Donaire vs. Nishioka: Nonito needs to impress so Top Rank can move him up
By Chris Williams: Top Rank is hoping that their fighter IBF/WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KO’s) can look good in beating 36-year-old past his best Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KO’s) this Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California.
The idea here is for Donaire to look impressive in blowing out a fighter that was at one the best fighter at super bantamweight but who clearly isn’t anymore, at least in the eyes of the boxing experts. Donaire needs to impress so that Top Rank can quickly move him up to the now weakened featherweight division where Donaire will likely be able to pick up one of the featherweight titles against one of the fighters not by the name of Orlando Salido. Believe me, Top Rank won’t put Donaire in with Salido, not if they know what’s good for them.
We also likely won’t see Donaire fight super bantamweight champions Abner Mares or Guillermo Rigondeaux before he moves up weight. Sure, we’ll here their names but don’t hold your breath waiting for Bob Arum of Top Rank to put Donaire in with either of them. Those guys could wreck the whole perception thing of Donaire being great by exposing him.
Donaire has won world titles in three weight divisions and they’re going to likely try and move him up to win as many as possible so that Donaire can possibly take over for the badly fading Manny Pacquiao as a multi-weight world champion. And while I do see him likely winning a featherweight crown due the mostly weak champions at featherweight, I think Donaire is going to top out soon if they keep moving him up.
The super featherweight division is also pretty weak, but Donaire will take a great of punishment in winning a title at that weight, and if he moves up to lightweight he could be in big trouble, especially if he’s put in with the likes of Ricky Burns, Antonio DeMarco and Adrien Broner. He won’t. If he does move up to lightweight, Donaire will likely be matched against arguably the weakest champion in Miguel Vazquez in order to get him a paper title.
Nishioka hasn’t lost in many years, but then again he faced anyone like Donaire, Rigondeaux and Mares. He’s done well during the weak era of the super bantamweight division, and now he’s like a relic of a past era, still hanging around but ready to be picked off.