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After a long lull due to contractual disputes, unified WBC and WBO bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) will finally get inside the squared circle On October 22, 2011 at the WaMu Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York. The event marks the first time Donaire will be lacing up the gloves since knocking out Fernando Montiel last February this year. In the opposite corner will be unbeaten two-time world titlist Omar Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KOs), who is going up north the scales from super flyweight in an attempt to wrest Donaire’s bantamweight crowns.

A victory for Donaire will see the dazzling Filipino-American prizefighter to move up to super bantamweight early next year, with the possibility of facing two of the best super bantamweights right now during the first half of 2012. Donaire, who was in attendance during last Saturday’s WBC super bantamweight title bout between champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan and Mexico’s Rafael Marquez, which Nishioka won by unanimous decision, will be in line for a shot at the said crown.

Nonito Donaire (left) will probably face Jorge Arce (right) next if and when he gets past Omar Narvaez on October 22, 2011.

But there’s a catch.

While Nishioka expressed his desire to defend against the Filipino Flash, the Japanese boxing star also said that Donaire will have to wait until May or June, citing a holiday break from the sport as his reason.This move by Nishioka opens the door of opportunity for his WBO counterpart, Jorge Arce of Mexico, to test Donaire’s mettle at the super bantamweight division. Arce won the title when he stopped then champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last May 2011 in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley scrap.

Arce already made a successful defense of the WBO super bantamweight belt against South African Simphiwe Nongqayi last Septmebr 24, 2011, scoring a TKO victory in the 4th round.

Although Narvaez is no pushover, having held the WBO flyweight title for seven years and successfully defended it against the likes of Omar Soto and Carlos Tamara, as well as holding his own in the super flyweight division, the boxer from Argentina is simply no match for the stylistic Donaire. The Filipino-American prizefighter, whose varying arsenal of offensive weapons and very fluid movement makes him a hard fighter to figure out, will be just too good for anyone on or near his division.

If and when Donaire finishes his business with Narvaez, Arce will be in the mix as most probable next opponent for the Filipino Flash, perhaps in January 2013. A bout with Nishioka is not that far as well. Arce and Nishikoa are no patsies, but expect Donaire to dominate them both. Just as he will when he squares off against Narvaez three weeks from now.

Photo credits: Bad Left Hook

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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.