By Ronnie Nathanielsz
It seems everybody including impressive winners Cristian Mijares, Anselmo Moreno and Abner Mares and South Africa’s Jeffrey Mathebula all have WBO super bantamweight Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire on their wish list but it seems that Mijares has the edge.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum meets with the HBO Sports executives in New York this week to firm up a projected July 21 date for a Donaire with Mijares, the former unified world super flyweight champion Mijares who won the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title with a 4th round knockout over Eddy Julio in Mexico, the fighter most likely to get a shot at Donaire.
Southpaw Mijares who is 30, just one year older than Donaire, moved up to super bantamweight and has won his last three fights at 122 pounds. He finished off Julio at 2:47 of the fourth round. Mijares previously scored 3rd round TKO victories over Jonathan Perez on September 10, 2011 and Alejandro Valdez on December 17 last year.
Mijares looked impressive against an overmatched Julio and caught him with terrific shots to the body and head and eventually put him out of his misery with a solid combination to the chin
Mijares was at ringside when Donaire won the title with a comfortable unanimous decision over former WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in San Antonio, Texas last February 4.
Well-known South African promoter Branco Milenkovic told the Manila Standard that he had been in talks with Top Rank’s Carl Moretti about a possible unification title fight between Donaire and IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula who Arum also mentioned as a possible opponent for Donaire.
The 32 year old Mathebula has a record of 26-3-2 with 14 knockouts and won the IBF title in a rematchg with former champion and fellow South African Takali Ndlovu on March 24 this year after losing their first title clash by a split decision on September 1, 2010.
Unbeaten former bantamweight champion Abner Mares who moved up to super bantamweight and hammered out a comfortable twelve round decision over former two-time world champion Eric Morel to capture the vacant WBC title had also indicated he would like to fight Donaire. However, since Mares is promoted by Golden Boy and Donaire by Top Rank most boxing people believe it would difficult to make the fight given the animosity between Richard Schaefer and Oscar de la Hoya on the one hand and Bob Arum on the other.
On the same card at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso , Texas telecast by Action TV, AKTV IBC 13 on its popular 12 noon Sunday show “ Big Time Bakbakan” WBA bantamweight super champion Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno who at one time eyed Donaire has once again challenged “The Filipino Flash” after stopping David de la Mora in the 9th round whom he dropped in rounds two and six.
Boxing writer Chris Robinson said Moreno is prepared to move up to super bantamweight to face Donaire whom he described as an excellent boxer but added “to prove himself that he’s the best, he needs to fight the best. I hope he has the courage to confront me and not be a coward like others.”