Donaire could fight Arce in October, Nishioka in December
By Chris Williams: It’s looking like IBF/WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire will be staying at 122 a little while longer than we suspected after beating little known IBF champ Jeffrey Mathebula by an unimpressive 12 round decision last Saturday night.
Donaire, looking slightly chunky and not as he once was, said after the fight that he wanted to fight only one more bout at 122 and would then be moving up to featherweight. But it looks like Donaire will stick around at least long enough to fight 32-year-old Jorge Arce and former WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka before the end of the year. But it’s doubtful that Donaire will bother facing the two best fighters at 122 – Guillermo Rigondeaux and Abner Mares.
Those are the two fighters that boxing fans in the United States want to see Donaire fight, but for some odd reason he doesn’t seem be in a big hurry to fight either of them, preferring instead guys like Mathebula, who even hardcore fans had little clue about before last Saturday night.
After watching him fight, I imagine he’ll be instantly forgotten. I have to commend Donaire’s promoters at Top Rank for picking out Mathebula for Donaire to fight instead of Rigondeaux or Mares. It probably saved Donaire from getting knocked out because he’s no longer looking like the same fighter he once was at flyweight. The power just isn’t there anymore in a big way, and he only seems capable of using his left hand for most of his work.
Donaire said to philboxing.com “I’ve heard about plans to sign up Jorge Arce in October and Toshiaki Nishioka in December. That’s fine with me. My manager will work things out…We’ll look at the available dates and study the fight contracts.”
I think Donaire is probably good enough to beat Arce and Nishioka. Arce looked like he quit against a young guy Jesus Rojas when Arce started taking big time punishment. Instead of Arce facing Donaire, he should really be going back to Rojas and proving he can beat that guy because I don’t think he can.
And as for the 35-year-old Nishioka, he looked old and horrible in barely beating an over the hill Rafael Marquez in his last fight. I’ve seen Nishioka beat some mediocre opponents in the past and look reasonably good, but he looks like he’s really aged. He’s 35, but he fought like someone closer to 40, I can understand why Donaire wants to fight him. It’s probably a safe bet that he’ll win. You can’t say that if Donaire fights Rigondeaux or Mares.