By Ronnie Nathanielsz

The planned championship double-header headlined by IBF/IBO flyweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire’s title defense against undefeated Raul “Cobra” Martinez which was last postponed from March 22 to April 18 is off according to Donaire’s manager Cameron Dunkin.

In an overseas telephone conversation with,, Standard Today and Viva Sports, Dunkin said “I don’t know what’s going on but my boxer (Donaire) has been training for two months and this is the fourth time the date has been changed and this time it’s a radical change and I am not going keep him in the fight. No way.”

Dunkin said he had serious doubts whether Solar Sports, who partnered with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in the planned double championship card at the Araneta Coliseum with former WBC light flyweight champion Brian Viloria challenging IBF champion Ulises Solis for his title, will go through with the card.

Dunkin pointed to the fact that the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton showdown was on May 2 and “any sponsor money would go into that fight and nobody is going to come and see this fight.”

Donaire’s manager said he had spoken to Arum who also felt very sorry about what had happened and they were planning to talk again after the press conference of Pacquiao and Hatton in London to try and find a suitable date and maybe another opponent for Donaire either in the US or even Mexico.

He said Arum has a few dates for fight cards where he may be able to schedule Donaire even as Dunkin said he was “trying to work out something” with the Top Rank promoter to see whether Donaire could fight on the Julio Cesar Chavez card in Tijuana on March 28.

Dunkin said he’ll have to work out some details with Arum and “its not just about being paid something for all of his time and work.” He said “its not Bob’s fault, its not my fault and we both feel terrible .”

Donaire was packing his bags at his training camp in Baguio City Sunday afternoon along with his wife Rachel who said they are hoping to leave for the US on Wednesday and will take trainer Jonathan Penalosa along with them.

WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa and his brother, former two-time world champion Dodie Boy would leave for Los Angeles to train at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in preparation for Penalosa’s big fight against WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Marquez in Puerto Rico on April 25.,, Standard Today and Viva Sports learned about the postponement on Saturday but as of now there has been no clear indication of the reasons for the postponement. The information we received was that Solar Sports was having problems raising the sponsorship money required to cover the cost of staging such a big card which is believed to cost at least $500,000 or almost P25 million.

Besides, the ad spend in the first quarter is negligible while re-scheduling the double championship card on April 19 would probably be just as bad since the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight is set for May 2 in Las Vegas and the giant share of advertising money is earmarked for Pacquiao’s fights.

Solar Sports has the Philippine rights for the Pacquiao-Hatton showdown which suggests that their promotional and marketing efforts would be centered around the May 2 Las Vegas fight which also features Bernabe Concepcion battling Steven Luevano for the WBO featherweight title on the undercard.

With the rights fee believed to be around $1-$1.2 million which they would need to recover through TV sponsorship, Philippine pay-per-view in theaters nationwide plus other ancillary income, the financial demands are huge.

In addition, WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa battles WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez in Puerto Rico on April 25 making it even more difficult to find the sponsorship money to fund all three fight cards.

It would be the second time that a Donaire title fight has been called off. The last time was the much-hyped  Dubai title defense against Australia ’s Hussein Hussein which was being promoted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala and his Third Force promotional but was cancelled much to the disappointment of Donaire and his manager Cameron Dunkin.

It was only last week that Solar Sports held a well-attended news conference to announce the fight card aptly titled “The Flash and the Furious” at the Manila Hotel with Donaire as special guest and a conference call with promoter Bob Arum and Brian Viloria as a highlight of the affair.