Nonito Donaire could be headed to the Big Apple on October 22. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Bob Arum tells ABS-CBN news in the Philippines that the October 22 fight between Nonito Donaire and Omar Narvaez is probably headed to New York's Madison Square Garden (or more likely, the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden):
"Looks like he’s going to October 22nd, Madison Square Garden, New York, yeah the big time. Against Narvaez, the undefeated Argentine," said Arum.
Donaire (26-1, 18 KO) and Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KO) were originally supposed to fight at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., but Golden Boy Promotions balked at the idea of having a fight in the area one week after their Bernard Hopkins vs Chad Dawson event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Arum more or less shrugged off the complaint and said he's done quibbling over matters like that, and has moved the fight.
While it may seem bizarre that Golden Boy would feel that somehow Donaire vs Narvaez would cut into the Hopkins vs Dawson show attendance, I think you have to consider the idea that Golden Boy and Gary Shaw Productions are very worried about the draw in Los Angeles for Hopkins vs Dawson, and that they're looking to avoid any possible overlap, or something that could take potential attendees away from their show. Hopkins and Dawson just don't draw big live gates in the U.S., and when the show was pulled from Newark and put in Los Angeles, it was a risky move all around that may well look really bad in the end. There's worry everywhere that the Hopkins vs Dawson show will tank on HBO pay-per-view and at the turnstiles.
Also, with Hugo Cazares having lost to Tomonobu Shimizu today in Japan, you can make a good argument that Donaire vs Narvaez is a matchup of the best bantamweight and best super flyweight in the world today. In that regard, the fight reminds me a lot of the March clash between middleweight champ Sergio Martinez and my personal pick for best junior middleweight in the game today, Sergiy Dzinziruk. It's not a fight you can really hate, I don't think, but there's a clear favorite and I think the class difference will really show.