BOB Arum plans to make reigning super-bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. even more active in the ring by next year.
Following the Filipino’s remarkable ninth-round stoppage of Japanese challenger Toshiaki Nishioka to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) title, the chairman of Top Rank Promotions said Donaire could be one busy fighter next year especially with the 122-lb. division teeming with talent.
“We got a lot of guys out there,” said the 80-year-old Harvard-schooled Arum without naming names. “One thing we’re gonna do is to keep this young man busy because we don’t believe in two fights a year.”
The 29-year-old Donaire fought three times this year alone.
He began 2012 with a split decision over Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. to claim the WBO belt. He wrested the International Boxing Federation version of the title with a 12-round unanimous decision of Jeffrey Mathebula, before ending Nishioka’s 16-fight winning streak behind a sensational technical knockout win Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Donaire suffered a cut on his left knuckle that left his hand a bloody mess shortly after the fight. The injury prompted the `Filipino Flash’ to announce on his Twitter account @filipinoflash that he’ll finally take the rest of the year off.
But his quest to take on the best fighters in the division still burns, with durable Mexican Jorge Arce again on top of the list.
Also being mentioned is undefeated Mexican Abner Mares, the current World Boxing Council super-bantamweight king. But since Mares belongs to rival promotion Golden Boy, a showdown with Donaire is unlikely to happen. Mares is set to next face Anselmo Moreno, the reigning 122-lb champion of the World Boxing Association.
A potential opponent is Top Rank stablemate Guillermo Rigondeaux, the undefeated two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba. Donaire however, seemed only half interested in facing Rigondeaux at the moment.
“I believe he needs more guys (on his resume) to make me excited,” said Donaire (30-1, with 19 KOs).
“This fight (with Nishioka), we were focused, and that’s what I want to feel when I go into the ring. Rigondeaux needs to fight more guys to get me excited to fight him.”
The Filipino isn’t discounting the possibility of moving up again in weight if he can’t make any other marquee fight at super-bantamweight.
“I thought Nishioka was best in the division. But if we can make any of the other fights happen in the division, we will. If not, I move up,” said Donaire.
But Arum vows to give Donaire as many fights as he can – and possibly, only the best ones out there.
“He’s gonna fight as many as he can because he’s a big attraction. And he loves to fight,” said the Top Rank official.