By Mark Vester
Is there trouble brewing between the two best fighters from the Philippines?
On Feb. 19 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, an HBO-televised clash will be promoted by Top Rank Promotions featuring WBA interim super flyweight titlist Nonito Donaire (25-1, 17 knockouts) of the Philippines and WBO and WBC bantamweight king Fernando Montiel (44-2-2, 34 KOs) of Mexico.
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, considers Donaire to be the No. 2 fighter from the Philippines behind eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who is also promoted under the same company.
According to Rachel Donaire, the wife of Nonito, Team Pacquiao does not want her husband to appear on their undercards.
Top Rank had floated the idea of Nonito Donaire taking an undercard position to last November's fight between Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium. Rachel told FanHouse that Michael Koncz, the adviser to Pacquiao, called Top Rank and had Nonito pulled from the show. Rachel thinks the reason for Team Pacquiao's position is because Nonito is not promoted under MP Promotions, which is Manny Pacquiao's promotional company.
"I know for a fact that the November fight, Koncz called in and asked them to take him off the card. From what I heard it's Michael Koncz doing all the dealings because Nonito is not with MP Promotions and he doesn't want him on the cards," Rachel said.
The mutual promoter of both fighters sees no reason to place both of them on the same card. The combination of both fighters on the same card would be an overhaul on the Filipino audience, says Arum.
"Why? There's a limit to how much ice cream you could eat. You have the biggest Philippine attraction in Manny Pacquiao. The last thing I need is another Filipino on the card," Arum said.