Nonito Donaire has won most all of the Fighter of the Year awards for 2012 -- including the BLH award -- but, sadly, the Filipino star doesn't think he'll be facing Abner Mares or Guillermo Rigondeaux next.
After a 4-0 year that did draw some minor criticism for seeing him heavily favored in each of his fights, Donaire (31-1, 20 KO) had fan hopes up about what he'd do next, as he said he'd try to make his promoter (Top Rank) work with Golden Boy for a fight with Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO), but it was never a serious consideration, most likely, as Golden Boy are unlikely to meet Arum's terms for a fight, which are essentially loaning Mares out to be promoted by Top Rank for one night, for a fee.
As for Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO), Donaire has never seemed particularly interested in that fight, and now says that Rigondeaux wants the fight in June or July, while Donaire is aiming to return in March or April.
Donaire doesn't name any other targets, but says they're looking at "different names." One possible opponent could be Victor Terrazas (36-2-1, 21 KO), a 29-year-old Mexican promoted by Zanfer who is about on par with Donaire's 2012 victims. In other words, he's a quality opponent, but would anyone expect him to actually win? There's really nothing wrong with the opposition Donaire has been fighting -- except Arce, perhaps -- and it's really impossible to blame him for a Mares fight not being a real option, but Rigondeaux should be an easy fight to make, in theory. If it's not, how far off are we from Donaire testing the waters at 126 pounds?