MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire is doubtful that his next opponent will be fellow titleholders Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba or Abner Mares of Mexico.
After fighting four times in 2012 and winning numerous Fighter of the Year awards, Donaire wants to stay active in 2013 and plans to return to the ring in March or April.
But “The Filipino Flash” told Dennis Guillermo of Examiner that it is unlikely he will face Rigondeaux or Mares for his first fight of the year.
“We have Mares, that’s the fight we really want to make, but (negotiations are) getting difficult,” Donaire told Guillermo.
“With Rigondeaux, he won’t fight until June or July or something like that. They won’t do it in March or April. We’re looking at that schedule,” he added.
Donaire told Guillermo that they will have to consider other opponents as their top two options are not available.
“We’re looking at different names now, because those two are not available earlier in the year. They’re not available,” he said. “With Mares, we want to make it happen, but it’s too difficult, and Rigondeaux doesn’t want to fight in March.”
In 2012, Donaire defeated Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. via split decision in February, then defeated South African boxer Jeffrey Mathabula via unanimous decision in July.
He then stopped to Japanese fight Toshiaki Nishioka in the ninth round of their October clash, before knocking out good friend Jorge Arce in the third round in December.
Both Nishioka and Arce announced their retirements after losing to Donaire.