The fighters will be contesting the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization belts, but really, this fight is not about alphabet straps but laying claim to being No. 1 in the bantamweight division.
(That claim will have some dissenters later this spring, with top bantamweights Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko battling to determine 1B status in the division).
Montiel has been a boxing player at the world-class level for over a decade. The Mexican is known as the technician, but he's strung together nine stoppages in a 12-bout unbeaten streak.
Donaire at 28, is three years younger. But he's never faced someone with the total boxing ability of Montiel.
The nagging thing with Montiel, on the other hand, is that in arguably his two biggest profile bouts (against Mark Johnson and Jhonny Gonzalez) he lost decisions. Supporters would argue that he's undefeated in nearly five years, and is now fully mature.
The final component added to the mix is nationalistic fervour. It sure doesn't hurt when well-loved fighters from different nations collide in a big fight.
With the success and status of Donaire and Pacquiao in their country of birth - Donaire has lived in the U.S. since the 1990s - it's reasonable to wonder if in five or 10 years the Philippines will supplant Puerto Rico as Mexico's primary heated boxing rival. (There have already been entire fight cards pitting Mexicans and Filipinos, though not with any fighters at this level of excellence).
If forced to make a pick I'd go with Donaire, but Montiel is getting tremendous value as an underdog on most online sites (not that I'm encouraging anything).
The two will set up by an appealing appetizer. Mike Jones of Philadelphia won a debatable decision over Jesus Soto Karass in late 2010, and they'll square off again. Jones threw everything and the kitchen sink in the second round against Soto Karass, but in the process spent himself, allowing the Mexican to come back strongly. I thought Jones eked it out, but most didn't.
Logan McGuinness will look to keep his unbeaten record intact through 15 fights on Saturday at Mississauga, Ont., when he takes on Hector Avila in a lightweight bout. The visiting Dominican has fought world-class guys like Orlando Salido and Joan Guzman, but most of his career has been spent at lower weight classes.
The undercard features Junior Witter, who's only lost to Bradley and Alexander. The Briton is angling to get back into the junior welterweight mix to land a big fight against countryman Amir Khan.
Finally, in Germany, Felix Sturm looks to continue his fairly inconsequential middleweight "title" reign against Ronald Hearns, the son of legend Thomas Hearns. It's now or never for Hearns, who's almost 33 years old.
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