Photos by Sumio Yamada
GLENN DONAIRE vs CESAR LOPEZ
Filipino Nonito Donaire is one of the hottest prospects in boxing. His older brother, Glenn Donaire, has been overshadowed by Nonito, but Glenn gets a chance to move his career forward when he meets tough Cesar Lopez of El Paso, TX, in the ShoBox main event, a 12-round flyweight title bout that looks like being fast-paced and competitive.
Donaire had a disappointing loss in Las Vegas in March of last year when he was stopped in the first round by a fellow-Filipino, the hard-hitting southpaw Z Gorres. Donaire suffered a swollen eye in a clash of heads and was given time to recover, but a right hook had him touching down for the eight count and he basically surrendered, telling his corner he could not see properly.
Since then Donaire has won two bouts and boxed a six-round draw with the Brazilian Jose Albuquerque, bringing his record to 15 wins, two losses and a draw (nine opponents stopped), while Lopez has won 18 and lost two, with four opponents halted.
Lopez, 23, was outpointed by the capable Gabriel Elizondo in his last fight. His only other loss came on a majority decision in his pro debut, and in a rematch he turned the tables on the boxer who had beaten him.
Probably Lopezs best performances were his two widely scored, unanimous decision wins over the durable veteran Alejandro Moreno. New Mexico boxing authority Chris Cozzone wrote of Lopez using crafty angles and blinding speed" to dominate Moreno.
Lopez has won several titles at 112 and 115 pounds, and he defends his North American Boxing Association flyweight title against Donaire while the vacant North American Boxing Organisation belt will also be at stake, steppingstones on the way to bigger things for the winner.
Before losing to Gabriel Elizondo, Lopez was rated in the top 10 of three sanctioning bodies and he told Showtime publicist John Beyrooty: This is a great opportunity for me to get back where I was; Donaire has never fought a boxer like me."
Donaires best performance, I would say, was his unanimous 10-round decision over long-serving Juan Alfonso Keb Baas but he was not only younger but also the naturally bigger man: the Mexican had twice boxed for 105-pound world titles but was meeting Donaire at 115 pounds.
That was a good win for Donaire, though, after the way he went out against Z Gorres in Las Vegas and it put his career back on track.
Donaire, 26, who is based in San Leandro, CA, seems clearly to be a better puncher than Lopez although his Filipino Bomber" nickname is a bit over the top. Reports of Lopezs fights indicate that he is speedy, busy, tough and determined.
It looks virtually an even-money fight and as I cannot recall seeing Lopez box, and saw Donaire only in the loss to Z Gorres, I have to guess that the Filipinos stronger punching might offset Lopezs quickness and workrate. All I can be fairly sure about here is that it looks very much like being a full-distance 12-rounder.