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Mares and Donaire are the biggest losers in HBO’s no to Golden Boy

It’s hard to imagine how many more times the deck chairs on the Titanic can be re-arranged, but boxing did it ad nauseam this week when Home Box Office slammed the door on doing any more business with Golden Boy Promotions.

If it has really changed anything, please wake me up.

It’s not as if Golden Boy and Top Rank were sending each other cards with best wishes during the Holidays, any holiday. It was a balkanized business before HBO told Golden Boy to drop dead. It still is. But there are a couple of losers, who can’t be too encouraged by a move that seems to harden each side of a feud with no apparent end.

Fans don’t like it. But they get over it. If it’s a good fight, they’ll watch if it on HBO, Showtime or in a parking lot. We’re not talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, either. They had their chances and each, in their own way, managed to back away from the money, or the risk, or the demands for drug testing, or all-of-the-above.

But Nonito Donaire, of Top Rank, and Abner Mares, of Golden Boy, haven’t fought for wages that even approach the kind of money banked by Mayweather and Pacquiao. Unlike fans, they also don’t have a lifetime time to wait around for an opportunity at a career-defining fight.

They’ve been fighting at weights ranging from 116 through 122 pounds. If history is any guide, that adds up to a short shelf life. Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) is 27. Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) is 30.

They want to fight each other. They, more than any other fighter in today generation, have asked their promoters to get it done. But the promoters seem to have put their own egos and agendas ahead of their best interests. Who is working for whom here?

Mares and Donaire could, perhaps should, shout a little louder about what they want, what their careers demand. But would Showtime, HBO, Golden Boy or Top Rank even listen? They’re too busy shouting at each other.

Anybody for the parking lot?

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