By Ronnie Nathanielsz
There appears to be a breakthrough in the effort to get a highly anticipated fight done between WBO/Ring Magazine super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and WBC champion Abner Mares.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard from Beijing, China that Donaire will definitely defend his title on April 13 but the choice of an opponent hasn’t been finalized although he had mentioned WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux as the likely opponent in an interview with us last week after the Mikey Garcia-Orlando Salido title fight in the Theater at New York's Madison Square Garden..
Arum told us “I just got off the phone with Cameron Dunkin (Donaire’s manager) and we are zeroing in on April 13” which is a date that HBO Sports had suggested.
He mentioned the names of three possible opponents including Rigondeaux, Vic Darchinyan and Mares. Arum said “the Abner Mares people are talking to us now or Vic Darchinyan. Its one of those three.”
Arum clarified that the Mares people were “conveying messages from Golden Boy” who handles Mares and which most boxing people believe was the stumbling block to making the Donaire-Mares fight happen because of the bitter relationship between Arum and Golden Boy Promotions.
Both Donaire and Mares have made it clear they’d want to fight each other with Donaire stating he has wanted Arum to get him Mares for the past two years.
The 27 year old Mares is undefeated with a record of 25-0-1 with 13 knockouts and is coming off an impressive victory over WBA super world bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno of Panama last November 10. He had also won a twelve round split decision over Darchinyan in a clash for the IBO and vacant WBC Silver bantamweight title on December 11, 2010.
Donaire won by a 5th round TKO to grab the IBF and IBO flyweight titles from Darchinyan on July 7, 2007 and although Darchinyan has suffered four losses since then he still is regarded as a hard-hitting southpaw who has long been eager for a rematch with Donaire.
The 30 year old Donaire is a four division world champion with a record of 31-1 with 20 knockouts and was chosen “Fighter of the Year” for 2012 by such prestigious organizations as Ring, ESPN, Yahoo Sports and Boxing Scene.com.
Donaire told us last week that he plans to begin light workouts this week and that he hadn’t put on too much weight during the holiday season.