SINGAPORE, Singapore – This one’s for all the marbles.
It’s a battle of fierce, left hands on Saturday, October 13 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California as Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (29-1, 18KO) takes his brand of technical mastery up against likewise speed demon Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24KO) of Japan.
This much anticipated matchup pits two of the Super Bantamweight division’s quickest draws against each other in a high paced shootout.
Donaire, regarded as one of the sport of boxing’s most technically gifted ring tacticians, continues his amazing run through the lighter weight divisions. Now campaigning at 122 lbs., Donaire went straight for the division’s top dog without so much as a tune-up fight on the way.
Nishioka is Japan’s best fighter and for good reason. His punch arsenal is vast and powerful yet what truly makes him special is his speed. Nishioka is the pure epitome of speed, both with the hands as well as the feet. In fact, he is equally as fast if not faster than Donaire himself.
Donaire has beaten the who’s who of boxing’s lighter weight classes. The Filipino fighter based out of San Leandro, California has destroyed the likes of Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel and a lot of big names in between. He hasn’t lost since 2001, in what was only his second professional fight.
Nishioka on the other hand sports quality wins over tough Mexican icons Jhonny Gonzalez and Rafael Marquez.
Speed versus power
This fight promises to be a spectacular display of quickness. One split-second could mean the difference between being on your feet and being on the ground.
Each fighter puts good power behind those punches and both are fast enough to catch each other with something damaging. It all comes down to who can impose his will more onto his opponent.
Nishioka is arguably faster than Donaire, but not by much and it’s safe to say that Donaire holds a slight power edge although he has yet to score a knockout in three tries above 118 lbs.
The reason for the perceived power advantage however is Donaire’s vaunted left hook. It’s certainly a thing of beauty – in fact, it may be the most beautiful punch in boxing today.
Donaire’s left hook is famous for being textbook and to the letter. He delivers it with such refinement and technique that when it does land (and it will), it deals so much brain-scrambling force that it effectively stuns any opponent who gets hit with it. Nishioka will be no exception.
If Nishioka gets tagged with that left hook, it could mean lights out for the Japanese pugilist.
On the other hand, Nishioka is very fast and elusive. It will be difficult for Donaire to consistently land cleanly on him. Nishioka also likes to mix it up with a complete display of combinations featuring uppercuts, hooks, crosses – you name it. He’s like the Japanese version of Manny Pacquiao when it comes to punch variety. He also has great reflexes and will be able to use that to evade some of Donaire’s sneaky counters.
Overall, it all comes down to who controls the tempo of the fight. If Nishioka can use his speed to keep Donaire on the back foot, it could throw the Filipino-American off his game. On the flipside, once Nishioka gets a taste of Donaire’s power he could go the way of so many Donaire opponents before him – he could end up running for the hills.
On the line
So much is riding on this fight. If Donaire wins, he easily goes up a few notches on everyone’s Top 10 Pound-4-Pound lists. Beating Nishioka, the cream of the crop in his division, is certainly a remarkable accomplishment for Donaire after coming off three impressive title defenses against Omar Narvaez, Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. and Jeffrey Mathebula.
If Nishioka wins, which isn’t out of the question, he would probably go down as the greatest Japanese fighter of all time.
There’s no question who the favorite to win is this weekend, and with the eyes of the world watching this could once again be another special moment for the Filipino Flash.
It is challenges like these that tend to bring the best out of Donaire and you can bet he’s well prepared to go a full 12 rounds of trying to dismantle his wily Japanese foe.
The Donaire-Nishioka fight is scheduled for 12 rounds in the Super Bantamweight division and is being fought for the IBF and WBO Super Bantamweight championship as well as the vacant WBC Diamond Super Bantamweight title. - Rappler.com
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