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Nonito Donaire's Next Fight: June 16, But Not Jorge Arce

Is Toshiaki Nishioka next for Nonito Donaire? (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Is Toshiaki Nishioka next for Nonito Donaire? (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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Recently-crowned WBO super bantamweight titlist Nonito Donaire will return to the ring on June 16, presumably on HBO, but won't be facing Jorge Arce, according to Ronnie Nathanielsz. He has this from Bob Arum:

"We will have to look for another opponent because Arce will not be able to fight him until September or something like that," said Arum.

Donaire (28-1, 18 KO) defeated Wilfredo Vazquez Jr to win the vacant belt on February 4 in San Antonio, and injured his hand in the process. But the injury wasn't a fracture, and this confirms that he won't be expected to miss significant time before his next fight.

So who can Donaire face in June? The world's top super bantamweight, Toshiaki Nishioka, has expressed interest in fighting Donaire, and Camero Dunkin (Donaire's manager) says that an agreement in principle is in place to match the two. What prevented Nishioka vs Donaire was Nishioka's desire to take a break from boxing following his October win over Rafael Marquez, but there was the idea that he'd be ready in the spring of 2012. So this would line up -- if they want that fight, then it could happen, and it's a great fight.

Guillermo Rigondeaux could also enter into the picture. Though Donaire has almost violently refused the idea, Dunkin and Arum have mentioned him as a possibility. We know Rigondeaux wants it.

Arce faces Lorenzo Parra on Saturday in Mexico. Usually Arce stays quite active, so a seven-month break for him seems odd. There's been no reason given why Arce wouldn't be available to fight Donaire until September.

If Donaire does fight on June 16 on HBO, he'll be in a position to gain some extra viewers tuning in to see the Pacquiao vs Bradley replay from the week before. It's a valuable position for any fighter.