COMMENTARY | Rumors about a potential Nonito Donaire vs. Abner Mares mega-fight have been hot for days, and the latest information is that not only was the much-talked about $3 million offer from Golden Boy legitimate, but that Top Rank turned it down.
This is pieced together from several sources, including the official Twitter account of Mares.
"Unfortunately Nonito Donaire has turn down the fight against myself. I just want to thank my promoter [Golden Boy] & my manager [Espinoza Boxing] for their attempts to try and make a fight that the fans really wanted to see."
More important though than anything coming from Mares himself, or anybody from Golden Boy, was what was reported by Steve Kim of Max Boxing on his Twitter page.
"Tonight I have an update on the Donaire-Mares saga, both Arum and [Cameron Dunkin] say that Golden Boy did send over an offer-contract."
The offer to make Donaire vs. Mares was real, and it was turned by Top Rank. The result is that fight fans are robbed of what should be a no-brainer, must-see match.
The failure to put Donaire vs. Mares together further illustrates the fact that promoter feuds are threatening to entirely undermine boxing at the highest level. However, if one promoter made an offer that at least seems more than fair on the surface, and the other turns it down, is it really a feud, or is just the stubborn insistence of Top Rank on doing things their one way?
Additionally, does the demise of Donaire vs. Mares shed more light on the utter failure of the sport to put together the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight while it still meant something?
Three years ago, way back in January 2010, I wrote that while many people shared the blame for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao not being made, Bob Arum was at the top of the list. It's an opinion I've always had, and felt strongly about. That has only been enhanced by the apparent turn of events regarding Donaire-Mares.
Top Rank, with Arum at the helm, strictly prefers their fighters staying "in house", and fighting only one another. All of the shots get to be called by them, all of the money gets to be kept by them, and regardless of which fighter wins, they'll be on the winning side.
Why in the world would they risk all of that, and risk a fighter from another promotional company beating one of their own, when they can simply avoid the issue altogether? Just dig the hole a little bit deeper, bury their heads in the sand a little bit farther.
Who's holding them accountable? Have fans stopped buying pay-per-views or tickets? Have fighters stood up for themselves and demanded their promoters to follow their wishes?
The power in boxing should lie with those two parties - the fans and the fighters. And in reality it does, it's simply never exercised.
Fans are the ones who control the purse strings at the end of the day. That purse can be tightened if fans decided to take a stand. Fighters, well, do the fighting, but they also need to realize that their promoters work for them. It's not the other way around.
Excusing Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and now Donaire vs. Mares not being made as "business as usual" in the unsavory world of boxing is no longer acceptable. When fights like that do not get made, it is inexcusable, and it's embarrassing.
I don't care which fighter you're a fan of, or whose "side" you're on. If you like the sport of boxing, if you have a deep love for the Sweet Science the way I do, this is something which you cannot allow to continue happening.
Who's going to take a stand? If you're fed up with it, and you want your voice heard, leave a comment below and let the world know.
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.