Juan Manuel Marquez. Mike Alvarado. Shawn Porter. Paulie Malignaggi. For Robert Guerrero, any of those four would be a compelling opponent.
But Guerrero won’t be fighting any of them in the near future. They’re fighting one another. Monday’s announcement that Porter and Malignaggi will vie for Porter’s IBF welterweight title, on April 19, followed last week’s news that Marquez will take on Alvarado on May 17.
Guerrero hasn’t fought since his competitive but clear-cut loss to Floyd Mayweather last May, which reportedly earned Guerrero $3 million. He isn’t eager to fight an inconsequential bout on the heels of the biggest fight of his career.
But he has painted himself into a promotional corner that becomes a greater crisis the longer he doesn’t fight. Spokesman Mario Serrano says that while his handlers are trying to come up with a bout for Guerrero, The Ghost “is training, and when they get him a fight, he’ll be ready.”
The third Kingpin, Nonito Donaire, is fighting WBA featherweight champion Simpiwe Vetyeka on May 31 in Macau. That’s symbolic for a fighter who divides his time among the Bay Area, the Philippines and Las Vegas.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum promotes Donaire, and Ward would like to jump to Top Rank from his long-time association with Dan Goossen, who can’t duplicate Arum’s stranglehold on big-time pay-per-view facilities
But if Arum is of a mind to unite the Kingpin Trio in the most viable way possible, he’s in no rush to, say, co-promote a Ward fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
“I can work with anybody,” Arum told me last week at the Beverly Hills Hotel, a tony tour stop for Arum’s Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez middleweight promotion for their June 7. “The question is, can Andre Ward work with Goossen. A contract is a contract.”
Given the likelihood that I can’t make it to Macau for the Donaire fight, I asked Arum if there will ever be a Donaire fight in the Bay Area. There hasn’t been a big fight in the Bay Area since Ward knocked out Chad Dawson in Oakland in September 2012.
“No, close as I can get him is Macau.”
At least Donaire is fighting, which is more than Guerrero can say.