COMMENTARY | If you thought the Nonito Donaire vs. Abner Mares story was done and over with, then think again. Donaire and his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, have fired back at the reports that they turned down a $3 million contract offer from Richard Schaefer and Golden Boy Promotions.
However, the response rings hollow, and only serves to highlight what most unbiased observers already believed and what I wrote on this story several days ago: Top Rank needs things their way, and preferably only with their fighters. If that's not entirely the case, then forget about it and move on.
Lem Satterfield of RingTV.com penned an article quoting Arum, Donaire and his wife/manager, Rachel, in response to the swirl of negative press about the rejected offer for Donaire to face Mares.
"There is no possible way because we have a commitment to HBO. We're going ahead with that commitment on April 13 on HBO," Arum told Satterfield on why they turned down the fight. "After that, we'll revisit the situation. So he's going to fight on April 13, and he's going to fight either [Guillermo] Rigondeaux or [Vic] Darchinyan, period, end of story."
Suddenly the Rigondeaux fight is the priority, although rumors from weeks prior never were confirmed. And where that rematch with Vic Darchinyan came from is anybody's guess.
A contracted date and opponent for Donaire's next fight would be one thing, but nothing is finalized at this point in time. In other words, the commitment is just a stubborn stance -- it's a line they arbitrarily drew in the sand.
According to Arum, he's taking that stance because in addition to, you know, Donaire going out there and winning fights and looking spectacular, it was thanks to himself and HBO that Donaire won the 2012 Fighter of the Year.
Arum said that "a lot of the credit has to go to HBO, which afforded him the opportunity to fight four times last year. Four times so that he's Fighter of the Year because of his efforts, because of Top Rank's efforts, and very importantly, because of HBO... and you don't turn your back on that, period."
Yet, Schaefer has said they're fine with the fight being on HBO. Why wouldn't they be? That's likely where the television money would be the greatest.
Further, if Arum is trying to convince anybody that HBO wouldn't want to televise Donaire vs. Mares, he may as well be asking you to look up the existence of the word "gullible" in the dictionary.
As for the money involved here, Mares and Golden Boy have verified their claim that they offered team Doniare $3 million for the fight. However, the numbers being floated in the offer that Top Rank made to Golden Boy was for Mares to receive $1 million.
Seems like a lowball offer, doesn't it? But not according to Arum, because instead of valuing a fight's worth, he values his perceived superiority over you.
"We're happy to pay Mares and Golden Boy enough to where he's going to get double what he's ever gotten before in a fight," Arum said. "If they want to make a fight, they negotiate on what I will pay them, because the fight has to be on HBO."
When Nonito and Rachel Donaire spoke up, they both harped on potential postponements in the fight or what would happen in the event of a fight cancellation, along with wanting to stay active, and other generalities which seem as if they could be instantly hashed out with a phone call. They confirm that they didn't originally receive the contract from either Top Rank or manager Cameron Dunkin, but jointly write that off as proof that the offer was flawed.
"I said that I would want Mares first if Golden Boy is willing to work with us. Abner Mares is the priority from among all of those guys if they can make it happen, and they can make it legitimate," Donaire told Satterfield.
So where's the real issue here?
HBO would prioritize a Donaire vs. Mares fight, and any television dates which have already been penciled in would be easily reworked, as they always are. Golden Boy has put their money where their mouth is, verified in writing. Donaire and Mares both say they want to fight each other.
Yet, the response that Arum offers is that Mares will be paid not what he's worth, just more than he's gotten. That Top Rank is in charge, and that Donaire won the Fighter of the Year due to their efforts, and HBO's.
If you're looking for a person to point your finger at in anger for Donaire vs. Mares not being made, then I think you've found him.
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com, where you can find breaking news stories, interviews, rankings and more. You can also follow Jake and ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.