Manny Pacquiao's return to the ring will be one of the biggest boxing fights of 2016, and according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, it might end up being one of the best cards of the year.
Arum recently told ESPN.com that the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas card would include four world title fights on the pay-per-view telecast. Those title fights include the main event, in which Pacquiao will challenge for Vargas’ WBO welterweight title, and three others Arum declined to specify. One of those three other title fights in the works, however, would feature WBO super bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KO) in a mandatory defense against Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KO). Donaire's manager, Cameron Dunkin, confirmed the negotiations to put the fighter on the card to ESPN.
“We were negotiating the deal [on Wednesday],” Dunkin said. “With Nonito, I’d like to get him big names and big fights, but that’s not possible right now, so he has to keep defending his title and do this mandatory. We’re real close and trying to settle on a few things. We’re going to try to get it wrapped up and be done in the next couple of days.”
Donaire, along with Pacquiao, are the two biggest names in boxing in the Philippines and this would be the first time both fighters would compete in the same card. Donaire won his title with a unanimous decision victory against Cesar Juarez last December.
“This will be really fun,” Dunkin said. “I think it should have happened sooner, but it’s OK. I think the Filipino people will be really excited and happy for this. It’s terrific.”
Pacquiao and Vargas will meet on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
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