By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO/Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond Belt super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will go after the WBA title of undefeated Guillermo Rigondeaux in Las Vegas on April 27.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that any talk about Donaire fighting on a possible Manny Pacquiao fight card planned for April was “nonsense.”
It was part of a proposal presented to sports patron, business tycoon and the owner of ABC 5 television Manny Pangilinan by Team Pacquiao member Eric Pineda for an ambitious card in Manila with Pacquiao facing Humberto Sotto in the main event and Donaire against an unnamed Mexican opponent in a co-main event.
Under the proposal WBO/WBA champion Brian Viloria would defend his title against a Mexican opponent on a card that would also include promising featherweight, southpaw Michael Farenas.
Both Arum and Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz shot down the proposal with Arum telling us “that’s nonsense” since Donaire has a fight lined up in Las Vegas in April and “the Philippine TV rights are committed to ABS-CBN.”
Donaire is coming off a terrific year during which he moved up in weight and won the WBO super bantamweight title handily in a clash with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and then successfully defended the title against IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa, won a handsome 9th round TKO over Japan’s WBC super champion Toshiaki Nishioka and then battered four division world champion Jorge “Travieso” Arce in three rounds one week after Pacquiao suffered a devastating 6th round knockout against Juan Manuel Marquez.
His impressive showing in 2012 won Donaire the accolade of “Fighter of the Year” from such prestigious organizations as ESPN, Ring TV, Boxingscene.com and Yahoo Sports.
Donaire and Rigondeaux had a verbal run-in during the week of the Donaire-Arce fight which is likely to help hype the fight against the Cuban who has only 11 fights with 9 knockouts and no defeats.
In his last title defense on September 15 last year, Rigondeaux won a unanimous twelve round decision over Roberto Marroquin who put up a solid effort although the former Cuban Olympic gold medalist dominated most of the fight despite being staggered in round three by a left hook which is regarded as the lethal weapon of Donaire.
Rigondeaux scored a knockdown in round five but was again staggered by Marroquin with a left hook in round nine before the WBA champion dropped Marroquin in the twelfth and final round.