By Luis Sandoval
BoxingScene ran a story yesterday where manager Cameron Dunkin revealed a fight with Nonito Donaire and current IBF Featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich would be possible for next year should Donaire get passed his now confirmed rematch with Vic Darchinyan in November. What was more surprising was that Dunkin was quoted as saying Robert Garcia, the trainer for both fighters, had already said he would 100% be siding with Donaire and would be working his corner instead of Gradovich’s if the fight took place.
Garcia was surprised to read the story as he told BoxingScene today that he never committed to training Donaire over Gradovich and that is a decision that would need to be made if that fight were to actually happen.
“We did talk about a [possible fight with Donaire and Gradovich] but I never said I was going to take a side or that I’m 100% with Nonito. I never said that. I’m not going to stop Nonito from fighting for his 5th world title in a fifth different weight division and I can’t stop the Russian from getting the biggest fight of his career” Garcia would tell BoxingScene.
“Gradovich still has to fight again this year and possibly against Billy Dib. Nonito has to fight Darchinyan also. So we can’t look ahead of those two fights. Gradovich got a close decision over Dib [the first time] and Nonito can’t look past Darchinyan either. So people saying ‘Oh, Robert is taking sides’, no, I can’t be taking sides. They both still have fights ahead of them before we can even start talking about them fighting each other”.
Garcia is fond of both fighters but he reminds there is simply too much that still needs to happen in order for that fight to even become a reality. If Donaire or Gradovich end up losing their next fight, all those plans change. Garcia isn’t taking sides and won’t be since at the present moment, there is no need to. Should the fight come to fruition, then that is something that will need to be discussed.
For the time being, Garcia prefers to cross that bridge if they ever get there and is more concentrated on getting both fighters ready for their upcoming assignments.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewet007. You can also tune in to Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with host Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.