Boxing

Doniare eager to face Nishioka

Special to FOX Sports Allen Trieu
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Nonito Donaire’s left hook has become one of the most feared punches in boxing, and has helped him rise to near the top of every major pound-for-pound ranking. After scoring the Knockout of the Year over Fernando Montiel and winning the major titles at 118-lbs (Bantamweight), he moved up to 122-lbs (Super Bantamweight). Donaire is looking forward to becoming the undisputed man of the division and he can take a big step towards that when he faces Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka on Saturday night.

“This is the fight I’ve wanted,” he said. “I believe he’s been the best in the division. Camp has been going great, and we’re prepared for this fight.”

This is also a bit of a role reversal. Donaire has been calling for this Nishioka fight for some time now. On the flip side, Donaire’s status in the rankings has him as one of the more regularly called out fighters in the division, a distinction he does not mind.

“It’s great. People are trying to get to where you are. As long as we can get the negotiations worked out, I’ll fight anyone.”

Donaire has fought all kinds of fighters, from more aggressive guys like Vic Darchinyan to the much taller Jeffrey Mathebula in his last fight. He says he sparred taller, bigger guys in preparation for this fight. Nishioka is roughly the same size as Donaire, but will present some other challenges.

“He’s a very experience fighter, said Donaire, “Power, we know he has that. One thing he will try to do is land the straight and that is difficult to do against me. Aside from that, I haven’t seen any tape that he can do damage with. He did great against [Rafael] Márquez, but Márquez is a lot slower than me. A lot of those punches won’t land with me with power. But we are very worried and very mindful of that advantage he has.”

That this is a main event on HBO shows the drawing power Donaire has. The lighter divisions are typically not featured as much, but his exciting style where one punch can end a fight at any time, has him positioned as one of the sport’s rising stars.

“It’s great. It’s good for boxing to showcase the little guys, and the effort they give and we’re going to make it an exciting fight. It’s motivation for me.”

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