Nonito Donaire's return to the ring has been pushed up to October 22. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
To avoid a possible head-to-head conflict with Showtime, Top Rank and Bob Arum have moved Nonito Donaire's next fight up from November 5 to October 22. From Lem Satterfield of The RING:
"We knew about the Showtime date for Bute a long time ago, and we didn't think that it was appropriate to promote and put on a fight on HBO against Showtime on the same date," said [Bob] Arum. "So we asked HBO if it would be possible to move Donaire's fight to Oct. 22, and they said yes."
Donaire (26-1, 18 KO) will be fighting at least once more at bantamweight, and the October 22 fight could be his swan song at the weight. A move up to 122 pounds is likely after that. As for the 10/22 fight, we looked at the list of potential opponents presented to HBO, and frankly none are very inspiring, in large part because Donaire would be such a heavy favorite over any of them. One name we didn't include in the list is South Africa's Tshifhiwa Munyai (21-2-1, 10 KO), who also wouldn't be that interesting of an opponent for the Filipino star.
One reason that the fight was likely pushed up is that Top Rank and Interbox, who are promoting the Lucian Bute fight on Showtime on November 5, have a strong working relationship. Going head-to-head with Showtime and Bute would have split the audience to some degree, and the promoters and networks really don't like doing that, no matter how many times it has happened in the past. The move also means that Donaire will be performing the week after the Hopkins vs Dawson pay-per-view, so he'll likely be paired with a replay of that main event, as opposed to one week before Manny Pacquiao's November 12 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.