Nonito Donaire: Unification Against IBF Champion Jeffery Mathebula Next?

Henry MartinSenior Analyst IMay 18, 2012

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22:  Nonito Donaire of the Philippines leaves his corner to fight Omar Narvaez of Argentina in theWBC, WBO World Bantamweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden on October 22, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

There have been months of speculation about who will be the next opponent of Nonito Donaire. For the longest time, it was dangled in the faces of fans that Donaire would fight former flyweight champion Christian Mijares.

This outraged fans who felt this was a horrible step in competition for Donaire. Fans haven't really been happy with his progression since the Montiel fight and have been demanding he take on one of the many elite fighters at the 122 lb. weight class.

Abner Mares, Nishioka and Arce have also been mentioned as possible opponents. Each is ready to go and has been targeting Donaire ever since he mad his debut at 122.

Donaire was due to fight at Cowboys Stadium in July as the co-headliner with Marquez at the helm. It now seems that Donaire will be fighting at the Mandalay Bay June 30th against IBF title holder Jeffery Mathebula.

This is being speculated by Steve Kim on Twitter who is usually spot on with top rank news.

"Steve Kim ‏@stevemaxboxing
I'm told that Nonito Donaire has signed a contract to face IBF 122-pd titlist Jeffrey Mathebula on June 30t at the Mandalay Bay"

Still, this matchup really wouldn't be an interesting fight, but is a little better than Mijares. At least now Donaire would be fighting for unification instead of fighting a former flyweight king. 

This fight would help his resume a little, but Donaire will have to start stepping up if he wants to be recognized as the top fighter at 122.