Nonito Donaire getting impatient?

nonito donaire
source: Joaquin Henson |

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With no clear picture as to whom he’s fighting next, former IBF flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. may be getting impatient – if not exasperated as his career continues to show slow progress with the lack of big-name opponents.

This year, Donaire has so far disposed of Martin Vargas and Hernan Marquez, a pair of Mexican journeymen who were clearly not in the Filipino Flash’s class. He’s relinquishing his interim WBA superflyweight title to campaign in the bantamweight ranks because it’s been increasingly difficult to hold down the weight of his evolving 27-year-old body. As nature takes its course, Donaire’s physique is maturing. He has outgrown the superflyweight class and the General Santos City fighter is ready to advance to the next level.

The reluctance of world titleholders Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel to face Donaire has stalled his campaign for more belts. Donaire said he leaves his fate to manager Cameron Dunkin and promoter Top Rank. But if Top Rank can’t seem to find worthy and marquee opponents, should Donaire look elsewhere for options?

The Ring Magazine editor-in-chief Nigel Collins noticed how Donaire’s career hasn’t taken off despite the fighter being ranked No. 4 in the publication’s world pound-for-pound ladder behind Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez. Donaire is rated higher than Sugar Shane Mosley, Chad Dawson, Paul Williams, Sergio Msrtinez, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and Celestino Caballero who complete the top 10 cast.

“Jeers to whomever is responsible for allowing the careers of Nonito Donaire, Celestino Caballero and Sakio Bika to wither on the vine,” wrote Collins. Because marquee fighters are avoiding him, Donaire has lately feasted on inferior foes, prompting The Ring Magazine’s William Dettloff to comment, “Donaire is an excellent fighter with an exciting style but struggles to fill a casino ballroom for his fights.” Dettloff should realize that if ever Montiel agrees to face Donaire, fans will come out in droves. The problem isn’t Donaire – it’s his promoter’s failure to provide credible opposition.

It’s interesting that Collins took an indirect potshot at Top Rank for allowing Donaire’s career “to wither on the vine.” The Ring Magazine, in case you didn’t know, is owned by Golden Boy – Top Rank’s fiercest rival for supremacy in the fight game today. Could it be that Golden Boy will soon make a play for Donaire’s contract?


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