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Arum: I hope Donaire will become as popular as Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao Nonito DonaireBy Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is hoping he can turn his fighter WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 2O’s) into a fighter as popular as his #1 cash cow fighter Manny Pacquiao in the near future. Pacquiao is getting old and now losing left and right.

Pacquiao’s obviously not going to be around too much longer, and if he is able to hang around for another three, he may not be a PPV attraction for too much longer if he keeps losing like this. Donaire might be able to slide in and take over for the depleted Pacquiao as the #1 PPV attraction.

Arum said to RingTV “He [Donaire] certainly hasn’t become the draw that Manny is. Hopefully, he will be. There are a couple of great super bantamweights out there who would make good matches for him.”

Donaire could be facing WBA World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO’s) on April 27th. That would be a good first start for Arum and Donaire. If Arum is serious about wanting to put Donaire in position to take over for Pacquiao, Arum is going to have to speed up the process because the Pacquiao gravy train could come to an abrupt halt if he gets knocked cold again by Juan Manuel Marquez in their rematch in September. Arum needs to Donaire in with Rigondeaux in April and then pray that he doesn’t get beaten by the Cuban.

If Donaire comes out of that fight in one piece with a non-controversial victory, then Arum needs to put Donaire in with WBC super bantamweight champion Abner Mares. A win over Mares would do wonders for Donaire’s popularity. Then all he needs to do is move up to featherweight and beat the two best guys in that division Mikey Garcia and Orlando Salido. I wish Donaire a lot of luck in doing that because I think he’d lose to both. But those are the kinds of fights that Donaire really needs if he wants to take over for Pacquiao after he retires.

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