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Freeman Cebu Sports

Donaire to defend title on Pacquiao undercard

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Five-division world champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire  Jr. (37-3, 24KOs) will most likely defend his WBO super bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Jessie Magdaleno spicing up the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas headliner on November 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com that the Pacquiao-Vargas card would include four world champions bouts on the pay-per-view telecast and one in the works features Donaire against the undefeated Magdaleno.

“We were negotiating the deal [on Wednesday],” said Donaire's manager Cameron Dunkin in the same report by Rafael.  “With Nonito, I’d like to get him big names and big fights, but that’s not possible right now, so he has to keep defending his title and do this mandatory. We’re real close and trying to settle on a few things. We’re going to try to get it wrapped up and be done in the next couple of days.”

Once the deal will be sealed, it will be a surefire blockbuster show by Top Rank with no less than the two biggest names in Philippine boxing on the same card together for the very first time.

“This will be really fun,” Dunkin added. “I think it should have happened sooner, but it’s OK. I think the Filipino people will be really excited and happy for this. It’s terrific.”

Donaire, who previously kept his WBO belt with a methodical third round stoppage of Hungarian Zsolt Bedak last April 23 at the Cebu City Sports Center, couldn’t be happier upon hearing the news that he will see action in the highly-anticipated comeback fight of Pacquiao.

Speaking to veteran sportswriter and broadcaster Ronnie Nathanielsz, Rachel Donaire said fighting in the undercard of a Pacquiao fight would be her husband’s way of giving back to the Filipino icon.

“Fighting on a Pacquiao card has always been something he has wanted to do because it will give him (Nonito) a chance to show his support for what Manny has done to open the door for Filipinos,” she said, even describing the upcoming event as a “a power card” which reflects “the huge rivalry” between the Philippines and Mexico.— with reports from PhilBoxing  (FREEMAN)

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