HBO Boxing Predictions: Donaire-Nishioka, Rios-Alvarado
On Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, HBO Boxing IBF/WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire meets Toshiaki Nishioka in a junior featherweight bout. In the co-feature, Brandon Rios battles Mike Alvarado in a “can’t miss” Mexican-American junior welterweight affair. Check out http://topbet.eu to wager on these bouts.
Nonito Donaire, 29-1 (18 KOs), San Leandro/Philippines vs. Toshiaki Nishioka, 39-4-3 (24 KOs), Tokyo, Japan, 122 pounds - 12 rounds
Donaire AKA the "Filipino Flash," is a multi-weight champion, top rated pound-for-pounder, HBO Boxing favorite, who has won titles at flyweight, super flyweight, bantamweight, and junior featherweight. He owns quality victories over Vic Darchinyan (TKO5), Moruti Mthalane (TKO6), Hernan Marquez (TKO8), Fernando Montiel (TKO2), and Omar Narvaez (UD12).
Nishioka is a quality Japanese fighter who is currently on a 16-fight winning streak. He previously notched seven defenses of the WBC super bantamweight title. He owns quality victories over Jhonny Gonzalez (TKO3) and Rafael Marquez (UD12).
Prediction: When it comes to experience, neither fighter has the clear edge. In terms of quality of opposition, Donaire does hold a decisive edge. That being said, in nearly all of those quality victories, Donaire was the bigger man. On Saturday night that won’t be the case. Donaire will finally be in the ring against a world class opponent his own size.
The mystery of this fight lies in how much Nishioka has left in the tank. At 36-years-old, he is seven years older than the 29 year-old Donaire. There’s no doubt he can make the bout competitive. The uncertainty lies in whether he has enough left to pull off the upset. Had this matchup taken place when Nishioka was 32 years of age, this fight would likely be a coin flip. However, it’s taking place on Saturday night.
All things considered, it will likely not be an easy night for the younger man. Nishioka may not be in his prime anymore yet he’s still better than anyone Donaire has fought to date. Fightfanatics.com predicts Donaire will be tested, but will ultimately pull away with a hard-fought unanimous decision. Donaire UD12.
Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado (140 pounds, 10 rounds)
Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) AKA “Bam Bam” burst onto the scene last year with an impressive tenth round title-winning knockout of Miguel Acosta, to win the WBA lightweight title. Rios, 26, followed that victory up with impressive wins over Urbano Antillon (KO3) and John Murray (TKO11). Fans quickly fell in love with Rios’ in your face “mano a mano” brawler style and the machismo he always seems to wear on his sleeves. For his bout with Murray, however, we got a glimpse into Rios’ weight issues as he was stripped at the scales the day before the bout since he could not make the 135-pound limit. Rios’ weight struggles spilled over into 2012. On April 14, 2012, he was supposed to face Richard Abril for the title he had been previously stripped of but again failed to make weight. He fought on in a bout where the title was not at stake for him and pulled out a highly controversial split decision. He now moves up a weight class (140-lbs) looking to put his weight woes behind him.
Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs) is an undefeated prime 32-year-old boxer-brawler who like Rios just burst onto the scene a few years ago. His biggest wins have come against mediocre opposition in Breidis Prescott (TKO10) and Mauricio Herrera (UD10). His bout with Rios is without a doubt the toughest of his career. There’s a mystery about him since he hasn’t faced many quality opponents. What we do know is that Alvarado is an undefeated, supremely confident, tough, heavy-handed, contender who doesn’t typically like to take a step backwards. Rest assured, he will be looking to make a name for himself on Saturday night.
Prediction: Typically when two rigs collide, the results aren't pretty. In the sport of boxing, however, that’s a surefire recipe for a “Fight of the Year” type affair. And that’s exactly what should transpire when these two finally climb inside the ring. Many in the know believe Alvarado may try to play it smart by boxing from the outset. If he intends to make that his strategy, it shouldn't last for too long. The fighter within should eventually reveal himself leading to the type of shootout fight fanatics are looking forward to and will remember for years to come.
This is the type of fight where no result should surprise anyone. On paper, both are quite evenly matched. The feeling here is that both may taste the canvas at some point. As the fight wears on Rios’ punches will begin to make a bigger impression, particularly on Alvarado’s face. Fightfanatics.com predicts the bout will end via corner stoppage (swelling/cut to Alvarado’s eye) in the latter rounds. Rios TKO10.