Boxing: Cameron Dunkin

Arum, Rios hype Pacquiao fight

October, 29, 2013
Brooklyn-born promoter Bob Arum's next mega-card endeavor is a promotion to run in Macau on Nov. 23. His top dog, Manny Pacquiao, who is beloved as a congressman in the Philippines, gloves up against California resident Brandon Rios.

Rios (31-1-1 with 23 KOs), a 27-year-old Texas native, took part in a conference call Tuesday afternoon along with Arum, trainer Robert Garcia and manager Cameron Dunkin. It is clear he is relishing the role of underdog, and is reading articles that say he has no chance against Manny. "It's OK, I just want to go out and shut everyone up, and prove everybody wrong," he said on the call. "I want to show him I'm a live dog, not a puppy."


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Anyone thinking he's a punching bag, or "walking bull's-eye" will be in for a shock, he said, because he's aiming to hand the 54-5-2 (38 KOs) PacMan his third straight loss.

Rios said he thinks Manny is smaller than him, and Arum chimed in. "Brandon towers over Pacquiao," whom he said has to eat five meals a day to keep weight on. Arum left the Philippines yesterday, and said Manny was about 142 pounds.

The promoter said months ago that this fight in Macau is something of a gamble, as the bout will be fought in the morning, to mesh with U.S. television and pay-per-view. He said on the call that the risk tag has been removed, that the arena will be sold out, and business will be brisk throughout Asia on closed circuit. He said he expects bang-up PPV numbers, and there will be no shortage of hype in the States. A radio row will be set up at the Venetian in Vegas prefight to stir the pot, he noted.

Rios was asked about the presence of strength and conditioning and supplement expert Alex Ariza in his corner. Ariza was a longtime member of Team Pacquiao, who was bounced by trainer Freddie Roach and Pacquiao after a long period of discord, and squabbling between Ariza and Roach, as well as between Ariza and Arum. Rios said Ariza made him "faster and more light on my feet," but he didn't ask for any scouting report on Manny.

Readers, what kind of chance does Rios have to upset the congressman, who some feel at age almost-35 might be nearing the end of the fistic road?

Donaire facing shoulder surgery

April, 15, 2013
Nonito Donaire hadn't tasted defeat in 12 years, and he sipped from the bitter cup on Saturday night, at Radio City Music Hall, as Cuban native Guillermo Rigondeaux showed amazing command of the sweet science and took a unanimous decision from the 2012 BWAA Fighter of the Year.

Donaire's wife Rachel told me on Monday afternoon that she and the fighter are keeping proper perspective on the loss. First things first, the Cali resident will be visiting doctors to fix torn ligaments in his right shoulder, which hobbled his gameplan and removed a most potent weapon against a lefty. Rachel told me that the shoulder was diagnosed in late January and a doctor recommended surgery. But the fighter said he wanted to put it off, to have one more bout before he took some time off. Their first child is due in July, and the wife said the fighter is looking forward to decompressing. First, there will be a surgery, maybe by the same healer who did Andre Ward's recent shoulder surgery, perhaps within a week or so.

Difficulties making 122 also weighed on the boxer, she told me. He had difficult making it out of the 130s in camp, she said, and on Thursday, was at about 126 pounds. Making 122 pounds is no longer a solid option, she said.

So, is there a rematch in the future, near or far, with Rigo? The Donaires don't seem to be that enthused by the prospect. Nonito has fought a bunch of risk-averse types recently, and some foes who will take it to him, like a Juan Manuel Lopez, for example, would make for more fan-friendly encounters, and play better to his style. "We're taking nothing away from Rigo, but that style of fighting is mostly for the purist fans, which are something of a dying breed," she told me. "He can fight that way his whole career, that's fine, but that's not what a lot of the fans want."

Donaire is likely to appear back in the ring, she said, in late fall.

Garcia likely to fight in Texas on June 22

April, 10, 2013
Mikey Garcia generated hard-core buzz in his last fight, having his way, especially in the early rounds, against respected vet Orlando Salido. Fight fans are looking forward to see if Garcia can build off that TD8 victory, which unfolded on HBO and in the Madison Square Garden Theater on Jan. 19.

His manager, Cameron Dunkin, chatted with NYFightblog today at MSG, before the Donaire-Rigondeaux presser kicked off.

Dunkin said WBO featherweight champ Garcia -- whose brother Robert will be in Donaire's corner versus Rigo at Radio City Music Hall -- will have a slot on a June 22 Top Rank card in Texas. That event will be topped by a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. scrap, if Junior can get the Nevada commission to give him the OK to glove up; Junior tested positive for THC after his September 2012 loss to Sergio Martinez and was suspended for nine months. Bob Arum said Darren Barker is the lead dog to test Chavez Jr. in Texas.

Dunkin said that Juan Manuel Lopez is booked, so he's out as a Garcia foe. Orlando Cruz might make the cut with HBO, which will televise. "I just wanna see the kid fight," Dunkin said.

Yes, Dunkin is biased, but I still took note when he told me he thinks Garcia is "gonna be an all-time great."

Bradley wants Pacquiao next

April, 10, 2013
Tim Bradley would love another shot at Manny Pacquiao, and manager Cameron Dunkin is hopeful that will happen in September or October, when Manny gets back on the horse.

Word is that Juan Manuel Marquez might be pricing himself out of a fifth fight, asking for close to a 50-50 split, and Dunkin told me Wednesday in NYC that he's hoping that is the case. During a presser at Madison Square Garden to hype Saturday's Donaire-Rigondeaux clash at Radio City, Dunkin said he met with Bradley and his wife, Monica, in Las Vegas at the Rios-Alvarado fight on March 30.

Bradley is in the mix to meet Marquez, too, it being a smaller world of late in and around that 140-147 area with Top Rank and Golden Boy fighters not even close to gloving up against each other. "I prefer Bradley versus Pacquiao over Marquez. I think he could settle a lot of things inside him, he'll beat Pacquiao good this time," Dunkin told me.

In his last outing, the California boxer provided way too many thrills and chills for Dunkin, who while ringside pleaded with Bradley to box more and use his skills, instead of his warrior instinct, against Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16. On that night, Bradley traded when he should have evaded and escaped with a UD12, only because judges aren't prone to scoring a wider 10-8 round unless a knockdown occurs, even if one man has the other nearly senseless. "He let the media and the fans get him in a war. Me and his wife told him that," Dunkin said.

During the lunch, Bradley showed he still hasn't shrugged off the rampant critiques which dogged him before and right after the Pacquiao victory last year. "I showed the people I'm not afraid, not a runner, not a holder, not a butt-er," Dunkin said Bradley stated. "Now let's see what they critique me about."

Basically, Dunkin wants Bradley and his other guy, Rios, to ditch some of the macho, and remember the "not be hit" part of the golden equation a bit more, moving forward.

Dunkin talks about Rios' future

April, 10, 2013
Cameron Dunkin knows that Brandon Rios, warrior through and through, is keen to get back in the ring this summer, maybe in July, but the manager told NYFightblog he'd like Rios to get a bit more downtime before lacing up again.

Rios lost a UD12 to Mike Alvarado in a vicious rumble on March 30 and wants to show the world that he's still a top-dog junior welter. Not so fast, said Dunkin today at the press conference to hype Saturday's clash between another Dunkin fighter, Nonito Donaire, and Guillermo Rigondeaux. "No, not July, I don't think so," he told me. "Maybe fall, early fall."

Dunkin said he'd like to match Rios against someone without such a particularly assaulting mindset next. "Not every fight has to be like the last two," he said. (Rios beat Alvarado via TKO7 in his previous outing, last October.) "I'd like to get him a regular fight." Though, he noted, Rios' fighting disposition means that he can turn anything into a rumble.

Dunkin said an Alvarado rematch was what was put on the table for Rios, who grew up in Texas and lives in Oxnard, Calif. "It was his biggest payday and we could have sat and waited or taken a fight for half that."

Dunkin said Rios let the crowd get to him, pump him up to much, and made him engage in macho trading. The manager said he and trainer Robert Garcia want Rios to get back and start using some defensive maneuvers again. "He needs to go back to moving his head and blocking punches," he said. "He wanted to show Alvarado that he couldn't hurt him."

Arum should know Manny foe by Sunday

April, 10, 2013

Bob Arum is looking to determine who will get the coveted slot to fight Manny Pacquiao in his next bout by Sunday, he told NYFightblog during a Wednesday press conference at Madison Square Garden. The press conference was called to hype the Saturday super feather unification bout between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall.

Arum, the Las Vegas-based Brooklyn-born promoter, was clearly on a high counting down to the Radio City event. He talked about entering the famed venue as a little boy, and how proud he is to have now staged shows at MSG, Yankee Stadium and now at this third iconic platform.

Arum said Juan Manuel Marquez will be attending the Thursday night Boxing Writers Association of America dinner, to accept an award for taking part in the 2012 Fight of the Year, with Manny Pacquiao. He will see if the Mexican wants to meet up with Manny a fifth time, or wants to go in another direction. A rematch with Tim Bradley, who won a controversial decision over Pacquiao last June, is a possibility.

Arum has also been in talks with Bradley and his manager Cameron Dunkin, who was present at the presser. Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz will be in NYC, to help clarify the next move for Manny, as well.

I asked Arum about Freddie Roach's remarks to me yesterday, that Roach doesn't think Marquez deserves a 50-50 split, and should accept that Manny deserves more moolah, because he's a PPV draw. "I'm not negotiating in the press," Arum answered. "We will talk privately and come to a decision."

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Donaire hasn't yet heard from USADA

February, 25, 2013
The Radio City showdown between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux is on, as of Monday afternoon, according to Donaire manager Cameron Dunkin. Dunkin confirmed to NYFightblog that as far as he knows Team Rigo filled out all the necessary paperwork and sent it to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), which is doing PED testing for the junior feather showdown.

Team Rigo asked that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) also do testing, because it thinks Donaire's fitness-supplement adviser Victor Conte might hold too much sway over VADA. But as of today, Dunkin hadn't been contacted by USADA about any testing for the bout. "Nonito will glady do that testing, too, we'll fill out those forms and sign them, and get them right to USADA and not take weeks to do it," Dunkin said, in a slap at what some perceive to be foot-dragging on the part of Rigondeaux to accept ultra-stringent PED testing.

Dunkin said it looked bad to him on Friday and Saturday, when Rigo seemed to be AWOL while people were waiting for him to finish VADA paperwork. "I couldn't understand that, they were asking for this fight," he said. Dunkin is a big fan of Rigo's new trainer, Pedro Diaz, and it feels like his presence on that team has soothed some of his worries.

I'm almost fully confident Donaire will fight Rigondeaux on April 13 in NYC. But this is boxing, and that can be subject to change.

Donaire likely to fight in April

January, 16, 2013
Cameron Dunkin, the Las Vegas-based manager of Nonito Donaire, said the Filipino-American will likely next fight in April, the exact date to be determined.

He'll tangle in California, Nevada or Texas. Guillermo Rigondeaux, a crafty Cuban, Vic Darchinyan and Chris John are in the running to meet the Filipino Flash, who is the favorite to win Fighter of the Year honors from the Boxing Writers Association for 2012. Rigo is the top dog thus far, Dunkin said.

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Dunkin likes Chavez to beat Martinez

September, 14, 2012
Boxing fans in the NYC area have to be pumped about the influx of compelling cards in the area in coming months. The Oct. 20 Golden Boy date at Barclays, headed up by Danny Garcia-Erik Morales II, will be followed by a date at Madison Square Garden, topped by Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout, on Dec. 1.

Manager Cameron Dunkin, who advises Nonito Donaire and Tim Bradley, who is coming off a controversial win over Manny Pacquiao in June, tells NYFightblog that he wants to bring Bradley to NY, probably to the MSG Theater, in late November or mid-December, for a bout which would run on HBO.

Bradley was second runner-up for the next Pacquiao fight, which is to unfold Dec. 8 in Las Vegas, quite likely against Juan Manuel Marquez. Dunkin told us he's fine with not getting the Pacman rematch, and thinks Bradley's brand can be well served by a NY date, which will raise his profile that much more. I asked Dunkin who he likes in tomorrow's middleweight scrum, Sergio Martinez or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and his answer surprised me.

"I'm picking Chavez," the Las Vegas dealmaker said. "I thinks he beats the s---out of him. I think he's gonna rise to the occasion."

Seeing and hearing Chavez's intensity in the leadup to the event, a defense of Junior's WBC middleweight title -- and his reputation, to those who maintain he has been built up because his dad is Mexico's top all-time fighter -- convinced Dunkin. "It made my blood run cold," he said.