On October 13th in the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, Top Rank is giving the fight fans a treat; A confirmed matchup between unified super bantamweight champion, Nonito Donaire and former WBC Super bantamweight champion, Toshiaki Nishioka. To add a lot of icing to the top of that cake, the co-feature is going to be an all out war between two 140 lb bruisers in Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. Nishioka in most eyes is a better challenge than the proposed matchup between Donaire and Mexican Jorge Arce. What can you say about Rios-Alvarado except thank you to Top Rank for making this fight?
ThaBoxingVoice.com spoke to Showtime commentators Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood over the weekend to get their take on the card taking place on the shop across the street from them at HBO, and on the ‘Filipino Flash’ Nonito Donaire. “That card is solid top to bottom. First off, the main event is a tough fight (Donaire-Nishioka), but the fight I’m looking the most forward to is going to be the fight on the undercard. Mike Alvarado vs. Brandon Rios is one I’m looking forward to, that’s just warfare for however long it lasts,” stated Bernstein. Farhood on the other hand was quick and to the point saying, “It’s a fight fans fight.”
While they may work for a different network, both men appreciate good fights and good boxers and according to both, Nonito is very high on their list. According to Farhood, “Nonito Donaire has it all; he’s a lighter weight fighter that can punch. He’s lucky right now that he’s in a weight class that has high profile fights. He’s already a top 5 pound for pound guy. In terms of accomplishments he can’t do much more. Both Pacquiao and Mayweather are probably closer to finish then the start. It’s very possible that Donaire would be the pound for pound king in the near future.”
Whether it’s because of their great relationship or chemistry, Bernstein agreed with Farhood and gave praise to Donaire as almost unbeatable in the lower weights. “Anything under 126 below, the only person that’s going to beat Nonito Donaire is Nonito Donaire. If he loses his focus in a fight or has some kind of other lapse, didn’t train right or whatever, that’s the only way he’s losing a fight. He’s got every skill and as Steve pointed out he’s both a boxer and puncher, and that’s pretty spectacular,” stated Bernstein.
While Donaire to them might be the best in the lower weights, most fans have their opinions and are pessimistic to that notion because of the recent level of competition he’s taken on since his dismantling of Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel. Donaire himself has stated that it was hard to get up for the recent level of opposition but that once he fights the best, you’ll see him at his best like in the Darchinyan and Montiel fights.
The Showtime crew however feels that it would take one spectacular performance from one of the other guys at 122 like Abner Mares, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Nishioka to dethrone Nonito. “I’m not saying one of those people couldn’t beat him. People could beat him if they fight a spectacular fight and if he himself diminishes what he can do. At face value, he beats all of them,” stated Bernstein.
Farhood feels that all the above fights mentioned are tough fights but Nonito bring a certain dynamic that the other fighter’s don’t. “Nishioka is a tough fight; it’s a very tough fight. We know Rigondeaux is a tough fight and he’s not always a pretty fighter to watch but it’s a tough fight because of his skill and speed. But( Rigondeaux) is a bit of a one trick pony with that left hand and he can do a lot of damage with that left hand; where Donaire is a two handed guy and I think is a little wider in his dimension. I pick Donaire against any of those guys you mentioned, including Mares.”
For the full audio of the interview click here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thaboxingvoiceradioshow/2012/08/05/al-bernstein-steve-farhood-showtime-announcers-talk-boxing