DON’T look now but a rematch with the same fighter that had a hand in his phenomenal rise to stardom looms is in the cards for Nonito Donaire Jr.
Top Rank Promotions big boss Bob Arum hinted the `Filipino Flash’ may end up facing old nemesis Vic Darchinyan for his scheduled April 13 title fight.
Donaire, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight champion, rose to prominence in 2007 when he upset Darchinyan with a fifth-round knockout to seize the International Boxing Federation flyweight crown.
It was the first career loss for Darchinyan.
Darchinyan’s name was thrown into the mix as promotional glitches are preventing Top Rank from matching Donaire against two of the division’s top boxers in Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Former two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa said fans can’t expect Donaire to fight either Mares or Rigondeaux at the moment.
“Yung Darchinyan. maganda yun sa part ni Donaire kasi easy fight, easy money. Pero sa mga boxing fans, medyo unfair … kasi gusto ng tao Rigondeaux o Mares,” said the former World Boxing Council super-flyweight and WBO bantamweight champion.
Peñalosa told Spin.ph Mares will be a near impossible fight to make as the undefeated Mexican technical fighter is being promoted by Top Rank's rival Golden Boy Promotions.
“Mahirap mangyari yun kasi alam naman natin magka-iba ang humahawak sa kanila, magka-iba pa ang television network nila,” said Peñalosa, who also failed to take on some of the division’s marquee fighters during his prime.
“Kahit ako nun, angdami kong gustong laban, kaso nagkakatalo sa promoter. Business talaga,” added the ring great from San Carlos City.
Penalosa is also not buying Arum's line that Rigondeaux was making too many demands before fighting Donaire, including settling his pending legal dispute with the Miami-based Caribe Promotions.
“Sa tingin ko alam na ni Arum yan, from the beginning. Darchinyan ang gusto niya … Isipin mo, bata niya pareho `yung Donaire at Rigondeaux, so pag pinaglaban niya may isang malalaglag,” Penalos added.
“Magaling si Bob Arum sa ganyan (matchmaking). Hindi natin alam kung alibi na lang niya yan o talagang may demand.”
Donaire recently lashed back at Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya for coming up with a spurious fight contract for a Mares bout on the internet.
The 30-year-old General Santos City native argued that a contract has never been offered by Golden Boy, which claimed that a fight with Mares will take place in September and the Filipino world champion was set to receive a prize purse worth US$3 million.
The reigning WBO 122-lb champion even went to stress that Mares just recently announced that he is relinquishing his WBC title belt.