Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has informed RingTV.com that an announcement will be made on Tuesday concerning a Dec. 15, HBO-televised clash featuring IBF and WBO junior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire and four-division title-winner Jorge Arce.
Nishioka had not lost since dropping unanimous decision to long-reigning WBC bantamweight titleholder and Thai legend Veeraphol Sahaprom in March of 2004 — a span of eight years and seven months.
A 33-year-old four-division titlewinner, Arce (61-6-2, 46 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision over Mauricio Martinez that was contested in the featherweight division last month.
“I can’t say anything specific, because I promised not to, but we’re not ready to announce anything today,” Arum said of Donaire-Arce. “A lot of things have been happening. The fight’s going to happen and it’s going to happen on Dec. 15. We’ll have an announcement on Tuesday.”
In another development, former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios (31-0, 23 KOs), who is promoted by Top Rank, has been ordered to begin negotiations for a WBO junior welterweight title bout opposite Russian Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KOs).
On the Donaire-Nishioka undercard, Rios scored a seventh-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs), who had been the WBO’s No. 1-ranked contender to the belt held by four-division beltwinner Juan Manuel Marquez.
The WBO’s crown became vacant when Marquez (54-6-2, 39 KOs) selected a fourth bout on Dec. 8 against eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs), to whom Marquez lost by a highly disputed majority decision in November after having battled to a draw and lost by split-decision previously.
Ranked No. 2 behind Rios by the WBO, Provodnikov is coming off a second-round stoppage of Jose Reynoso in June. The victory represents Provodinkov’s fifth straight, his fourth by knockout during that run, and his second consecutive stoppage win.
But Rios is also a consideration for the winner of Pacquiao-Marquez IV, according to Arum.
“[Rios-Provodnikov] depends on a lot of things, obviously. That’s certainly one of the possibilities,” said Arum. “The other is a fight with Manny, and, so we’ll just explore everything.”
Prior to facing Alvarado, Rios had won his previous two bouts as a lightweight by 11th-round knockout of British contender John Murray in December and controversial split-decision over Richard Abril in April.
Rios failed to make the 135-pound lightweight limit for both fights against Murray and Abril. Rios lost his WBA crown at the scales against Murray, and could not regain it as a result of his weight issues against Abril.
A deal was struck with the Murray camp in which Rios could weigh no greater than 10 pounds (147) when he was checked at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at his hotel. After Rios weighed 146.4 pounds on the morning of the fight, his bout with Murray was allowed to happen.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com