Donaire-Vazquez likely for February has learned that former WBO/WBC bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire will climb a division to make his junior featherweight debut against THE RING’s No. 9-rated 122 pounder Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. on Feb. 11 or Feb. 18. Las Vegas is the likely locale for the fight.

Donaire-Vazquez would be for the WBO’s junior featherweight belt that is being vacated by Jorge Arce, who dethroned Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 17 KOs) by 12th-round knockout on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Shane Mosley in May.

Arce has dropped back down to bantamweight for a unanimous decision victory over Angky Angkotta to earn the vacant WBO belt in that division no Nov. 26.

Promoted by Top Rank Inc., Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) is coming off last month’s unanimous decision over WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez, who lost every round on the cards of the three judges in their bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Donaire returned to sparring and training on Monday, according to a source close to the fighter. initially reported that Donaire-Vazquez as being eyed as a pay per view main event in Las Vegas, but other reports have since indicated that Donaire could return to New York.


by Lem Satterfield