Friday, June 29, 2012

Pacquiao's poker face ; Donaire beefs up for title defense

Source : Yahoo Sports

Promoter Bob Arum met with former welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in Los Angeles on Monday and said the only news of substance to come out of the meeting is that Pacquiao will fight next on Nov. 10.

Whether that's a rematch with either Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto or a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains anybody's guess. Pacquiao lost the World Boxing Organization welterweight title in a highly controversial split decision to Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas that prompted an international furor.

Arum said Pacquiao made it clear he wants to fight Mayweather, but Arum said he told Pacquiao it would be "most unlikely" a bout with Mayweather could be arranged for 2012. Mayweather is serving an 87-day sentence at the Clark County, Nev., Detention Center in Las Vegas and isn't expected to be released until Aug. 3.

Arum said he laid out the positives and negatives of fights with all three of the other men in a meeting that also included Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz. Arum said Pacquiao showed no preference.

One boxing source on Thursday told Yahoo! Sports that it's 99 percent certain there will be a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch, but Arum said Pacquiao did not indicate that to him. Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee, left on Tuesday for a vacation in Israel.

"He kept a true poker face," Arum said of Pacquiao. "I explained to him everything that is going on and what we thought, but he didn't give anything away. He just listened and took it all in."

If he goes by pay-per-view numbers, he'll pick Marquez. Pacquiao's fight with Marquez last year sold 1.3 million on pay-per-view, Arum said. He said the Pacquiao-Bradley fight did 900,000 sales, "maybe a little more."

Arum said closed circuit sales for Pacquiao-Bradley  were "tremendous, really good, encouraging," but he said the pay-per-view number didn't follow suit.

"It is what it is," Arum said of the Pacquiao-Bradley pay-per-view result. "Manny had a history with Marquez and Marquez had a huge fan base among the Hispanics. Bradley, nobody had heard of him before. We did the best promotion we could and the number that came back, came back.

"It's still a good number. Do you know how many people would love to do a pay-per-view like that?"

Arum heaped praise upon Bradley and said regardless of whether or not Pacquiao chooses to exercise a rematch clause, Top Rank has big plans for Bradley.

Pacquiao is still its big star, despite the result of the June 9 bout, but Arum insisted Top Rank had not and would not abandon Bradley.

"He's a lovely young man and he's a terrific fighter," Arum said. "We promote him, too, and we're going to do all we can to put him in the biggest fights possible and move his career along the best way we can. I'm not going to force Manny to fight him or anyone else. Who Manny fights is up to Manny. He's earned that right. But saying who Manny fights is up to him isn't any kind of an indication we think any less of Tim or that we'll do anything less than our best work for him."

Source : Philippine Star

Manila, Philippines -  Nonito Donaire is no longer the small guy that packs a big punch.

For the defense of his WBO super-bantamweight title against South African Jeffrey Mathebula on July 7 in California, Donaire should be in his biggest physique ever.

The 29-year-old Filipino is a graduate of the flyweight, super-flyweight and bantamweight divisions, of which he became world champion, and it’s time to beef up.

“My last fight at 122 pounds I was pretty small, I was walking at 128 pounds. For this fight I had been walking at 133 to 138 pounds, which is a big difference,” said Donaire.

The boxer who wants to unify the super-bantamweight titles graced a conference call yesterday with his promoter Bob Arum, trainer Robert Garcia and manager Cameron Dunkin.

Besides, there’s a need for Donaire to bulk up for this fight.

Donaire has never faced a boxer as tall as Mathebula, who stands a shade over 5’10” and should be more than a couple of inches longer in reach.

Donaire likened Mathebula, who just turned 33 last week and sports a 26-3-2 record with 14 KOs, to Celestino Caballero, the former king of the 122 lb class.

Caballero outpointed Mathebula in a defense of his WBA and IBF super-bantamweight titles at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama in March 2009.

Also in March 2009, Donaire knocked out Mexican-American Raul Martinez in the fourth round, and keep his IBF and IBO flyweight titles at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Mathebula is tall, like Caballero. We took this fight because of the challenge. For the first time, I will be the smaller boxer inside the ring,” Donaire told Pinoy scribes recently.

Donaire stands 5’7” and when he climbs the ring at the Home Depot Center in Carson to face Mathebula, it’s almost like watching Manny Pacquiao vs Oscar dela Hoya.

There’s going to be a big difference in size.

Yet, Donaire is unfazed, and in fact is eyeing an impressive victory that should set him up to the bigger fights against Guillermo Rigondeaux, Toshiaki Nishioka or Jorge Arce.

“Those who follow boxing know that the 122-pound division is chock-full of superstars. We have a long list of guys who will be making tremendous fights,” said Arum.

Donaire is itching at the bigger fights ahead, but first he has to get past Mathebula.

“We’ll have a great fight on July 7. Mathebula is a great champion and he’s going to try and come in and surprise us and surprise the world,” said Donaire’s trainer.

“Mathebula is a very tough fighter. He is a tall guy, the tallest fighter I will have faced and I know Cameron is nervous about it. But he’s always nervous.

“But I told Cameron I wanted this fight. I knew this guy would motivate me and he made me train as hard as I did. I don’t know what to expect because he is so tall,” said Donaire, 28-1 with 18 KOs.

A lot of people expect Donaire to win.

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