ATLANTIC CITY — Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya said that he would make the call to rival promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to arrange a bout between RING, IBF and WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire and WBC counterpart Abner Mares in the event that Donaire gets beyond an HBO-televised Dec. 15 clash with Jorge Arce.
“I would love to see that fight, too. I would like to [make the call.] If that’s what it takes to make some fights, why not?” said De La Hoya, who promotes Mares while Arum handles Donaire. “Like I said, Golden Boy is willing to work with anybody to make the right fights happen, and the fights that the fans are demanding.”
Mares (25-0, 13 knockouts) called out Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) after last Saturday’s Showtime-televised unanimous decision over rising WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno, whose No. 10 rating in THE RING’s pound-for-pound list was assumed by Mares as a result.
De La Hoya also said that he would like to see a matchup of hard-hitting junior welterweights between Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs) and Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs), who are promoted by Golden Boy and Top Rank, respectively.
De La Hoya said that he would not be concerned about the perception that he would be at a disadvantage by initiating the contact with Arum, calling it “this nonsense about leverage and if we keep on asking for the fight.”
“Obviously, we’re not going to beg for it, ‘Bob, please, work with us,’” said De La Hoya. “It’s tiring. It’s the same song and dance. The bottom line is that he doesn’t want to work with us.”
De La Hoya, on the other hand, said that he would be willing to work with Arum.
“Yeah, that’s a possibility. Absolutely. To make fights happen, we’re open to anything. We just want to make the fights happen. That’s it. We’re open to trying anything to make the fights happen. We’re open-minded to anything just to make these fights happen,” said De La Hoya, referring to Donaire-Mares.
“They both deserve it. They want to be great. They have to fight the best. They have to fight each other. There’s not one doubt in my mind that that fight has to happen. I would love for it to happen. The fans would love for it to take place. What’s holding it back? Not us. We’re not holding nothing back. We understand. We want to please the fans. We want to make the best fights.”
Arum indicated that he would not only be open to making Donare-Mares based on De la Hoya’s assertions, but that negotiations could begin electronically, such as with an e-mail.
“If Donaire beats Arce, and Mares is free to fight, and he has no mandatory, what they should do is say, ‘Look, we’ll make Mares available to you, and we want X-amount of money, for Mares and us, and you, Top Rank, do the fight, and we’ll be available to co-promote it. That way, we’ll be happy to do it. Donaire would be happy to fight Mares,” said Arum, adding that Donaire is earning a $ 1 million purse, plus $30,000 toward his training expenses against Arce.
“But if it can’t be done that way, then there are plenty of guys for Donaire to fight. But if that’s what [De La Hoya] said, then after Dec. 15, he doesn’t have to come and walk to Las Vegas. All that he has to do is send us an e-mail or make a call, and say, ‘we want to do this. Mares wants to fight Donaire, and here’s what we want for Mares and for Golden Boy.’ They’re entitled to money also, Golden Boy. Nobody says that they’re not. They’re his promoter. If it’s a reasonable amount, then we’re happy to do it.”
The deal can be made, win or lose, no strings attached, said Arum.
“If Mares beats Donaire, he’s their fighter, and they can do what they want with him,” said Arum. “We’re not asking for any options or anything like that.”
De La Hoya spoke to RingTV.com at Caesar’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Thursday, where is is promoting Saturday night’s HBO-televised double-header whose main event features undefeated former WBO junior lightweight beltholder Adrien Broner against WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org