'Donaire needs more threatening foes'

Posted at 07/12/12 8:13 PM

Analyst sees Mares as real fight for Donaire

MANILA, Philippines – It’s time for Nonito Donaire Jr. to be pitted against more challenging, meaner opponents to bring out the best in him, one boxing analyst said.

Max Boxing’s Steve Kim said the Filipino Flash didn’t experience much of a challenge from Jeffrey Mathebula, who ran for most of the fight after being dropped in Round 4.

“It’s time for Donaire to be matched with more threatening foes. Let’s be honest; without the IBF (International Boxing Federation) belt, Top Rank doesn’t even consider Mathebula and HBO doesn’t green-light him,” said Kim.

Donaire was able to unify the World Boxing Organization and IBF super bantamweight titles following his dominating performance against the South African.

Top Rank is now arranging a fight between Donaire and former world champion Jorge Arce.

However, Kim said the aging Arce would be a huge underdog against the younger Donaire.

“Commercially, it would be a very successful venture… But 'Travieso' (Arce) is certainly well into the back nine of his career and would be a big underdog,” said the analyst.

Kim said another commercially viable and certainly more thrilling for Donaire is unbeaten Mexican champion Abner Mares.

“It says here that the real fight to make is a unification bout with Abner Mares, who holds the WBC title. Mares is in the prime of his career. He’s undefeated, has a pleasing all-around style and is Mexican-American,” he said.

But Mares’ fights are broadcast by Showtime while Donaire is under HBO.

Further muddling the chances of making the fight are the opposing entities promoting each fighter: Donaire is under contract with Top Rank; Mares belongs to Golden Boy Promotions.

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