Former four-division titleholder Nonito Donaire will be back in action on July 18 in Macau, per ESPN, against an opponent to be named, as he continues his comeback bid as a super bantamweight following a February win in the Philippines.
Donaire (34-3, 22 KO) has fallen on relatively hard times since winning the 2012 Fighter of the Year award and climbing as high as second or third on some pound-for-pound rankings lists. In 2013, he was soundly defeated by Guillermo Rigondeaux in a fight that simultaneously exposed Donaire's flaws and sent Rigondeaux packing from American TV after one more fight. In 2014, he defeated Simpiwe Vetyeka somewhat controversially by technical decision to win the WBA featherweight title, which he then lost less than five months later when Nicholas Walters dominated and stopped him on HBO.
The 32-year-old Donaire could still be a player in the 122-pound ranks, but that division has just gotten stronger at the top, with Carl Frampton emerging to join Rigondeaux as the 1-2 punch of the weight class, and Leo Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg also out there, undefeated though not being tested of late.
Does Donaire have another run in him? There's been plenty of talk that he just doesn't have the passion for the sport that he once did -- which he's admitted himself on occasion -- and there is the reality that he has lost some of the physical advantages he held at 112 to 118 pounds. Will he make a go of it again?