MANILA, Philippines – The trainer of world super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire says “The Filipino Flash” is ready to take on the top contenders in the division after his stunning third-round stoppage of Mexican Jorge Arce last Saturday in Houston.
Respected trainer Robert Garcia told Boxing Scene that Donaire, the front-runner for 2012 Fighter of the Year, is willing to fight all challengers, especially titleholders Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Mares currently holds the World Boxing Council title, while Rigondeaux holds the World Boxing Association belt.
Donaire is the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization champion.
“I think Mares deserves the fight. Rigondeaux is out there, too,” Garcia said. “Donaire is willing to face all those guys.”
But Garcia made it clear that the decision was not up to him. “I leave that up to (Donaire’s manager) Cameron (Dunkin) and (promoter) Top Rank. They pick the fights, and I get him ready for those fights,” he said.
Donaire has repeatedly said he is open to fight both Mares or Rigondeaux, although he is more willing to face Mares than the unbeaten Cuban.
“If it’s possible for next year, we would like to have that fight (against Mares) happen,” Donaire said, although he admits that it is unlikely given the current frosty relationship between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions.
“I don’t think the mending thing (between Top Rank and Golden Boy) will ever happen... Showtime wants Mares to fight for Showtime, with Golden Boy, and for me, with Top Rank. So there’s that struggle,” he added.
As for a fight with Rigondeaux, Donaire said he was only interested in taking the Cuban’s championship belt.
“I keep telling people that he’s not deserving of fighting me. But I will fight him just to get his belt. That’s pretty much why I will fight the guy,” he said.
Garcia was full of praises for Donaire after his latest win, which saw “The Filipino Flash” control the action from opening bell and drop Arce three times in three rounds.
“I thought he was sensational. He is one of the best, if not the best in the world. He is very dedicated in the gym. He is very smart in the ring and he did what he had to do,” Garcia said.