Op-Ed: Will Top Rank and Golden Boy come to terms on Donaire vs. Mares?

Posted Aug 14, 2011 by Leo Reyes
With Abner Mares' controversial victory over Joseph Agbeko Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, a unification title match between him and WBO/WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire is now possible.
Nonito Donaire
Nonito Donaire
Mares, who snatched Agbeko's IBF bantamweight title in a poorly officiated match, is currently fighting under Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) while Donaire, who demolished Mexican Fernando Montiel last February, is with Top Rank Promotions.
Referee Russel Mora, who officiated the Mares vs. Agbeko fight Saturday night, has been under heavy criticism from boxing commentators and some media people who covered the event for poor officiating.
Noted boxing commentator Al Bernstein said “the most disgraceful performance of a referee that I have seen in the past 15 years.”
Everyone knows the two leading promotional companies have not been in good terms although Oscar de la Hoya who owns GBP has recently reconciled with Top Rank's Bob Arum after issuing a public apology for inappropriate statements with regards to the defamation case between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao.
Top Rank has earlier announced Donaire will fight on October 22 but did not name his opponent. Now that Mares has surfaced as Donaire's top contender, new rounds of negotiations could be started in a few days.
It is also possible Donaire may go up against Argentina's Omar Narvaez (35-0, 23 KOs), who is the current WBO Junior bantamweight titleholder.
"Narvaez's people have interest in the fight and there's a hefty offer out to them right now," according to Top Rank's Carl Moretti.
Other possible opponents of Donaire include, Silence Mabuza (23-3, 19 KOs) of South Africa, Mexican Christian Esquivel (23-2, 17 KOs); and Sebastian Gauthier (21-2, 13 KOs) of Canada.
With Mares victory over Agbeko, boxing fans have started clamoring for a Donaire vs. Mares fight in October or November. It looks like a fight that will make good in the box office and certainly an added attraction for the major year-end fights which include Pacquiao vs. Marquez and Mayweather vs. Ortiz.
With the seemingly endless rivalry (or jealousy?) between Top Rank and GBP, will they bury the hatchet and come to terms to forge a clash between Mares and Donaire?