Donaire's next foe: It's his choice

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 10 2012 10:57 AM | Updated as of Jul 10 2012 06:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - While Jorge Arce may provide the excitement and the style that suits Nonito Donaire Jr. perfectly fine, Abner Mares has the WBC super-bantamweight title to offer the Filipino champion.

Donaire unified the WBO and IBF super-bantamweight crowns the other day with a convincing victory over South African Jeffrey Mathebula at the Home Depot Center in California.

Even before he climbed the ring against the towering South African, Donaire said his ultimate goal is to unify and clean up the 122 lb division before he thinks of moving up to 126.

Arce, 32, perhaps the most flamboyant Mexican fighter out there, has won world titles in the light-flyweight, super-flyweight, bantamweight and super-bantam classes.

He loves to engage, always in your face. He likes the smell of blood, and wouldn’t stop until his nose is broken or gets knocked out or until the final bell rings.

Donaire's promoter, Bob Arum, said they're looking at Donaire vs Arce in October or November this year. But it’s all up to the Filipino champion to say yes or no.

"One more belt (at 122 lb) and I'm good to go to 126," said the 29-year-old Donaire, who floored Mathebula in the fourth round but just couldn't finish him off.

Mares is only 26 and 5’5” is just as tall as Donaire. He is undefeated in 25 fights (with a draw) and has that belt that would go well with Donaire’s collection.

There's another title in store for Donaire and it's with WBA champ Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba. But it seems that Rigondeaux is in the bottom of the list.

Then there’s another name to choose from, that of Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka, the WBC emeritus champion at 122.

Rigondeaux, now 31, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens). He turned pro in 2009 and has gone 10-0 with eight KOs.

Mares sat at ringside when Donaire whipped Mathebula, and later on told The Examiner's Chris Robinson he wants a shot at the "Filipino Flash."

"He showed a lot. He's always known for being skillful; he knows how to use the ring. But I think I could give him a good fight," Mares said.

The only problem is that Mares is with Golden Boy, and Donaire with Top Rank, and the world knows the bitterness between the two promotional firms.

"I think it can be worked out," Mares said.

Mares wants Donaire, and he has something to offer.

It’s Donaire’s call.