by Chris Robinson
While nothing is official as of yet, it seems evident that IBF/WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire will be returning in a few months’ time to defend his belts against all-action multi-division champion Jorge Arce. The location of the Donaire-Arce fight is still up in the air, with Los Angeles and Texas both in the running, and while the fight figures to be entertaining, there are some who can’t help but look at the matchup as a mismatch in the Fil-Am star’s favor.
Featherweight contender Mikey Garcia knows Donaire very well, as his brother and former champion Robert trains him, and he actually sees some upside to the contest
“That’s going to be a good fight for Donaire,” Garcia would tell me over the weekend. “Arce has been trying to get Donaire for quite some time now. He’s been calling him out and Donaire’s not afraid either, it’s just been a matter of business and negotiation issues. Seems like they might get it on this time around. Arce has been a tough warrior for the past ten years.”
Arce’s warrior mentality has served him well in the past but Garcia like’s Donaire’s versatility to carry the day.
“It’s going to be a challenge for Donaire, being that there are fighting now at a higher weight class, but they still have enough to give a good show,” said Garcia. “I think Donaire, however, is probably the smarter, more complete fighter and I think that’s what is going to allow him to win. He’s got skills, speed, power, and overall, I think [he’s] a better fighter than Arce.”
Garcia is coming off of a systematic 7th round TKO over former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion this past March that raised his record to 28-0 with 24 knockouts. After a fight with WBA champion Celestino Caballero fell apart recently, it now appears that Garcia could be meeting WBO champion Orlando Salido later this year instead.
There has been plenty of talk of Donaire eventually moving to the featherweight class and if Garcia is still there when he rises in weight, it’s only natural to the think of him as a future opponent for Nonito. And while Garcia has brushed off talking of fighting Donaire in the past because of their connection to Robert, he has since appeared to change his tune on such a scenario ever-slightly.
“If my brother is working with him, I don’t think my brother would want that fight, being that we are both my brother’s fighter,” Garcia would admit. “But if it something were we are talking about, if it’s a fight that people want to see and the promoter wants to put on, my brother would most likely tell Donaire to get another trainer. I don’t think my brother is going to have us fight each other while he is still fighting Donaire.”
“And if he decides to get another trainer and if he wants the fight and if I’m there still in the division and people want to see the fight, yes, we’ll do the fight. That’s not any problem,” Garcia continued.
First things first however, as both Jorge Arce and Orlando Salido surely have something to say about those plans. Let’s see how Donaire and Garcia do with their next fights and maybe then the picture will be a little clearer.
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