- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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World title fights are in the works for two of manager Cameron Dunkin’s top clients this fall: Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire.
Dunkin told ESPN.com on Saturday that Rios is being lined up to challenge welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. in an all-Southern California showdown and that Donaire is headed to the much-discussed match with junior featherweight titlist Scott Quigg.
Dunkin said that Top Rank and HBO want to make Bradley-Rios, which would likely take place on Nov. 7 in Southern California. Dunkin said The Forum in Inglewood is a possible venue.
He said Rios is interested and that they’ve been talking about what he would need financially to make the fight. Dunkin said Top Rank president Todd duBoef is talking to Bradley and his wife and manager Monica Bradley about their end of the deal, as well as to HBO.
On June 27, former Dunkin client Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs), 31, of Palm Springs, California, won a unanimous decision against Jessie Vargas, another Dunkin client, to win a vacant welterweight title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. He would be making his first defense against Rios.
Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Oxnard, California, has been itching to get back into the ring, Dunkin said. He has not fought since a one-sided third-round knockout of the ill-prepared Mike Alvarado on Jan. 24 in Broomfield, Colorado, outside of Alvarado’s hometown of Denver. With that win, Rios won their trilogy with Alvarado 2-1.
“It’s a big fight with a lot of storylines between two really good fighters,” Dunkin said of the proposed Bradley fight. “We’re working on it and hopefully we can get it done. Top Rank and HBO really want to make it. We want to make it too.”
As for Donaire, the plan would be for him to go to Quigg’s hometown of Manchester, England, to challenge him for his 122-pound belt on Nov. 21. Dunkin said Top Rank and Quigg promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing have been talking and both sides want to make the fight. Dunkin said he is waiting to get the specifics of the money.
“This is a fight we want. It’s a good opportunity for Nonito. It’s a fight we are very confident that he can win, even if it is in England,” Dunkin said.
Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs), 32, a former four-division titlist born in the Philippines and living in Las Vegas, has won two fights in a row by second-round knockout since returning to the junior featherweight division after losing his featherweight belt to Nicholas Walters last October.
Donaire’s most recent win was against Anthony Settoul on July 18 in Macau, China – hours before Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs), 26, retained his secondary title for the sixth time by second-round knockout of former titlist Kiko Martinez in Manchester.