world boxing

Dato stakes unbeaten record vs Contreras in Pacquiao-Ugas undercard

Roy Luarca

STILL PERFECT. Undefeated John Dato looks to take down another Mexican foe.

Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

‘It's just a blessing to be fighting on the undercard of my idol,’ says La Union-born John Dato

Fighting in the undercard of Manny Pacquiao again is a blessing for John Dato.

The Bangar, La Union-born Dato, now a resident of Santa Maria, California, will be staking his unbeaten slate (16 wins, 1 draw with 11 knockouts) against Angel Contreras in a featherweight eight-rounder in Pacquiao’s battle with Yordenis Ugas on Saturday, August 21 (Sunday, August 22, Philippine time) at T-Mobile Area here.

“It’s just a blessing to be fighting on the undercard of my idol (Pacquiao),” said Dato, who went to Los Angeles to join Pacquiao in his morning runs then train with his team in the afternoon.

The 28-year-old Dato, who runs a gym and trains kids in Santa Maria, also fought in the undercard when Pacquiao beat Keith Thurman in 2019 and put on a show as he knocked out Juan Antonio Lopez in the fifth round.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Dato was able to see action thrice in Mexico, winning all of them.

Although he owns a better record than Contreras (10-4-2, 6 knockouts), the 5-foot-6 Dato isn’t taking the 5-foot-7 Mexican lightly.

Dato is aiming for a dominant performance to attract the attention of Pacquiao and big-time boxing promoters who would be at ringside. –