A hotly anticipated clash at bantamweight takes place tonight as WBC/WBO champ Fernando Montiel puts his belts at risk against top flyweight Nonito Donaire this evening at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Casino.
Despite the general idea that this is a 50-50 fight or possibly that Donaire is the favorite, Montiel, 44-2-2 (34), has an enormous edge in title experience.
The 31 year old Mexican held the WBO flyweight, WBO super fly, WBO and WBC bantam belts over the course of 19 contests, going 17-2 (13), in those bouts, losing only to Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson by majority decision in 2003 and Jhonny Gonzalez by split decision in 2006.
Donaire, 25-1 (17), leaped into world class attention when he came down as NABF super fly champ to shockingly halt previously undefeated IBF/IBO flyweight champ Vic Darchinyan in 2007.
The 28 year old Filipino kept those belts over three defenses before capturing the Interim WBA super fly strap in 2009, retaining that once before moving to bantam in his most recent outing, a fourth round KO of iron-chinned former WBA 118 pound boss Volodymyr Sydorenko in December for the vacant WBC Continental Americas trophy.
Donaire has finished eight of his last nine opponents and Montiel has wiped out nine of his last eleven so this is definitely going to be a firefight with the winner likely being the man who can take the most big punches.
But it will be the fighter with the better boxing skill that gets to land those power shots and that's what makes this huge bantamweight clash so appealing.
A good rematch serves as chief support with welterweight Mike Jones, 23-0 (18), rehashing his controversial November majority decision over Jesus Soto- Karras, 24-5-3 (16), for the NABA, NABO and WBC Continental Americas titles.