By Ronnie Nathanielsz
IN the face of MP Promotions’ Michael Koncz, the Canadian adviser of Manny Pacquiao’s scuttling of a proposal by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for Nonito Donaire to fight on the Fighter of the Decade’s Nov. 22 card in Macau, plans are moving ahead to try and promote a double championship card featuring the Filipino Flash and WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes in the US.
Donaire told Viva Sports/Manila Standard, in an exclusive interview, that “when we signed with Top Rank at the beginning, they promised us an undercard fight with Pacquiao.”
“The only reason I pushed for that is because it’s a treat for all the Filipinos,” said Donaire.
Koncz, however, made it clear that since MP Promotions is a co-promoter with Top Rank of all Pacquiao’s fights, the addition of Donaire on the card would not be advantageous, business-wise.
“How is he (Donaire) going to sell one more ticket that Manny can’t sell?” asked Koncz, conceding, however, that the sell-out crowd and the fans’ chants of “Nonito! NOnito!” during his title fight against Simpiwe Vetyeka, showed that he had a following.
Koncz made it clear: “I’m not saying he doesn’t have fans. I’m not talking bad about him. Manny will sell the entire Philippine audience. No matter who you put on the card, they are not going to bring in anything substantial as to the Philippine audience. Manny will do all that. Why will we spend $1 million in profits on a fight that’s not going to generate any additional income? If it does, it will be very little. It makes no business sense.”
Faced with the firm position of Koncz, Arum turned around and indicated that based on the response of the fans and the TV audiences to the Donaire-Vetyeka fight, the Filipino Flash can stand alone.
Boxingscene.com believes Donaire could be back on primetime HBO again, soon.
Based on the tape delayed telecast on HBO 2 of the Donaire-Vetyeka fight the following day, Arum said: “One thing that was good is that although HBO played the fight in the afternoon on delay, it did an incredible audience—435,000 viewers in the afternoon.”