Nonito Donaire Jr. with pregnant wife Rachel
MANILA, Philippines - WBO superbantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. said yesterday he was never given a copy of the contract that Golden Boy Promotions supposedly sent to a Top Rank lawyer promising a $3 Million purse to battle Mexican Abner Mares under â€œstupidâ€ conditions to tie him down up to September without a firm commitment for a fight.
Donaire said he was surprised to find a scanned copy of the contract in a boxing website. His manager Cameron Dunkin was never contacted on the possible deal. With no terms laid out on the table, Donaire said it appeared like a ruse to snatch his HBO date in April from Top Rank and make him look bad by insinuating heâ€™s ducking Mares.
To prove the ruse, Donaire said Mares recently announced he would relinquish his WBC 122-pound crown and move up to the featherweight division. That meant the Mexican had no intention to fight Donaire in the first place.
â€œFrom what I saw in the website, the proposal was for me to fight Mares in June with a 90-day grace period or up to September,â€ said Donaire. â€œThe offer was supposed to be $3 Million for my purse but from what I understand, HBOâ€™s budget for a match like this is $3 Million for two fighters. Since the offer was to put it on Showtime which has a lower budget, there was no way I could get a $3 Million purse. The contract could tie me down until September at their option and there is an out-clause that allows a cancellation for whatever reason.â€
Donaire suspected that the deal was a ploy for Golden Boy to grab his HBO date in April. While his next fight has not been firmed up, it is expected that Donaire will battle WBA superbantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in a unification showdown in Las Vegas on April 13.
â€œI think the whole deal with Mares was a bluff,â€ said Donaire. â€œIf I agreed, they would keep me hanging without a definite fight. Anyone can offer a $3 Million purse without a commitment. All I know is Iâ€™ve got a fight on April 13, possibly against Rigondeaux and Iâ€™ll be training for that. Now, I hear that Victor Terrazas and Cristian Mijares will fight for the WBC title that Mares is giving up in April. I donâ€™t think Mares wouldâ€™ve beaten Terrazas and itâ€™s not likely Mares will make an impact as a featherweight.â€
Donaire, 30, said his goal is to take in four fights this year but realistically, the calendar might accommodate only three. After his April assignment, Donaire said he will take a rest and care for his wife Rachel who is due to give birth in July. He could do a second fight in September and a third in December.
The Donaires are expecting a baby boy to be named Jarel Michael. â€œJarel stands for Jun And Rachel Everlasting Love while Michael is in honor of St. Michael the Archangel whom we always pray to for strength,â€ said Donaire. â€œWeâ€™re very excited about the coming of our baby. Itâ€™s an enormous blessing that our love for each other will create a child to make our family complete. Itâ€™s a fulfilment. My life is incredible with Rachel and now, weâ€™ll have a baby to keep us even closer together.â€
The other day, Rachel went to a clinic for an ultrasound to view the baby in her womb. To her surprise, the baby had his hands up like a fighter defending himself and was constantly kicking. Rachel was a former taekwondo champion. â€œThe baby is very active and thatâ€™s why Rachel gets tired easily,â€ said Donaire.
Donaire said theyâ€™re definitely going for more children. â€œBut weâ€™re taking it slow,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™ll test this one out first and go from there. Weâ€™re blessed with this baby. This is a blessing that weâ€™ll cherish more than a championship or any award.â€