arum.sets.nonito

Boxing star Nonito Donaire Jr.


MANILA — Top Rank chairman Bob Arum has set an appointment for Nonito Donaire Jr. to challenge International Boxing Federation (IBF) superbantamweight champion Takalani Ndlovu on Feb. 11, and a win will make the Flash only the second Filipino — after Manny Pacquiao — to capture at least three world titles in different divisions.

Donaire, who turned 29 last week, said he’s awaiting confirmation of the fight from his manager Cameron Dunkin.

While nothing is etched in stone, Donaire said he plans to be ready for action as early as January.

He arrived in Manila a week after outpointing Argentina’s Omar Narvaez to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC)/World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight titles in New York City on Oct. 22, and left for the U.S. last Thursday to resume training.

For the record, Donaire has won the IBF/International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight and WBC/World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight championships.

He also held the interim World Boxing Association (WBA) superflyweight diadem, but it’s not considered a “regular” world title. 

Donaire said he’s moving up in weight.

Ndlovu, 33, has a 33-6 record, with 18 KOs, compared to Donaire’s 27-1, with 18 KOs. 

The 5-8 South African, known as “The Panther,” is no stranger to fighting away from home.

He has figured in four bouts in the U.S., losing only once on a split decision to Fernando Beltran Jr., once in England, once in Canada and once in Mexico.

His record on the road is 5-2. 

Ndlovu is coming off a win over Giovanni Cano via a split 12-round decision in Mexico on Oct. 29.

Arum told the Philippine Star he’s pitting Donaire against Ndlovu at a still undetermined site with WBO superbantamweight titleholder Jorge Arce of Mexico in the undercard.

If Donaire and Arce win, Arum said he’ll match them in a unification showdown at the new Mall of Asia stadium, possibly in May.

To make Donaire’s next fight more interesting, Top Rank president Todd duBoef is putting up a $100,000 bonus on top of the guaranteed purse if his opponent wins. 

That’s to make sure Donaire’s opponent won’t just try to survive and steal a paycheck — like Narvaez did.

Narvaez didn’t win a single round in the three judges’ scorecards as Donaire pitched a shutout in their dull contest.