source: Granville Ampong | Associated Content
HOT POTATO via Hollywood, California - "We're going to bring him to New York for a high intensity publicity," says Top Rank Godfather Robert "Bob" Arum about his project for rising star Nonito Donaire, Jr. "And then we're going full board. Next year, he's gonna fight some big guys in the featherweight up to lightweight division. Nothing is done in a day. And I think with the new relationship we have with them, we'll be able to really build him up."
Arum exhorts Donaire, Jr.'s prospect when asked by this writer as to who among the Filipino boxers, other than Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, will shine as the brightest relative to Top Rank's prestige.
"Certainly, it's Nonito Donaire, Jr.," says Arum. "I think he's going to be a major star."
Arum belives he needs to revitalize, if not to reinvent, better "market segmentation" for Donaire, Jr. considering his image has been damaged with his betrayal from Top Rank to favor Golden Boy's offer, which has been resolved though court arbitration in recent months, plus his unwanted friction with the media for months long. One thing Arum agrees as well of Donaire, Jr. is that the latter needs to build considerable quasi-boxing fanbase just as Pacquiao's trek in boxing to a higher level in an almost irressistible massive appeal.
"That is correct," says Arum when asked about Donaire, Jr.'s less stimulating appeal to quasi-boxing fans. "But, Pacquiao also was on that position in his early years when he really had to build his fanbase and the media did a great job on that, especially the Filipino newspapers and local televisions, both in the Philippines and in the US."
Arum wants Donaire, Jr., like what Pacquiao has been campaigning, to fight at a more acceptable weight class, to sell to the American market.
"It's very hard to sell Americans 112, 115, 122, and 126 pounds," says Arum. " There's very little money down on these weight classes."
"It's easy to sell to the Americans the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight fighters and up, simple as that."
"I am telling you, we're gonna ride Nonito Express and I want him to fight either Gamboa or Lopez after his fight with Omar Navarez," Arum adds.
Donaire, Jr. (26-1-0) is scheduled to fight Navarez (35-0-2) on October 22, 2011 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Stay tuned for more HOT POTATOS!