By Michael Collins: IBF/WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KO’s) will be facing 36-year-old Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KO’s) on October 13th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Donaire’s promoter Bob Arum reported this to RingTV earlier today. Also on the card will be Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KO’s) vs. Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 KO’s) in light welterweight action.
Donaire is really high on Nishioka despite his less than impressive performance against Rafael Marquez in his last fight October. Nishioka was the better fighter in that bout, but he looked vulnerable and not like the same fighter he once was.
Donaire told RingTV “I think that the best guy in the division that I want to prove myself against is Nishioka. I think that Nishioka is is the better of all the guys. He’s proven himself in this weight class to be the real champion.”
It’s interesting that Donaire is pumping up the aging Nishioka as the best fighter in the division, because Donaire also pumped up his last opponent former IBF super bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula as being a credible threat. He was little more a punching back in a mostly one-sided fight for Donaire. Nishioka was a good fighter at one time, but the division has vastly improved with Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux now holding titles. I believe both of those fighters would be way too much Nishioka at this advanced stage in his career. What is interesting is that Donaire is willing to fight guys that are less popular – Nishioka and Mathebula – than Rigondeaux and Mares in the United States. Why would Donaire fight guys that aren’t well known to the casual American boxing fans?
It’s not surprising that Donaire is saying how great he thinks Nishioka is, but I don’t buy that he’s in the same league as Mares or Rigondeaux. If Donaire beats Nishioka, which I seem him doing no problem, then it would be great if Donaire would then face Mares or Rigondeaux. But that’s not likely to happen. After Nishioka, Donaire will almost surely fight Jorge Arce. And after that there’s a chance that Donaire will move up in weight without ever facing Mares or Rigondeaux. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen but I believe it will. If Donaire moves up in weight without facing either of those Rigondeaux and Mares, it’s going to make appear that Donaire is dodging them.