A shock was sent through the business side of boxing Wednesday when it was announced that Nonito Donaire would be leaving promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank for Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. This is just the latest twist in an ongoing saga between the rival promotional groups, and there is little doubt it is a massive gain for Golden Boy.
Nonito Donaire is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and an emerging star in the sport of boxing. The 28-year-old has been moving up in weight class steadily and picking up fans along the way while posting a 26-1 record. The Filipino Flash’s most recent fight was an eye-opening second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel last month that rearranged his opponent’s face.
Donaire has speed, power, and size for a bantamweight. Whether or not he can become as big as Manny Pacquiao in terms of popularity remains to be seen, but we do know that Donaire is an emerging star.
That’s why his promotional sidestep is so significant for boxing.
Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya have been battling over fighters for years. The two sides have not been able to come to an agreement on a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. superfight, and Arum escalated things calling Oscar one of the stupidest guys he’s ever met.
While Golden Boy has developed an impressive stable of high-level fighters, Arum has had the trump card in Pacquiao who has become an international icon. They even took things a step further leaving HBO for Showtime in an effort to get Manny some publicity on CBS. But this move, which we first learned by Steve Kim at Max Boxing, enables Golden Boy to develop and showcase another star.
Get used to the name Nonito Donaire because you’ll be hearing it a lot in the future as he lines Golden Boy’s pockets with green.
UPDATE: Top Rank believes their contract with Donaire runs for at least another year. A lawsuit is likely forthcoming.Google+