At a purse bid on Friday at WBC headquarters in Mexico City, Promociones del Pueblo won the right to promote the junior featherweight final elimination bout between Hugo Ruiz, whom it promotes, and Nonito Donaire with an offer of $537,000.
The winner is supposed to become the mandatory challenger for the 122-pound title held by Leo Santa Cruz, although Santa Cruz is expected to soon vacate to move up in weight.
But here’s the problem with Ruiz-Donaire: It’s not going to happen. Donaire promoter Top Rank did not even bid on the fight because Donaire is not going to participate.
Instead, Top Rank has scheduled Donaire (34-3, 22 KOs), a former four-division titleholder, to fight on its next card in Macau, China, on July 18. He will probably face Anthony Settoul (20-3, 8 KOs), of France, in a tune-up for a likely title shot. With a win, Top Rank’s Bob Arum said he would look to match Donaire in a title fight with either England’s Scott Quigg or Northern Ireland's Carl Frampton, both interesting and lucrative bouts.
Ruiz (35-2, 31 KOs) will either be ordered to fight some other contender or perhaps will just automatically be made the mandatory challenger.