By Jake Donovan
Fans are forced to accept the fact that the Klitschko brothers will never face each other in the ring. They also have to live with the fact that several fights will be left to mythical matchup status for as long as Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions aren’t on speaking terms.
The featherweight division could become the next that sees a mouthwatering matchup added to the “don’t hold your breath” pile. That depends on the outcome of the January 19 showdown between Orlando Salido and Miguel Angel Garcia, as well as how soon Nonito Donaire plans to move up from the super bantamweight division.
“Nonito and I don’t ever discuss fighting each other. I just focus on what I’m doing and he focuses on what he’s doing,” admits Garcia, who shares the same trainer (older brother Robert Garcia) and manager (Cameron Dunkin) as Donaire.
There’s no guarantee that Garcia gets past Salido when the two collide at Madison Square Garden’s The Theatre next Saturday night. Most fans are torn on predicting the outcome, though there exists the temptation to side with the younger, unbeaten fighter on the rise.
A win by Garcia would thrust him towards the top of the division. To date, he has shown an active interest in taking on all comers – for example, his insistence to make the Salido fight happen even after it was postponed last November.
Four pounds south, Donaire has in the past expressed a desire to win belts in divisions all the way up to super lightweight (140 lb.). For now, unfinished business remains in a 122 lb. division with unbeaten titlists Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux awaiting their shot at the lineal champ.
Both fights remain on Donaire’s radar, however difficult either (or both) will prove to materialize. So too, does an eventual move to featherweight, though he believes there is plenty of room for he and his stable mate to co-exist.
“Me and Mikey, we’re good friends. We have the same manager and the same coach. We don’t stab each other,” Donaire says, dismissing any concerns of a developing rivalry, friendly or otherwise. “It is what it is. That’s why I don’t call out Salido – that’s (Garcia’s) territory.
“When I go up to 126, maybe I go out and capture a belt and just go from there. I can just get a belt, then move up to 130 and fight (Yuriorkis) Gamboa or the likes, but that’s still a year away.”
In the meantime, both have enough on their plate to worry about ever running out of options to where they’re forced to ponder the possibility of fighting each other.
“He’s doing wonderful things in his division,” Garcia says of Donaire and the Fighter of the Year campaign he’s lead. “There are no concerns about what he plans to do when he moves up. My only concern right now is Orlando Salido.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox