According to Boxrec.com, Nonito Donaire is fighting April 13 in New York. It has been reported the opponent will be Guillermo Rigondeaux, and it probably will be.
Most observers would have preferred Abner Mares, whose handlers, Golden Boy Promotions, offered Bob Arum’s Top Rank $3 million to get out of the way and let Golden Boy handle Donaire-Mares. The $3 million would have included whatever Top Rank forked over as Donaire’s purse.
Because Donaire-Mares is a fight people want to see, the prevailing reaction to Top Rank’s rejection of the proposal was that Arum was being a pooh-pooh head – that he should have accepted the deal but, well, he just didn’t want to. By some extension of logic, this meant Donaire is afraid to fight Mares or is inclined to dodge him.
For what it’s worth, Rigondeaux is a scarier opponent for Donaire, a mild threat to outpoint him. Mares would make a fight with Donaire, and the larger Donaire would clout him. Those two long loomed as Donaire’s final opponents at 122 pounds, and now it appears he’ll fight Rigondeaux first in April and Mares in a featherweight bout ... well, a few months after Donaire’s son is born in early summer.
The Golden Boy contract ignored that firm reality on Donaire’s horizon. It had a postponement clause that called for getting the match rescheduled within 90 days of the original date, all of which might have landed the fight on Rachel Donaire’s delivery day. Golden Boy should have reckoned with that.
Arum made that argument, although he also implied that Golden Boy assuredly would heinously shift the TV venue from HBO to Showtime, where Mares has been appearing in his most recent bouts and where Golden Boy ally Stephen Espinoza calls the shots. Still, Golden Boy does deal with both cable networks, and it’s more likely HBO would have prevailed.
Furthermore, Arum argued, the cancellation clauses all worked in Golden Boy’s favor, especially if GBP came to realize that it might barely recoup that $3 million and decided to bail.
Most of the argument blasting Arum and Donaire made it sound like Donaire was turning down $3 million, more than double what he’s made on any other fight. But Top Rank would have seized a chunk of that off the top, and even then, Bob Arum thinks he can do better with Donaire in some other scenario. He doing pretty well at this point, so why should he accept Golden Boy’s manipulation? Have some of you forgotten that Golden Boy nearly purloined Donaire from Arum in 2011?
Consider that Boxrec listing. Arum isn’t at square one where the April 13 date is concerned. He’d already staked it out when Golden Boy’s offer arrived.
There were lots of good reasons to say no to Golden Boy, and those who figure that cowardice or mere stubbornness was a factor in the Donaire-Mares stalemate are mostly off base.
Some of those allegations have emanated from people who believe that a $3 million payday would be more important than the birth of the latest of the world’s seven billion people. But to the Donaires, million-dollar paydays come along now and then, but a first child will arrive only once, and none of Nonito’s fights this year will weigh as heavily.