Top Rank Promotion boss Bob Arum said that he wants five-division world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. to move up the featherweight division and fight undefeated Mexican World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Oscar Valdez in March.
Donaire, 34, the former WBO super bantamweight champion lost to Jessie Magdaleno via unanimous decision last December 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was his first defense of the title.
“We are trying to arrange Donaire a featherweight championship fight against Oscar Valdez this March,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Thursday. “If he wins against Valdez, a possible rematch against Magdaleno might be next.”
“That is the plan and there’s no immediate Donaire-Magdaleno rematch for the moment,” Arum added. “This is really a big year for Top Rank boxers all around the world, a lot of activity and a lot of things that will happen in Australia, New Zealand England and France.”
But Donaire’s father and former trainer Nonong Donaire said that his son’s frame is too small for featherweight class. He added that he noticed Donaire’s talent diminishing compared to his previous bouts.
“I don’t like to say something regarding this matter but he is too small in that weight class, which is ruled by the big guys,” Donaire Sr. told The Times in a separate interview. “His natural weight is at super bantamweight. At the same time, his talent is decreasing.”
Donaire Jr. (37-4 win-loss record with 24 knockouts) is now practicing under his new Cuban trainer Ismael Salas.
The older Donaire also warned his son that Valdez is a dangerous foe. “Valdez is very strong and his body shots are powerful. I don’t want to say anything but that’s a tough opponent.”
Valdez, a natural featherweight, boasts of a 21-0 record with 19 knockouts. He beat Japanese challenger Hiroshige Osawa via seventh round technical knockout in his last fight – his first title defense – that also took place in Las Vegas on December 5.