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Nonito Donaire In Tough Unification Against Nishioka

This week it has been announced that newly unified WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire will face a tough maiden unification defence of his titles against the Japanese Super-Bantamweight star Toshiaki Nishioka at the Home Depot Centre on the 13th November in Carson, California.

This contest is widely seen as one of the best match-ups in the sport, which pits Donaire, currently ranked number one at Super Bantam and Nishioka who is ranked number two.

It will be the second time in a row that the 36 year old southpaw “Speed King” Nishioka will be fighting in the United States, having defeated big hitting two weight world champion Rafael Marquez on points at the Marquee Ballroom at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas back in November 2011.

Following that victory over Marquez, Nishioka chose to take a break from the sport, giving up his WBC super bantam belt.

The younger Donaire, who in just 30 fights is already a three weight world champion at Flyweight, Bantamweight and Super-Bantamweight, is an American regular despite being Filipino born and has made himself a crowd favourite with his big hitting all action style.

Donaire is potentially the man who flies the flag for Filipino boxing once Manny Pacquiao finally decides to ring the bell on his ring career to concentrate on his political ambitions.

The Nishioka bout continues a tough run of fights for the 29 year old Filipino, who unified the titles against tall South African Jeffrey Mathebula on points, defeating former WBO champion Wilfredo Vazquez Junior in 2012 and last year dominating two-weight Argentinean World Champion Omar Andres Narvaez points.

Donaire knocked out big hitting three-weight Mexican world champion Fernando Montiel in just two rounds in February 2011 to take Montiel’s WBC and WBO Bantamweight belts. Prior to this, he defeated former WBA bantamweight king Volodymyr Sydorenko of Ukraine with a four round KO on his Bantamweight debut and back in 2007, knocked out big hitting Armenian Vic Darchinyan.

Meanwhile, on Nishioka’s record, the stand out names have been Rafael Marquez, defeated on points, Rendall Monroe the European champion, dominated on points in what was regarded as one of Nishioka's finest performances in his career to date.

Also on his slate is a devastating third knockout win of over current WBC Featherweight king Jhonny Gonzalez in which Nishioka hit the big hitting Mexican with such a powerful and accurate punches that it sent Gonzalez flying backward from the centre of the ring into the ropes and then down where he was counted out.

Early in Nishioka's career, he engaged in a heartbreaking four WBC Bantamweight title fight series with Veeraphol Sahaprom of Thailand that left many Japanese wondering if he would ever make it to the top of the mountain.

Since 2008, when Nishioka captured the interim WBC belt at Super Bantamweight, these doubts have proved unfounded.

In theory, when you make comparisons between Donaire and Nishioka, the ingredients are there for a potentially mouthwatering clash that would make many knowledgeable fans choose to stay in and order beer and pizzas come fight night.

Nishioka has a one inch height advantage and both combatants have a 68 inch reach, while Donaire has the greater knockout percentage.

But Nishioka has the edge in experience and is regarded as the more accurate puncher with superior ring generalship and footwork which could give him the advantage.

It is without doubt one of the hardest fights this year to predict, however this writer believes that Nishioka’s superior experience and footwork will be key to take a points decision with an accurate left hand that could score a couple of knockdowns in his favour.

Also announced on the bill, Donaire’s stablemate at Roberto Garcia’s gym, Brandon Rios, a former WBA Lightweight champion, makes his debut at Light-Welterweight against fellow unbeaten American fighter Mike Alvarado.

Rios will be looking to rebuild his damaged reputation after twice failing to make the Lightweight limit for the WBA 9 stone 9lbs belt.

The first time was against former British and European champion John Murray, whom the big hitting Rios stopped in eleven rounds.

Then Rios yet again failed to make weight, this time for the vacant WBA title, in a controversial points win against the Cuban Richard Abril in his last fight, whom many a ringside observer felt that the tall skillful Cuban had dominated the younger bigger hitting Rios on a wide points decision.

Against Alvarado, Rios has the slight height and reach disadvantages but Rios has the greater knockout percentage despite the KO's coming at a lower weight category.

But it is Donaire v Nishioka that will be the main headline attraction come that night in October when two best Super-Bantamweights in the world square off against each other with legacies on the line.

About Iain Langmaid

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