By REYNALD MAGALLON
Nonito Donaire is once again out to prove that age is just a number and that he, in fact, still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
The Filipino Flash is looking to defy Father Time anew as he guns for the vacant WBC bantamweight crown against a youthful Mexican Alejandro Santiago in the undercard of the Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford world title unification showdown on Sunday, July 30 (Manila time) in Las Vegas.
Should the evergreen 40-year-old four division world champion came out on top against his young and feisty counterpart, Donaire would become the oldest bantamweight title holder in boxing history – a distinction that he currently holds following his fourth round knockout win against Nordine Oubaali in May of 2021 when he was still 38.
It will be easier said than done, however, for Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs), as he faces a hungry 27-year-old Santiago (27-3, 14 KOs) who is looking to claim his first world title at the end of the 12-round bout.
But the grizzled veteran is unfazed.
“What you perceive is what you become so for me, it does not matter when they say, ‘Oh, you are old already.’ For me, when I say I am old, I am old. When I say I am young, I am young,” said Donaire after the weigh-in.
“I am going in there as a young man, even younger than this guy. I will go out there and take that belt and beat the old record,” he added.
Donaire tipped the scales at 117.25 pounds while Santiago weighed in at 117.5 lbs.