Nonito Donaire wants to fight three times this year, and has his sights set on name opponents at 122 and 126 pounds, starting with Guillermo Rigondeaux on April 27.
Super bantamweight champion and universal 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire says he hopes to fight three times in 2013 -- with a break for his wife's pregnancy from June through August -- and that he's got three names on his wishlist: Guillermo Rigondeaux, old rival Vic Darchinyan, and featherweight titlist Chris John.
Donaire (31-1, 20 KO) will likely face Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO) on April 27 in Las Vegas -- shockingly, it won't happen in Macau -- and then take some time off from his career to be with his wife Rachel as the couple anticipates the arrival of their first child. He says he wanted to face Abner Mares, but the problems involved in making that fight are well-known to anyone who follows the sport, and it was never a serious possibility.
That leaves Rigondeaux, the 32-year-old Cuban amateur legend and current WBA world titlist, as the best opponent for Donaire at 122 pounds. Donaire, 30, holds the WBO title, and both fighters are promoted by Top Rank, which makes it an easy bout to get done and into the ring.
If Donaire is successful, he says he'd like to rematch Darchinyan (38-5-1, 27 KO). The 37-year-old Armenian lost badly to Donaire back in 2007, and there have been attempts at making a second fight on several occasions. The first bout was Donaire's big-stage breakout, a star-making performance ended on a highlight reel left hook, and took place at 112 pounds. Darchinyan recently got himself into the mix at 122 with a win over prospect Luis Del Valle.
And if Donaire were to win both of those fights, he says he'd like to face undefeated Chris John (48-0-2, 22 KO), who has held the WBA featherweight title since 2004. The 33-year-old Indonesian star hasn't fought in the U.S. since a win over Rocky Juarez in 2009.