Mathebula has emerged as the lead candidate to fight Donaire next. (Gallo Images)
San Leandro's Nonito Donaire might be headed for a July 21 unification date with IBF junior featherweight champ Jeffrey Mathebula, according to a report from BoxingScene.
After defeating Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. by split decision two months ago, Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) annexed the WBO 122-pound title to become the first Bay Area fighter to win world titles in four weight classes, and the first to win three not counting interim titles.
Meanwhile, Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs), from Brakpan, South Africa, edged countryman Takalani Ndlovu, also by split decision in March for his belt.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Donaire's promoter, did not indicate a finalized venue for July 21, and it remains to be seen if he has ruled out the initial option of a fight with former junior bantamweight champ Cristian Mijares of Mexico on July 14 in Cowboys Stadium.
Boxing correspondent Ryan Maquiñana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.