MANILA, Philippines – Four-division champion Nonito Donaire Jr. clearly wants to go after undefeated Abner Mares of Mexico, says local boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz.
Nathanielsz explained in an interview over ANC’s Headstart that Mares is Donaire’s first choice, and Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux is second.
“Donaire wanted Mares for the last two years just like [Jorge] Arce,” said Nathanielsz.
He said the contrasting styles of Donaire and Mares make for an exciting fight.
But he believes the “Filipino Flash” has the edge in terms of skills and power.
“And against Mares, it's gonna be a tremendous fight, Nonito will come through definitely in the end because it think he has more power than Abner Mares,” said Nathanielsz.
Donaire holds the WBO and the RING super bantamweight titles, while Mares owns the WBC crown.
The biggest stumbling block, however, Nathanielsz said is that Donaire and Mares belong to warring promotional outfits.
Donaire is under contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., while Mares fights under Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
“Bob Arum told me sometime ago the contract of Mares with Golden Boy expires this year and he hopes Mares won't sign up again so he may be free to get the fight done,’ said Nathanielsz.
But it that doesn’t happen, then Donaire has no other option but to face WBA title holder Rigondeaux.
“Rigondeaux unfortunately has a fight schedule on February,” said Nathanielsz. “Nonito says, ‘if you’re the one I’m fighting, push it back to March and let's get it done.’”
“Rigondeaux is with Arum so it really can be done,” he added.