Nonito Donaire wants to get back to business now that promotional disputes have ended. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
With Nonito Donaire now under a long-term contract and back on friendly terms with Top Rank, the Filipino standout is planning two significant fights for October and December, hoping to make up for time lost to his contract dispute. Donaire has been out of action since thrashing Fernando Montiel in two rounds in February, in his first HBO main event.
Donaire is hoping to fight in October against a fellow bantamweight titlist, and names mentioned are Anselmo Moreno (31-1-1, 11 KO) and Koki Kameda (25-1, 16 KO). Both are good fighters and would be fine matchups for Donaire (26-1, 18 KO), but the last time negotiations were held for a Donaire vs Moreno fight, Moreno was reported to want too much money. Kameda has a fight scheduled on August 31 against Daniel de la Mora (23-0, 16 KO), who has a pretty but empty record.
The October fight may or may not actually happen -- there are few TV dates in the U.S. still available, so unless Top Rank is willing to put Donaire on independent PPV -- or more optimistically on their Top Rank Live series on FSN -- there just might not be anything open. October 1 is taken on HBO by a middleweight double-header featuring champion Sergio Martinez in the main event, and it's also the date that Toshiaki Nishioka will face Rafael Marquez in Las Vegas. Showtime may pick that fight up, and Donaire could conceivably fight on that card. Top Rank is helping with promotion for the bout, and it could make a killer double-header were Donaire involved.
As for a December fight, Donaire has already been rumored as part of the Cotto vs Margarito card in New York City, and says he'd like to move up to 122 pounds to face Jorge Arce on that date. Arce has never turned down any fight, bad matchup or not, that I can recall, so if Top Rank would like to make that fight, you can probably expect it to happen sooner or later.