HBO 10:00 PM, Saturday, October 13th, 2012 from The Home Depot Center, Carson, CA
Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) vs. Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs)
Weight Class: Junior Featherweight (122 Pounds)
Title: Donaire’s IBF and WBO Titles
Analysis: This fight is the listed main event, but the support bout is the better fight and should be considered the main event. Since scoring a devastating second round knockout over Fernando Montiel in February of 2011, Nonito Donaire has gone the distance in three straight bouts. Not all of it is his fault. He has faced opponents who were more interested in surviving than fighting. However, Donaire did nothing to put pressure on. It was clear he was outclassing these opponents and in no danger whatsoever, but instead laid back, gave rounds away and looked totally disinterested in the fight. There is nothing wrong with winning a wide decision, but do that. Don’t stop fighting and giving rounds away because you didn’t get an early knockout. After the results of those three bouts, Donaire needs to have an impressive performance and I think he will. Toshiaki Nishioka is not the type of fighter who will sit back and be happy to hear the final bell. He will be there to be hit. Making matters worse for Nishioka is the fact that he has not fought in almost a year. He will be rusty, which is dangerous against a fighter the caliber of Donaire. In his last bout, Nishioka struggled with a way past his prime Rafael Marquez. Nishioka is also 36 years old. His legs are no longer swift and I suspect we will see even more erosion with respect to his reflexes. To put it simply, Nishioka is tailor made for Donaire. I like Donaire to score a stoppage win, possibly on accumulation.
Prediction: Donaire KO8
Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) vs. Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs)
Weight Class: Junior Welterweight (140 Pounds)
Analysis: This fight should be the main event of this card. It has fight of the year candidate written all over it. Both Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado are come forward fighters who love to mix it up. They both also possess enough skill that this will not be a sloppy affair. I think this fight will be reminiscent of the great clashes of the past like Arturo Gatti - Micky Ward and Jose Luis Castillo - Diego Corrales. If you have friends who you want to see boxing or are a casual fan who only likes to watch the best action fights, do not miss this bout. As for my prediction, I like Alvarado. While listed as an underdog, I believe Alvarado has many advantages in this bout. First, he is the natural 140 pounder. In fact, he is just about ready to move up to 147 pounds. Rios is new to the 140 pound division and will be the smaller man on fight night. I think Alvarado is the more tested of the two fighters. Rios may have the better resume, but when I say tested in this case, I am talking more about powerful opponents. It seems we know Alvarado has at least a decent set of whiskers from his bout against Breidis Prescott. Rios has never been in with a real puncher. We will see how he reacts to the power of Alvarado. We will also find out if Rios brings his power up to the 140 pound division. Finally, I think Alvarado has a better jab, which will allow him to keep the distance if he needs to or chooses to. While I believe this fight will be full of exchanges and in fighting, Alvarado’s ability to change up the action will be beneficial. As I said earlier, I think this will be an amazing fight. I like Alvarado’s size to be a factor as the fight progresses, allowing him to score a later round stoppage.
Prediction: Alvarado KO9