By Nick Giongco
The planned May 28 show starring Nonito Donaire is dead, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said from Las Vegas. “That date is now officially dead,” Arum told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin. Arum had given Donaire until this week to make contact so they could set in motion plans to have him fight on that said date in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Last month, retired judge Daniel Weinstein arbitrated the tug-of-war involving Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) and ruled that fast-rising Filipino-American puncher rightfully belongs to Arum. “Hopefully they’ll come to their senses and finish the contract with us. I will promote him for the rest of his contract really hard, really well. When his contract is over (with Top Rank), he is free to go anyplace he wants,” said Arum.
“We are professionals and I can assure him I will give my 100 percent in promoting him again.”
Donaire had signed with GBP on March 16 and immediately expressed his willingness to fight under the Oscar De La Hoya-owned outfit.
But Arum was quick to point out that Top Rank has a live and valid contract with Donaire, whose popularity rose so rapidly following his smashing second-round knockout of Mexican mauler Fernando Montiel last February.
“He has to come back. He has a lot of big fights coming under Top Rank,” said Arum, whose next move is to meet up with Cameron Dunkin, Donaire’s manager.
“The longer this thing plays out, the further away his next fight will be,” added Arum.
Top Rank has a bevy of marquee names that Donaire craves for, including Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico and Cuban hotshots Guillermo Rigondeaux and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Efforts to get in touch with the Donaire camp–via telephone calls and emails–have failed.