Donaire vs. Juarez could have Rigondeaux’s WBO title on line

By Boxing News - 10/23/2015 - Comments

donaireBy Tim Fletcher: Former four division world champion Nonito Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs) could be facing #1 WBO Cesar Juarez (17-3, 13 KOs) on December 11th in a fight televised on truTV rather than HBO. The could be for WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeau’x WBO 122lb belt if the World Boxing Organization strips him of the title for failing to defend it for an entire year.

The WBO has a convention coming up next week where they’ll make the decision about stripping the 35-year-old Rigondeaux or not. You would have to assume that they will take his title because the WBO is pretty firm about wanting their champions to defend their titles in a timely fashion.

Donaire is ranked #2 by the WBO, so it makes sense for him to be fighting the little known Juarez for the title. The Donaire-Juarez fight will depend though on Donaire extending his contract with Top Rank, as it’s about to expire. If Donaire re-ups with Top Rank, then he’ll be facing Juarez two months from now on 12/11.

Donaire needs to think seriously about whether he would be better off with Top Rank rather than another promotional team like Golden Boy. If Donaire signed with Al Haymon, he could likely get fights against other Haymon fighters like Carl Frampton and Lee Selby. Those fights might make Donaire more money than him facing guys like Juarez and the bigger Nicholas Walters.

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Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants to have unbeaten lightweight contender Felix Verdejo in the headline fight with Donaire on the undercard. The fight card would take place in Puerto Rico, which is why it makes sense for Verdejo to be in main event. For Donaire, it’s got to be kind of a fall from his previous status of being a main event fighter. Now he will have to adjust to being an undercard guy.

The timing of Arum putting Donaire on an undercard isn’t very good if he wants to re-sign him. It would be better to have Donaire in the main event right now because it might lead to him agreeing to extend his contract with the 83-year-old Arum.

“We want to end the year strong on truTV,” Arum said to “Verdejo and Donaire together, that’s ending the year strong. Donaire is working hard. Juarez is a pretty good fighter, but Donaire should be OK,” Arum said.

The 24-year-old Juarez has suffered losses in the past to Hugo Partida and Edgar Lozano. However, he’s improved since then and recently defeated Cesar Seda and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. This could be a very tough fight for Donaire because he’s facing a young guy who is improving with every fight.

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Top Rank had recently been trying to get Donaire up with a title shot against WBA “regular” super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg for a fight this year. However, the negotiations fizzled, and Quigg is now on the verge of fighting Frampton in a unification fight.

Donaire has won his last two fights against William Prado and Anthony Settoul. Last year in 2014, Donaire was stopped in the 6th round by Nicholas Walters at featherweight.

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