Four-division world champion Nonito Donaire has his eyes on one lofty goal before feeling satisfied with a boxing career that's practically bound for the Hall of Fame.
"I've done everything - win in multiple divisions, win multiple belts, knockout of the year, fighter of the year - except become an undisputed champion. That's my main motivation and inspiration right now," said Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) on Power and Play hosted by former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on Saturday.
Since Gabriel "Flash" Elorde held both WBA and WBC super featherweight titles from 1963-67, no Filipino has been undisputed champion, or a boxer simultaneously holding all eligible belts in his division. There has also never been an undisputed bantamweight champion in the current WBA-WBC-IBF-WBO era, and only five fighters across all divisions have actually achieved the feat.
"I want to get all the belts," exclaimed Donaire, full of vigor belying his age of 38. "That's my goal right now. That's the only thing I haven't really done as a boxer."
Of course, claiming all bantamweight belts is easier said than done.
No plans are imminent between the two at the moment, but becoming undisputed champion means Donaire will have to hurdle WBA and IBF king Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs), who already beat "The Filipino Flash" back in a 2019 bout that was hailed as Fight of the Year.
A match with current WBO champ and compatriot John Riel Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) will also be necessary, though an online spat between the two in recent months complicates matters.
Donaire says his camp has already sent a contract proposal for a fight with Casimero, but the latter has reportedly insisted that he has not received the offer. Reports have then cited a possible internal discord in Casimero's camp as primary reason for the delay.
"From what my promoter (Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports) had stated, they already sent a contract to Casimero's camp, but they said they didn't get anything. For me, the promoter has no reason to lie to me," explained Donaire.
"And we know from our face-to-face chat with Casimero that they have an internal issue within their promotion. If we want to resume negotiations, they have to resolve that issue first," he added.
Before either of those prospective prize fights, Donaire will also have to take care of business in a mandatory bout, as ordered by the WBC, against fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo (24-0, 20 KOs).
Gaballo, the current interim WBC bantamweight titlist, last fought in December 2020 against Emmanuel Rodriguez and beat the Puerto Rican in a split decision upset, while Donaire last figured in a fight last May after knocking out Nordine Oubaali to become the oldest bantamweight champion in history.
"Reymart, I think he's a great fighter," he said. "Right now, we (him and Casimero) are both mandated to fight our mandatories. After each of our fights, we can resume our talks."