MANILA, Philippines – The much-awaited fight between Filipino super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and Mexican warrior Jorge Arce may not happen after all, with Donaire’s manager revealing that the Mexican may be getting “cold feet.”
ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported that the Donaire-Arce fight, scheduled for October, may end up getting sidetracked. [http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/1575/donaire-arce-could-be-sidetracked]
“I think (Arce’s team) is getting cold feet. (Top Rank president) Todd (DuBoef) said they’re hemming and hawing and asking for a lot more money now,” Donaire’s manager Cameron Dunkin said in an interview with Rafael.
“Things are changing. I just don’t have a good feeling,” he added.
Donaire is coming off a unanimous decision victory against South African boxer Jeffrey Mathebula, wherein he unified the IBF and WBO super bantamweight titles.
He was subsequently linked to fights against Arce, Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka, Mexico’s Abner Mares and Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux, though it was the Arce fight that seemed most likely.
But Top Rank executive Carl Moretti admitted that the fight was not a done deal yet, though they remain hopeful it will push through.
“We’re trying to put it together, but it’s not done yet,” he said.
The fight was originally scheduled for October 20, though it was reported that it has been moved to October 13. Moretti told Rafael, however, that they are still working out the final date with HBO.
Dunkin, meanwhile, expressed his frustration over the negotiations with the Arce camp.
“Arce came up to me after the fight that he had with (Jesus) Rojas,” Dunkin said, referring to Arce’s June 8 bout, which ended in a no contest.
“Arce speaks broken English, but you can talk to him, and he said, ‘I fight, I fight Nonito.’ He said he was definitely fighting him, no problem,” Dunkin added.
“He said, ‘I fight him, I fight him.' I said, ‘Well, let’s finally get it done.’ Over and over again we’ve wanted to make this fight, and (the Arce side) says it’s the next fight and they never show up.”
According to Rafael, Top Rank’s "alternative plan" for Donaire is to have him fight Nishioka, the Japanese boxer who is ranked first in The RING’s super featherweight ratings.