Order for Masks
MANILA, Philippines - Bob Arum had something else at the back of his mind when he decided to pit Nonito Donaire Jr. against Jorge Arce on Dec. 15 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
It will be the fourth fight for the year for the reigning WBO super-bantamweight champion. He won the first three, including a TKO of Toshiaki Nishioka last Oct. 13 in Carson City.
Donaire, actually undefeated over the last 11 years, also outpointed Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. last February, before dominating Jeffrey Mathebula last July.
It’s been a busy, successful and lucrative year for the 29-year-old Donaire.
Perhaps without him knowing, those three wins also put Donaire in the hunt for the Fighter of the Year award being given out by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).
A big win over Arce could be the icing on the cake, according to Arum.
“We wanted to get Donaire a fourth fight this year because it enhances his chances for the Fighter of the Year,” the Top Rank chief told The STAR the other day.
Arum said there was really no plan setting up Donaire vs Arce exactly one week after Manny Pacquiao faces Juan Manuel Marquez in what could be the fight of the year.
But the ageless promoter found the opportunity for Donaire.
“It was not intended,” said Arum of the back-to-back presentation featuring Pacquiao and Donaire along with another Filipino title prospect, the undefeated Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta.
“But when the December date opened up for Donaire we grabbed it. Three Filipinos will be fighting that week,” said Arum.
Gesta, who’s 26-0 with 14 knockouts, will shoot for the IBF lightweight title against Mexican Miguel Vasquez on the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez Part 4.
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