Donaire vs Cuban In April

In a matchup that is sure to make fight fans drool with excitement, Top Rank head Bob Arum said Nonito Donaire first fight in 2013 could be against Cuban hotshot Guillermo Rigondeaux.

"In the end of April," Arum bared yesterday.

The venue: Las Vegas.

Arum has grand plans for Donaire, who cemented his stature as a pound-for-pound fighter with a vicious one-punch third-round knockout win over Jorge Arce of Mexico last year in Houston.

Donaire is being groomed to fill the void that will soon be left by Manny Pacquiao, who is in the twilight of a Hall of Fame career.

Making the fight happen won't be difficult since Arum's Top Rank Inc. promotes both Donaire and Rigondeaux.

Rigondeaux, the two-time Olympic champion, two-time world amateur titleholder and seven-time Cuban national kingpin, has an 11-0 win-loss record with eight knockouts.

Donaire, who has a 31-1 slate with 20 knockouts, is looking forward to another smashing showing this year after a sensational campaign in 2012 that included not only the Arce victory but triumphs over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico, Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa and Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan. - Nick Giongco

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