The consensus top two guys in the 122 lb division, Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares will both be fighting in April, except it won’t be against each other but will fight in back to back weeks. On April 13th Nonito Donaire will take on Guillermo Rigondeaux and on April 20th, Mares will move up in weight to 126 lbs to fight WBC champion Daniel Ponce De Leon, De Leon himself a victim of a cancelled fight due to an injury to Jayson Velez.
Now, while both of these bouts are very good bouts, it’s a consolation prize to the fight mostly every wanted which was Donaire-Mares. There was posturing from both sides and a 3 million dollar contract that was released to the media by Mares’ promoter Golden Boy Promotions, where there was a guarantee of 3 million dollars for Donaire and his promoter Top Rank to be split whatever way they liked.
Much was said about the offer and the fallacies involved with it. ThaBoxingVoice.com spoke with Donaire regarding the offer and why it was turned down. When posed with the very question on why he turned down the offer, Donaire responded by stating, “Did you read the contract? If I do fight him, in the contract it states they could postpone the fight without penalty and what am I supposed to do, sit down for 9 months? They want my HBO date, what am I going to do? They could say you know what, we can postpone it for 3 months or you know what we’ll cancel it. So what am I going to say? I told them sent it to me and my manager so we could make this fight happen. So I said you know, you want to make this fight happen, stop playing games. I want to make this fight.”
When speaking to Donaire’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, he went more in depth of the flaws within the contract. “There was no site, no network in the contract. They put 3 million in there but other than the money, they said the fight would take place before June 30th and they said at anytime they could cancel the fights up to 2 weeks before and there would be nothing paid to either fighter. I would never sign that contract. There are things that need to be worked out and we’re fine with Golden Boy and Top Rank working them out. You know Nonito wants the fight and we’re not saying anything bad about Golden Boy. It needs to be worked out and we’re game after this fight.”
Donaire wasn’t too thrilled about the negotiations being so public and at the end of the day it’s up to the handlers to make the fight. “The thing is, it comes up to the networks and promoters. There was a time I didn’t fight for a year because the promoter didn’t like me. What am I suppose to do sit down? I’m happy where I’m at because I’m getting fights. I sit down with my management and give them names of the guys I fight. I gave the name for Abner and Rigondeaux; mostly with Abner. That’s where the negotiations started. They said they’ll make it happen. There’s a feud between the two bodies.”
Those 2 bodies are of course Top Rank and Golden Boy who have gone about their businesses not working together and in turn not giving the fans some of the fights they deserve to see. Dunkin has been in the business a long time and works with both factions but knows the difficulty of it all.
“There were a lot of things that weren’t in the contract and Golden Boy has to get with Top Rank, Nonito’s promoter and he’s got to work all the stuff out before moving forward. I have fighters with Golden Boy and they’re undefeated doing very well. I have no problem with Golden Boy at all. It’s between the promoters, if they can be worked out and they can do it, my fighters gain to fight.”
The fans also gain and the fans do matter as much as anyone. Donaire knows this and understands the sentiment of the fans when dealing with the cold war that is in boxing.
“I know Mares wants to fight me and he knows I want to fight him. The fans are the one that are suffering and are the ones that are getting the bad end of it. At this time, as long as me and Mares keep pushing it and we’re hoping that it will happen. You seen it with Manny Pacquiao and (Floyd) Mayweather, those guys were high power personas and that was stopping the fight. With me and Mares, it’s the promoters that are playing the high power part. To me Mares is one of the guys I set my eyes, and when I set my eyes on a guy I usually want to fight him and get to fight him.”
At the end of our conversation with his Dunkin, the silver lining of the Donaire-Mares fight happening right now may have been something else.
“We were already committed to this date and this fight. HBO put him on 4 times last year, we felt an obligation to carry through with this and after this fight we can certainly revisit it with Mares.”
I won’t hold my breath but we all hope so.