By David Robinett
Following Nonito Donaire’s unanimous decision victory over Jeffery Mathebula in the main event of Saturday night’s HBO-televised doubleheader from the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, Top Rank chief Bob Arum briefly spoke with reporters before announcing that the fighters featured on HBO’s telecast would not be appearing for a post-fight press conference.
Arum relayed to the assembled media that Kelly Pavlik was seeking a top-flight opponent for his next assignment. “Kelly is looking for big fights,” explained Arum. When asked if he meant Pavlik wanted a title fight next, Arum responded, “No, titles don’t mean anything anymore. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good fighters with titles out there, but we’re interested in big fights, guys like Froch and Kessler, not just a title fight.”
Arum added that didn’t think Andre Ward would be realistic opponent in the near-future and told reporters that a matchup with Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler was more likely later this year.
With regard to Nonito Donaire, Arum deflected a question about a potential matchup with WBC super bantamweight champion Abner Mares by name dropping several other potential opponents for the “Filipino Flash.”
“There are a lot of good matchups we can make with Nonito,” said Arum. “There’s [Jorge] Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, [Guillermo] Rigondeaux. We can make a lot of good fights with those guys.”
Asked if he was disappointed with the small crowd of just 3,200 fans who showed up to see a fighter in Donaire that many regard as the 3rd best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, Arum put his usual positive spin on things.
“No, we weren’t disappointed,” explained Arum. “We had about thirty-two hundred and we had it set up for thirty-five, thirty-six hundred. We were happy with the crowd, that’s what we expected.” Arum also added that featuring Donaire in front of his hometown fans in the California Bay Area was a possibility in the future.