32-year-old former four division world champion Nonito Donaire (34-3, 22 KOs) will be fighting on July 18th at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, in Macau, China. Donaire’s opponent hasn’t been picked out as of yet, but it’s possible that he’ll be facing 2nd tier fighter Anthony Settoul (20-3, 8 KOs), according to ESPN.
This would be the second straight fight in which #3 WBA, #4 WBO, #11 IBF Donaire faces a non-top 15 ranked fighter.
Donaire’s promoter Bob Arum is angling him towards a possible title shot against WBA champion Scott Quigg or IBF champion Carl Frampton. He hasn’t said anything about wanting to put Donaire back in the ring with WBA/WBO 122 pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, who beat Donaire by a 12 round decision two years ago in 2013.
Donaire is still trying to turn his career around after a 6th round knockout loss in 2013 to WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters. Donaire was no match for the slightly taller Walters. While some fans believe that Donaire lost because he was the smaller fighter of the two, perhaps the real reason Donaire lost was because he didn’t have the punch resistance to take Walters’ equally hard shots. For the first time in Donaire’s career, he faced a big puncher and he clearly didn’t have the chin to take Walters’ big punches.
If Donaire beats Settoul, Arum will be looking to put him in with either Frampton or Quigg. It’s hard to believe that he’ll get a fight against either of those guys because their management are tough negotiators and they might not like the idea of splitting the loot with another star instead of a lesser fighter, who doesn’t have the bargaining power to get a better purse. Besides that, Donaire would be a threat to beating Frampton and Quigg due to his still lethal punching power and size. I can’t see Donaire getting a fight against either of those guys.
The main even on the July 18th card will be a match-up between #2 IBF 140lb contender IK Yang (19-0, 14 KOs) and #1 IBF Cesar Rene Cuenca (47-0, 2 KOs), who will be fighting for the vacant IBF light welterweight title that was recently stripped from Lamont Peterson following his narrow 12 round decision loss to WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia. It’s hard believe that Yang and Cuenca are fighting for the vacant IBF 140lb title because neither of them are seen as major players in the division by many fans.
Yang is from China, so it makes sense for him to be head-lining the Macao card. Two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming won’t be on this card. It’s unclear what the reason for that, but he was recently soundly beaten by Amnat Ruenroeng last March by a 12 round unanimous decision.
“Ik Yang’s fight will be the main event. Why? Because he’s Chinese and beloved by the president of China,” Arum said to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “There is no (Chinese star) Zou Shiming or Manny Pacquiao on this card. Ik Yang is the attraction.”