Donaire still convinced that Nishioka is #1 at 122
(Photo cresdit: Naoki Fakuda) By Chris Williams: IBF/WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KO’s) is still continuing with his mantra that former WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KO’s) is the top fighter at super bantamweight as he heads into his fight with him on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California.
Donaire sees Nishioka as #1 and thinks he’s going to get credit for beating him from the casual boxing fans who tune into HBO on Saturday night. Donaire fails to see that Nishioka is no longer a world champion. He gave up his WBC title and is just the Ring magazine champion, which is one of those subjective things where they’re voted by a small handful of guys.
However, hardcore boxing fans don’t seem to be agreeing with Donaire about Nishioka being #1 at this point, with many boxing fans seeing him as a fading fighter who is still at the top because he hasn’t faced anyone really good for a long, long time. He’s still winning, but he has faced a really good fighter ages.
Donaire said to Jenna Jay at Doghouseboxing.com “Regardless that people [casual boxing fans] don’t know who he is, people will know he was #1, or that he was #1 in that division, and that I am here to take that spot away from him, regardless if he’s not known.”
I don’t see it that way. If a fighter isn’t know, casual boxing fans don’t care. That’s the reality of it. Also, the HBO talking heads will likely point out that there are younger fighters – Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux – that have moved past Nishioka and are now world champions. If Nishioka were to fight either of them I’d see an easy victory for both of those guys over Nishioka, even if he were still in his prime and not the 36-year-old fighter he is now.
Donaire isn’t doing himself any favors by trying to pump his opponents like Nishioka and Jeffrey Mathebula. Boxing fans in the United States weren’t interested in seeing Donaire fight those guys. They want to see him fight Rigondeaux and Mares, but for some reason Donaire isn’t doing that. He said recently to fighthub.tv that Rigondeaux had priced himself out of a fight with him. It seems to be that if they’re asking for a little bit more money Donaire should make sure they get that money so that he can make those fights happen.
If it’s what the boxing public wants to see, he’ll come out ahead by becoming a more popular fighter if he can beat those guys. He might make a little bit less money than he normally does, but he’ll end up making more after he beats them. Of course, if Donaire doesn’t think he can beat them, then yeah I can understand how it might not be a good thing for him to fight those guys.
I don’t see what Donaire gets out of the Nishioka fight. If he and Ring Magazine are the only ones that see Nishioka as #1 fighter, then what good is it to fight him? The value isn’t there if the boxing public doesn’t see it like he does.
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