on Dec. 31 in Macau.
While Donaire is no longer in his peak, he remains a livewire foe for an up-and-comer like the 26-year-old Burnett.
During his heyday, Donaire scored sensational wins over Vic Darchinyan, Fernando Montiel, Jorge Arce and Wildredo Vazquez.