By Michael Marley
Rising Filipino-American ring star Nonito Donaire Junior's obvious financial goal is to break into the seven figure purse bracket, up in the money stratosphere where Pinoy Idol Manny Pacquaio resides.
But, to hear his promoter Bob Arum tell it, the two world title belt bantamweight king needs to exercise some patience and continue his winning ways to get to the million dollar fighter category.
I spoke to Arum, and the Head Honcho from Top Rank said his lawyer sent out a detailed response to Donaire's Las Vegas attorney (and former Nevada commission chairman) Jerry Bailey.
It's been no state secret that Donaire, age 28 and coming off a resounding two round knockout over Mexican champ Fernando Montiel, has been yanking at his promotional chain and seems keen on testing his worth as a promotional free agent.
It's also crystal clear that, if he is free of the Arum yoke, archrival Golden Boy is ready with oodles of cash to sign him up.
While the situation plays out, and Arum hopes "it doesn't get dicey," the promoter confirmed that the Bay Area raised Donaire earned $350,000 for his beatdown of Montiel Feb. 19 and said he would get paid a cool $500,000 purse for a May 28 title bout against WBA ruler Anselmo "Chemito" Moreno of Panama.
(Doniare holds the WBC and WBO straps.)
"I think that, within six months, yes Donaire would absolutely get to the million dollar purse level," Arum said from his Las Vegas office.
"His minimum for the next fight is only $250,000, but we will pay him $500,000."
(What with Moreno turning his nose up at an offer of $350,000, this bout is getting costly for Uncle Bob.)
Arum said a letter was sent to Bailey which corrected the promoter's earlier stance which was that a one year option had been exercised by Top Rank which pushed the deal into 2012.
"It's clear there is no breach of the contract, I mean really clear," Arum said. "In fact, in the first year, Donaire was supsended twice physically so that twice tolled the contract. Adding in the time we lost it pushes the contract to 2013.
"What this kid has to do now is live up to the contract," Arum said.
Manager Cameron Dunkin, who has fighters aligned with Top Rank and Golden Boy, is a middleman here, Arum said.
"We spoke to Dunkin and he's betwixt and between. He is just caught in the middle. Dunkin understands our position. Dunkin supports our position but he's stuck in the middle."
In other news, Arum said preliminary PPV reports from the Ricardo Mayorga-Miguel Cotto PPV telecast handled by Showtime Saturday night were positive so far.
"We're getting some really good numbers, but it's early," Arum said. "Not Pacquiao type numbers, of course, but good numbers for this kind of a fight."
The 79 year old veteran, who co-promoted "Relentless" with former archrival Don King, was not surprised to hear that mouthy Nicraguan Mayorga had reconsidered retirement and said he will fight on at age 38.
"Why not? I get that because Mayorga is so colorful and there are guys out there who he can beat."