Nonito Donaire to face Scott Quigg in November?
It looks very much like we are on track for a most meaningful featherweight showdown, that being Nonito Donaire challenging Scott Quigg in the third week of November, on Quigg’s home turf of England.
That scrap, which is termed as close to being fully actualized by Rachel Donaire, Nonito’s wifey and astute sage-adviser, would be embraced by fight fans as being junior feather Quigg’s stiffest test and anticipated because it would represent a return to a massive stage for the “Filipino Flash.”
Now, Donaire, age 32, has most certainly been active of late; the 35-3 hitter is 2-0 already in 2015, having beaten Will Prado and then Anthony Settoul by TKO in March and July, respectively. But no dissing those guys, Quigg (31-0-2; age 26; TKO’ed Kiko Martinez in July) is on another tier, presumably.
Or is he?
Donaire went into a self-assessment mode following a six-round TKO loss to Nicholas Walters last October. Now there’s no shame in losing to the hard-punching Jamaican. Walters opened eyes to a certain segment of the populace with the win but astute pundits knew he was no pushover versus the Fil-Am scrapper.
Donaire told me Tuesday night, after filling me in on his baby’s progress – Jarel II is doing fab after entering the world in April – that he’s of a new mindset. He’s now fully dialed in, fully committed, fully married to boxing, he said. Before, he’d train when it came close to fight time. Now, he says he’s staying gym ready…and will show the game and the fans that he ain’t close to being a past-tense scrapper.
Another thing I picked up on: A bit of his obvious humility is gone. And I dare say in a good way…Before, he’d have sort of a “Whatever God wants…” vibe to him. Now it’s clear that he’s decided to be master of his own destiny. Yes, accept what a Creator has charted for him but he wants to massively influence that direction.
Donaire’s stated change in mindset has me that much more curious about this tangle being put together by promoter Top Rank Promotions and Quigg’s crew. Can Donaire, who I have always looked up to for being willing to talk about the stresses of his childhood, get back to a place where Bob Arum was talking about him as a potential heir to the Pacquiao throne when Manny exits the fight-game stage?
A loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux thrust doubts into his head, in 2013, and the Walters fight left him slightly adrift but he’s saying he’s not new, but improved. I’m eager to see proof of his assertions, in the ring, in a few months. I can say this: He chuckled and sounded pumped to be the intruder coming to England to knock Quigg down a peg.
Message: this Flash may have faded momentarily but brighter days are again to come.