From the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, HBO's Boxing After Dark show last night had two intriguing contests.
The headliner was a Super Bantamweight WBO, IBF and WBC Diamond title clash between flashy Pinoy superstar Nonito Donaire and Japanese top contender Toshiaki Nishioka with the co-feature a notable Light Welterweight clash between brawlers Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios and Mike Alvarado.
Let's be positive and start with the much better fight of the two co-headliners. This one was between local star Brandon ''Bam Bam" Rios in his Light Welterweight debut after a brief title run at Lightweight and gritty American contender ''Mile High'' Mike Alvarado.
This bout was highly anticipated, well promoted and unlike many big fights, it actually, outstandingly, lived up to all the hype to the fullest extent, at least for me. These guys came out trading. They were almost stylistically identical, each throwing many power shots with outstanding effect and leverage but not much accuracy.
Both were staggered many times over the first six exchange-packed rounds, which were very close. I had Alvarado up a point at the time of the stoppage in round seven when Rios stunned him with a relentless assault of left and right hooks towering in.
Alvarado's head was bouncing everywhere when referee Pat Russell stopped the contest, somewhat controversially, although Alvarado was highly stunned. In the post fight interviews, Rios said he'll fight Alvarado again given the high demand by local fans.
Rios rises to 31-0-1 and Alvarado falls to 33-1-0 after the exciting battle. A rematch could happen immediately after this, of course after both warriors relax themselves for awhile.
Now the other fight, which was at the time was a bummer compared to the "Fight of the Year" candidate we saw moments before. Nonito Donaire against Toshiaki Nishioka. I'll say this from the start, it was more a workout with a heavybag than a fight for Donaire.
Nishioka was not here to win. He wasn't here to entertain, give a show or even bring some pride to his great country of Japan. I'll dig down as far to say all he came across the globe for was a payday.
Nishioka was one-thousand percent defensive tonight. Donaire did what he wanted to do, he threw combos and left his hands down. It simply didn't matter as Nishioka stayed on the backfoot, throwing a few jabs and maybe one or two power punches each round.
Donaire dominated all eight rounds of the fight clearly and put Nishioka down twice enroute to a ninth round TKO victory that came after a small knockdown and a right hand was landed by Donaire, prompting Nishioka's corner to run in to pull their man out, pronto. Proving, yet again, that Nishioka didn't care to win, rather simply there to be a putting bag for the Pinoy star, Nonito Donaire.
Donaire continues his great WBO, IBF and now WBC (Diamond) title reign, improving his nearly unscathed record to 30-1-0. For Nishioka, he lost any reason international fans could really care that he even exists, plus he disappointingly scrapped a tremendous eight year win streak. And now, I feel very idiotic saying I actually believed he would grab an upset victory tonight. Donaire should try and get fights with the Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno winner to determine the true best at 122 lb.
This concludes our post fight results and analysis. Hope you enjoyed our coverage of Donaire vs. Nishioka here at Saddoboxing.com.
Corey Quincy is a boxing journalist currently writing for Saddoboxing.com and his personal site Blboxing.com . He has been watching pugilism for years and is well informed, follow him Twitter at QuincyBoxingfan and like his Facebook page at Boxing Legends.