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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Donaire Moving to July 21 Date vs. IBF Champ Mathebula?

By Ryan Maquiñnana

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, check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

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