Saturday, March 25, 2023  |



Donaire wants Arce, Mares, Rigondeaux, in order


RING junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire said he wants to get beyond an HBO-televised Dec. 15 clash with four-division title-winner Jorge Arce, face WBC counterpart Abner Mares sometime early next year, and then, defeat WBA 122-pound beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux before moving up into the featherweight division.

Donaire (30-1, 19 knockouts) meets Arce (61-6-2, 46 KOs) at the Toyota Center in Houston, with a match up between southpaw Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) and Thailand’s former titleholder Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (48-2, 33 KOs) being slated for the undercard.

Promoted by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Donaire was was called out by the Golden Boy-promoted Mares (25-0, 13 KOs) after Mares’ Showtime-televised unanimous decision over WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno on Nov. 10.

“I want to request that fight with Mares to happen. I requested that fight last year and this year, but it never happened,” said Donaire of Mares, who dropped Moreno during the fifth round of a victory that ended Moreno’s 27-bout winning streak.

“Maybe now that he’s calling me out on national television, it might happen. We’ll see, but I want to try to get that fight for next year. But we’ll see. I’ll fight Mares, who is the Golden Boy guy as well. We’ll have to wait for that negotiation to present itself. But I want that fight in order to begin cleaning out this division and then move up to 126.”

Donaire will likely get a first-hand look in Houston at Rigondeaux, whom he called, “just a guy that is out there, holding a belt.”

“In the meantime, I might go after the other guy who has the other belt. I forgot his name, man, that’s how unimportant that guy is. What I’m trying to say is that I want to get the Mares fight, and I know that’s going to take a while,” said Donaire.

“But in between that, I want to get a good fight in, and people are requesting that Mares fight. So No. 1 is the Mares fight, and No. 2, it’s the Rigondeaux fight. But to me, Rigondeaux, just a guy that is out there, holding a belt. So I’m going to take it from him, and go after the bigger fights.”

There is one more thing Donaire wants — his actual RING belts — to carry in to the ring against Arce.

“Where’s my belts? I’ve gotten to carry the WBO belt into the ring, and I’ve got the WBC. But I want to get the belts that I’ve wanted for a long time, and that’s the RING belts. That’s the only belt that I don’t have in my possession. Otherwise, I’ve had every belt that you can name from every sanctioning body,” said Donaire.

“I’ve had the WBO, IBF, WBA, I just need the RING belt. You guys need to give that to me. I’ve got to get that RING belt. That’s the one I need. I just haven’t gotten the main belt that I need to collect, which is the RING belt. So, everything else has been completed.”



Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]