Crowd-pleasing Arce next for Donaire | Inquirer Sports

Crowd-pleasing Arce next for Donaire

Filipino Flash fights again in October
/ 03:20 AM July 09, 2012

UNANIMOUS WINNER Nonito Donaire of the Philippines celebrates a unanimous decision over Jeffery Mathebula of South Africa during the WBO IBF Super Bantamweight title fight at The Home Depot Center on July 7, 2012, in Carson, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

CARSON, California—His dream of super fights is finally coming true for Nonito Donaire Jr.

The Filipino Flash, perhaps the Philippines’ newest candidate for boxing superstardom, begins his fresh quest with the much anticipated clash with feisty Mexican Jorge Arce in October.

No less than Donaire’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, and his manager Cameron Dunkin pledged the big, lucrative fights ahead minutes after the Filipino-American fighter unanimously decisioned South African Jeffrey Mathebula in their super bantamweight title unification bout Saturday at Home Depot Center here.

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Although Arce won’t be holding any championship during that projected fight, that encounter will pit two of the most exciting fighters in the 122-pound division

“We knew that this fight (against Mathebula) leads to an Arce fight this fall, and it’s a fight that’s big on HBO,” said Dunkin.

“It’s Arce either in October or November. We are committed to fight Arce, we have an agreement, verbal agreement, to fight Arce.”

Dunkin, who still has two more fights as manager of Donaire, added: “We are also in verbal agreement to fight another guy and then we start looking at (WBA champion Guillermo) Rigondeaux.”

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Arce, a peppery warrior from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, slid down to bantamweight last year after yielding the WBO super bantamweight belt, which Donaire eventually annexed after beating Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last February.

Arum said the 35-year-old Toshiaki Nishioka, who was at ringside Saturday night, will be next for Donaire in December.

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“And then we can have Rigondeaux and (WBC titlist) Abner Mares next,” said the boxing Hall of Famer.

However, Arum said there is no plan to hold the Arce fight in Manila, contrary to his announcement last year.

“It’s probably in October, but not in Manila,” said Arum. “We don’t have any sponsors talking to us about doing it in Manila. Unless we have local sponsors we can’t do it by ourselves because we’re so busy over here.”

“Hopefully, the (Arce fight) will be a bigger purse. Nonito gets the bigger purse of the two. He’s the champion, he’s the one driving HBO to the fight,” added Dunkin. “Nothing’s stopping it. Arce wanted to do a few things. He hasn’t worked it out before but now it’s settled and ready to go.”

But while Dunkin is sure that Donaire would eventually break through the pay-per-view domain with the Arce fight, Arum said they are still not ready for PPV until next year.

According to Arum, it was mainly because HBO is still not sure if the boxing public is ready to pay to see fighters in the lower weight divisions.

“It used to be very hard (getting a crowd draw), but it’s becoming easy now because fans, especially the Hispanic community, have embraced smaller guys,” said Arum. “And you know they watch guys down to 108 pounds or less.

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“It’s not particularly hard,” he added. “It used to be that networks, when they televised the fights, wanted (fights) not lower than lightweight. (That was the case) until they made adjustments with guys like Azumah Nelson.”

TAGS: Boxing, Jeffrey Mathebula, Nonito Donaire Jr

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