Vetyeka-Donaire, Walters-Darchinyan, Gradovich-Ishimoto card set
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum informed RingTV.com on Friday that former RING junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire will face RING No. 4-rated WBA featherweight beltholder Simpiwe Vetyeka, and No. 5-rated 126-pound contender Nicholas Walters will be matched with ex-beltholder Vic Darchinyan as part of a May 31 quadrupleheader at The CotaiArena in Macau, China.
The show will also match unbeaten No. 3-ranked IBF featherweight beltholder Evgeny Gradovich against Alexander Miskirtchian, as well as 122-pound Chris Avalos opposite Yasutaka Ishimoto, according to Arum.
"Donaire-Vetyeka is done. We've got signed contracts and everything," said Arum, adding that Walters-Darchinyan was "done" as well.
"This will be one of our best cards of the year, and we're very pleased that we can stage it in Macau," said Arum. "Some of these fights will be broadcast in the United States on HBO 2, and on Unimas."
Ranked No. 8 among THE RING's featherweights, Donaire (32-2, 21 knockouts) was last in the ring for a ninth-round TKO of Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KOs) in November.
In his last bout, Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs) won his belt with a sixth-round upset knockout of previously unbeaten and long-reigning No. 1 featherweight Chris John, who announced his retirement following the loss in December.
Ranked No. 4 as a junior featherweight, Darchinyan will attempt to rebound against Walters (23-0, 19 KOs), who scored his third consecutive knockout with a fourth-round TKO of Alberto Garza in November.
Gradovich (18-0, 9 KOs) is coming off a ninth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Billy Dib in a November defense of the belt he won from Dib by split decision two fights earlier. The rematch took place on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios in Macau.
Miskirtchian (24-2-1, 9 KOs) will be after his 12th straight win, having last been in action for a majority decision over France-based Sofiane Takoucht in January.
Avalos (23-2, 17 KOs) will be in pursuit of his fifth consecutive victory against Ishimoto (24-6, 7 KOs), who scored somewhat of an upset three fights ago with a majority decision over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in Macau.