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With WBA bantamweight super champion Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno (31-1-1, 11 KOs) signing up with Golden Boy Promotions, WBC and WBO’s reigning bantamweight king Nonito Donaire’s (26-1, 18 KOs) chances to become the division’s undisputed champion just became slimmer than slim.

Top Rank is known not to sit well with Golden Boy when it comes to making co-promotions and vice versa. And with their on-going feud, the boxing world won’t be attaching the term “undisputed” to any champion any time soon.

No fighter has ever achieved the “undisputed” status in the bantamweight division since Enrique Pinder of Panama wrested the WBC and WBA titles from Rafael Herrera of Mexico on July 29, 1972 via a unanimous decision after their 15-rounds title match.

Back then, a champion can only become undisputed if he holds both the WBC and the WBA titles in his division. Today, a boxer can become undisputed if he has three of the four major belts – WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBA.

One more belt would have done it for the Filipino Flash.

When Pinder was stripped of his WBC title after not defending his title against then mandatory challenger Rodolfo Martinez, nobody came close to unifying three crowns in the bantamweight house other than Fernando Montiel and Donaire. Montiel held the WBC and WBO titles when Donaire knocked him out in the 2nd round last February 2011.

Moreno would have been the plausible choice for Donaire. Prior to signing with Golden Boy, Moreno and Donaire were in talks for a unification bout after the Montiel fight. But a temporary fallout with Top Rank pushed the Filipino superstar to sign with GBP. Top Rank retaliated, citing Donaire’s contract with GBP is null because Donaire is still under obligation to Bob Arum’s promotional firm.

The legal disputes sidelined Donaire for months, costing him a chance to create a boxing milestone and become the first undisputed Asian bantamweight champion and the first ever since 1973. Donaire has recently returned to Top Rank’s fold.

The winner between Abner Mares and IBF champion Joseph Agbeko would have also been an exciting fight both on paper and in the imagination. However, both fighters are managed by rival promoters, which makes it hard for Donaire and his camp to seal a bout with the winner.

The only fighter left with a legitimate belt is Japan’s Koki Kameda, the WBA’s “regular” bantamweight champion. However, Kameda is scheduled to fight David dela Morza on August 31, 2011 in Japan. And even if Kameda was available, Donaire would not likely sign a fight with someone who has limited name recognition and a small, modest fan-base.

Word has it that the Filipino Flash’s next appearance after his November 5 bout will be in January next year. Reports have it that Donaire will probably move up to super bantamweight and face Jorge Arce, the division’s WBO champion.
Photo credits: Boxing Tribune

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.