Arum: Big test for Donaire
CARSON, California—The road ahead has been mapped out for Nonito Donaire Jr. even before he could start trading punches with Jamaican knockout artist Nicholas Walters on Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila).
Top Rank boss Bob Arum on Thursday said he has lined up the next opponent for the 31-year-old Donaire, who had just signed up a contract extension with his firm that will run until the end of 2016.
Arum told Manila-based reporters who flew in to cover the WBA featherweight championship at StubHub Center here that Ukrainian two-time Olympic champion Vasyl Lomachenko will be next for Donaire if he manages to slip past Walters.
But the very eloquent Arum was quick to point out that the largely untested Walters “presents a big challenge” for Donaire.
Betting lines, in fact, have Donaire a slight underdog against Walters. BetUs.com pays $100 for every $105 wagered on Donaire, while $125 wins $100 for Walters.
“It’s a very dangerous fight. Nicholas Walters is a tremendous puncher; we saw him in a couple of shows,” said Arum during the final presser for the HBO-televised fight at Marriott Manhattan Beach. “But Nonito is up for that challenge and wanted the fight to happen.
“Obviously Nonito would love to win so he could look forward down the road for maybe a fight with Lomachenko, if Lomachenko is successful in Macau under Manny’s [Pacquiao] card.”
Lomachenko will face Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo of Thailand next month when Pacquiao fights Chris Algieri in Macau.
“Everybody says that Nonito is kinda old, he’s not going to last with Walters; Walters is strong and Nonito is getting slow,” said Donaire’s father, Nonito Sr., who trained the “Filipino Flash” for this bout.
“That’s the reason we have to change. We want to come back to like he once was.”
Walters, who was also trained by his father Job, said he hopes Donaire is in top shape on fight night.
“I hope Nonito will come prepared as he says, because I’m thinking of putting a good show.”
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