MANILA, Philippines – Nonito Donaire Jr. facing fellow super bantamweight champion Abner Mares would have been a highly entertaining fight, but their respective handlers are just not making it happen, said ESPN’s resident boxing analyst Dan Rafael.
“It's not happening because of the silly, energy-sucking feud between Golden Boy and Top Rank, which has done nothing but damage the sport for years even if the bosses of the companies won't admit it,” Rafael said in his blog.
Donaire, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight king, fights under Bob Arum’s Top Rank.
Mares, the World Boxing Council (WBC) title holder, is signed with Golden Boy Promotions which is headed by Oscar de la Hoya.
“A match between them would be one of the most significant and entertaining in the sport -- one HBO and Showtime would fall over each other to pay a lot of money to get,” said Rafael.
Mexico’s Mares said he was hoping to get to fight Donaire, but the bout did not materialize.
He said he hopes that Top Rank and Golden Boy will end their differences soon so that he could face “The Filipino Flash.”
"Without a doubt, I'll take, hands down, the Nonito fight. All I have to say is this fight [with Anselmo Moreno] is done already, I'm fighting Moreno and [then] keep going. This is a tough fight and, God willing, I win this fight I hope [and] I really hope that we get the Nonito fight after."
Mares will be fighting Moreno this weekend.
Donaire also voiced his willingness to face the unbeaten Mares.
“More than anybody, I’d like to fight Mares,” he said. “I think if we get it on, it will be a great fight.”
But he admitted that the bout is unlikely to happen since they are being handled by different promotional companies.
“He’s with Golden Boy and I’m promoted by Top Rank,” said Donaire. “There’s a wall blocking the fight because we’re promoted by different groups.”