Nonito Donaire grew his fanbase more than a bit when he showed his talents on October 22 in the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Actually, the fight kind of stunk, because opponent Omar Narvaez showed up to survive, not thrive. But Donaire (27-1), who won fans with his upbeat personality and mean DeNiro impersonation, gloves up tomorrow, in Texas, and that super bantamweight title fight scrap figures to be a crowd-pleaser. The California-based boxer, who was born in the Philippines, meets Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1) and things have gotten heated between them during the pre-fight buildup.
They had to be separated during the pose-off at the last presser, and their wives have even gotten in the act, sniping at each other on Twitter. Sometimes this stuff is for show, but Donaire is such a sweetheart outside the ring, I'm pretty certain this enmity is the real deal, and will spill into the ring.
HBO will show the fight, during a broadcast that kicks off at 10 PM Saturday. Note: They run a new feature before the show kicks off, called “2 Days: Portrait of a Fighter." The series will look at the 48 hours before a boxer enters the ring to fight, and Brandon Rios will be the first subject. Cameras followed him before his Dec. 3 scrap at MSG against John Murray and the footage should be stellar, because Rios was embroiled in a harsh battle with the scale. He didn't make weight for the fight...so I will be setting the DVR for this one.