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The Rebuttal

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So will we finally see the anticipated bout between junior featherweight stalwarts Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares? On Friday, Top Rank was sent a written proposal for a provision of services agreement that would pay them a whopping $3 million for the “Filipino Flash” to face Mares (maxboxing/golden-boy-puts-up) in an event promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
 
But while on the surface this deal looks like a can’t-miss, there is a key detail missing, according to the representatives of Donaire.
 
“The date,” said his manager, Cameron Dunkin, pointing out that the deal didn’t have a specific time frame and that June 15th, which Schaefer says he has on hold at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, simply will not work. “If [Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer]’s telling you that it’s June, Nonito’s not available. His wife is having a baby in June and he came out and said weeks ago that he wasn’t going to be available then. He’s already got an April 13th date and anyone would appreciate a legitimate $3 million offer for this fight and we certainly would - and believe me; Todd [duBoef, Top Rank president] will be very fair with the money. It won’t be 50/50 or any of that nonsense that they said. Nonito will get a ton of the money. Believe me; he will. We’ll work that out.

“But that’s not even the point. The point is the offer, we don’t know where it is; there’s a lot more than just saying you’ll pay somebody a bunch of money. There’s a lot more making a fight than that and already, it’s an offer that can’t be done. So I mean, we’ll just get through April 13th - and Nonito’s got a real legitimate offer from HBO to fight - we’ll fight April 13th and after that, if they want a serious talk about doing a fight and they want to pay that kind of money, I mean, sure. I said to Todd, ‘That kind of money?’ and Todd was like, ‘Absolutely, I’d be glad to talk about it.’”
 
Bob Arum, who just returned from a business trip from China, told Maxboxing, “We have a commitment to HBO for April the 13th for Donaire and after April the 13th, we’ll discuss anything with anybody.” It seems that regardless of any other offer, they are bound to fight on this date. “After that fight, we’ll explore the situation. We’re going to be open to anything; obviously, we’re going to want the fight to be on HBO.”
 
And this will be a key sticking point in this process. HBO has invested heavily in Donaire (having televised his last six fights - four last year - alone) and Mares’ last six bouts have been on Showtime. Neither network wants to feel as though they invested in a fighter who’s biggest, most important contest will be on the competing network. At the same time, neither promotional entity wants to alienate the network that has paid them so handsomely the past few years.
 
“It’s not a question of the money; it’s a question of the fact why would we in our right minds give a fighter to Showtime when we’re banned from Showtime,” said Arum. “They’re not going to be able to play games that way.”
 
To this, Schaefer responds, “If they want to do it on April the 13th, let’s do it on April the 13th, no problem. I mean, but what are they going to say then? Look, y’ know they don’t want to do it.” At this point, Schaefer is chuckling, believing this is just another version of the fruitless efforts to make Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. “It’s interesting,” he continued, “but I always thought that the promoter should try to maximize the revenue for the fighters and I have no problems doing it with HBO. No problem whatsoever. I just want to do it with whoever pays the most money. If Showtime pays more money, then why exactly should it be with HBO?
 
“Look, the difference is we work for the fighter at Golden Boy and that’s the fundamental difference in the approach. But at Top Rank, the fighters work for Top Rank and that’s the big difference. We work for the fighters and we try to maximize their revenue. I hope that Nonito Donaire’s getting something out of this. I don’t know; maybe he has a multi-fight deal with HBO. I don’t know. Hopefully, he gets something out of this because, otherwise, why wouldn’t he want to go where he could make the most money?”
 
It seems the best case scenario now is for Donaire to fight on the aforementioned date and for Mares (who has a WBC mandatory obligation coming up) to take a fight in the first third of 2013 and then try and make this fight a reality. If Golden Boy still stands by its offer in a few months (and it’ll be interesting to see how difficult Top Rank matches Donaire in this upcoming contest) then there is time for both parties to try and find a date amenable to both sides.

“Right,” said Dunkin, who says he’s more than willing to revisit this situation after April the 13th, “and a site. All that has to be talked about. To me, yes, they sent a letter to the attorney at Top Rank but that doesn’t mean anything. I can do any of that; I could offer anything to anybody but that doesn’t mean that’s all the details of making a fight. There’s a lot more than just saying, ‘Here’s the money.’ There’s a lot more to making a fight. Believe me; they’re Mares’ people…well, Abner Mares is going to want certain things too, certain guarantees. There’s a lot to this and to just come out in the press and throw out a number, I just don’t think it’s the way to do business. Call up Todd, who I know will talk to them. Bob, I don’t know about Bob and that relationship but I know Todd will talk to them and call him up and say, ‘Look, I’d like to do the fight; here’s an offer. We’d be willing to pay this kind of money. Of course we’re gonna need this, this and this.’ Then you’re making a fight. That’s how you make a fight.
 
“To just come out and say, ‘Here’s $3 million and we’re trying; they’re [Top Rank] playing games,’ I mean, they start picking a fight before you even get started. It’s just not legitimate.”
 
GOLDEN PETE
 
On Monday afternoon, Golden Boy announced they had signed IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson to a promotional pact. If Peterson can get past Kendall Holt on February 22nd, he will be right in the mix to face the likes of other Golden Boy-promoted 140-pounders like Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse.
 
He could also anchor some cards in the D.C. area with Capitol City cohorts like Gary Russell Jr. and Seth Mitchell.
 
APRIL 27TH
 
As you’ve probably heard by now, with Danny Garcia’s rib injury (or was it his wrist?), his date against Zab Judah has been postponed from February 9th to April 27th. The undercard fight featuring WBO middleweight titlist Peter Quillin against Fernando Guerrero will also be shifted to this date. The venue remains the same, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Those who bought tickets for February 9th can get a full refund or roll them over for the new date.
 
FRIGID FLURRIES
 
Look for Brian Viloria to sign a multi-fight agreement with Top Rank that will center on their new dealings in Asia...OK, the announcement on Floyd Mayweather’s and Saul Alvarez’s fight will be made soon, right?...Geez, it’s been cold in the Los Angeles/Southern California the past day or so. I mean, it was all the way into the low-60s in the afternoon...My new nickname for Kobe Bryant is the “Black Stockton”...I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.


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