Latest Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire full fight month of December, signs extension with top rank lines up Juarez for his 2016 next fight, Former four-division world titleholder Nonito Donaire, the consensus 2012 fighter of the year, signed a contract extension, including for the first bout of the deal, with longtime promoter Top Rank on Monday.
Nonito ‘Flash’ Donaire vs Cesar Juarez on Dec. 11 (truTV) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, likely for a vacant junior featherweight world title, the belt recently stripped from Guillermo Rigondeaux because of inactivity. Rigondeaux’s career-best win came by decision against Donaire in a 2013 junior featherweight world title unification bout.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Donaire told ESPN.com on Tuesday that it was “for more than a year.”
“Nonito came to the office to meet with me and sign the contract. And he said, ‘No more fooling around, no more being a celebrity. I’m a fighter, and I’m going to work hard and stay in the gym, and you will see the best Nonito Donaire you’ve ever seen,'” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN.com. “I think Donaire is really serious now. He’s a great fighter, and I don’t count him out against anybody.”
Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs), 32, known as the “Filipino Flash” and living in Las Vegas, has won world titles at flyweight, bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight, plus an interim belt at junior bantamweight.
After losing his featherweight world title by sixth-round knockout to Nicholas Walters in October 2014, Donaire decided to return to the 122-pound junior featherweight division, in which he has won two consecutive fights by second-round knockout, albeit against lesser opposition. Those fights were in Macau, China, and the Philippines.
Arum said if Donaire, who relies on his powerful left hook, is victorious against Juarez (17-3, 13 KOs), 24, of Mexico, he would look to make an eventual fight between Donaire and featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs), the two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist. Lomachenko defends his world title against Mexico’s Romulo Koasicha (25-4, 15 KOs) on Saturday (HBO) on the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Brandon Rios undercard at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Arum said another possible fight for Donaire in the new deal would be a rematch with Walters (26-0, 21 KOs), though Walters is moving up to junior lightweight and weight could be an issue.
“I feel good about the deal. I’ve had some setbacks, but I’ve put myself in good position with this deal,” Donaire said. “We want to fight the best fighters Top Rank has to offer, and it says in the contract that Top Rank will try to make fights for me with the best available opponents, like Lomachenko and a rematch with Walters.
“Those fights are there for me, and I am happy about that and happy knowing I will get the opportunity for big fights. We’re happy about the deal and the possibility of fighting the best fighters that Top Rank can make available to me.”
Donaire said the fight with Juarez was “icing on the contract. I can start my rise back up. That’s the opportunity Top Rank presented to me, and it’s a good one. He’s a really rugged guy.
“That’s all we know about him. We’ve heard a lot of talk that he’s a tough guy and that he sparred with [lightweight titleholder Jorge] Linares. He can wear you down. He has the Mexican style and will try to take whatever I can dish out to him. We are not looking past him. We’re getting some tapes of him.”
Donaire said the fight he really wants, however, is with Lomachenko.
“I would love to fight him,” Donaire said. “Lomachenko is a really good fighter and a really good test for me to see where I’m at. There’s talk they want to come down [to junior featherweight], but if not, we’ll go back up to featherweight.
“I took things for granted before. I’m taking things for granted anymore, and I am thankful for every little thing in my life.”
Donaire-Juarez will take place on a card that is supposed to be headlined by rising Puerto Rican star lightweight Felix Verdejo (18-0, 13 KOs), a 22-year-old 2012 Olympian and the 2014 ESPN.com prospect of the year.
Arum said Verdejo will fight as long his surgically repaired left hand is ready to go. Verdejo, who will face an opponent to be determined, had to withdraw from a fight scheduled for this past Saturday because of discomfort in his hand, on which he had surgery to remove bone spurs in June.