RingTV.com has learned that THE RING’s No. 4 pound-for-pound WBO/WBC bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire will climb a division to make his junior featherweight debut against RING No. 9-rated Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. for the WBO crown.
The deal “looks good” for the clash, initially reported by The Manila Standard of Donaire’s native Philippines, although it is not done yet, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
“Its part of an overall discussion for 2012,” wrote Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti in an e-mail to RingTV.com.
Donaire-Vazquez is being eyed as a pay per view main event in Las Vegas potentially on Feb. 11.
Donaire-Vazquez would be for the WBO’s junior featherweight belt that is being vacated by Jorge Arce (58-6-1, 44 KOs) of Mexico, who dethroned Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 17 KOs) by 12th-round knockout on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Shane Mosley in May.
Arce has dropped back down to bantamweight to challenge Angky Angkotta (25-5, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBO belt in that division.
Promoted by Top Rank Inc., Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) is coming off last month’s unanimous decision over WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez (35-1-2, 19 KOs), who lost every round on the cards of the three judges.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org