Donaire may face unbeaten British fighter Quigg next
MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire Jr showed he still had something left in the tank on Saturday, July 18, as he scored an easy second-round knockout of Frenchman Anthony Settoul in Macau, China.
Donaire (35-3, 23 knockouts) could now be on course to face unbeaten British boxer Scott Quigg in the near future. Speaking of a clash with Donaire, Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing tells Rappler, “We love the fight and it’s one of the most exciting in the division."
Hearn adds that he has already had discussions with Donaire’s promoter Bob Arum about staging a fight between the two around November, with Dubai being a site named as a possibility.
“We would also be happy to being Nonito to the UK,” added Hearn.
The 26-year-old Quigg also fought on Saturday, scoring the biggest win of his career in stopping former IBF junior featherweight titleholder Kiko Martinez in two rounds in Manchester, England.
Quigg, who holds the WBA "regular title" at junior featherweight, is currently rated the no. 3 contender at 122 pounds by The Ring magazine, while Donaire - who won the BWAA Fighter of the Year award for 2012 when he unified the titles in that division - is a notch lower at 4.
Donaire, a 4-division champion who is rebuilding his career after suffering losses to Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nicholas Walters in recent years, told ABS-CBN that the Settoul fight was good practice against a taller fighter like Quigg (who is 5-foot-8 while Donaire is 5-foot-5 1/2).
“The fight with Settoul…we know we can get the counter. So hopefully, that gives us an opportunity to study (Quigg) and come up with a game plan because he's tall as well,” said Donaire.
Donaire’s father/trainer Nonito Donaire Sr was also confident about his son’s chances against the crowd favorite brawler, should a proposed bout between the two come to fruition.
"I think this is much easier for him, because Quigg is just moving forward, and [Donaire Jr] is much stronger than Quigg,” said Donaire Sr.
“It’s gonna be a good fight, but I can give Quigg maybe six rounds. If he's gonna fight Nonito inside, it's gonna be easy for Nonito.”
Quigg, in an interview with SkySports, addressed the subject of Donaire briefly, but didn't commit to any preference of opponent for his next bout.
"These performances like last night are going to lead me to fights like the likes of Nonito Donaire, [WBC titleholder] Leo Santa Cruz and hopefully the [IBF titleholder] Carl Frampton fight can be made at some point," said Quigg.
"What happened last night, that means nothing now. I just want to make myself better and keep improving and hopefully keep getting more support."
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.