Donaire TKOs Nishioka in Nine Rounds; Rios Halts Alvarado in Seven

By: Gordie Tamayo
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Home Depot Center Los Angeles, CA-HBO Boxing After Dark showcased a double header worthy enough to please casual and die hard boxing heads alike.In the main event Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (31-0-1-22KO) welcomed Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka (39-5-3-24) stateside for a bout that was slated to take Donaire to test as he was facing the best the 122 pound division had to offer. From the beginning the bout was a tactical chess match with Nishioka well guarded looking to time Donaire for counter shots and Donaire pressing the action to entice Nishioka to engage.

The crowd was not too pleased with the pace of the fight until round six came where Donaire landed a flush left uppercut through Nishioka’s guard dropping him to the canvas. Nishioka beat the count, even managing to trade a few punches before the bell sounded but not enough to make a dent on the cards.

Nishioka began to pick up the pace and appeared to be warm although Donaire continued to box a complete shutout. His superior hand speed and power kept Nishioka at bay and reluctant to take too many risks. Commentator Roy Jones commented to the game plan of Nishioka, stating that he had not made it undefeated eight years by being stupid. True, however this was not one matchup Nishioka was going to win on the cards by starting to fight halfway into the bout against a caliber of opponent such as Donaire.

In the ninth round the momentum elevated with Nishioka pressing Donaire to the ropes and getting caught with a devastating counter that dropped him for the second time in the bout. Nishioka rose to his feet, however his corner seen that he was hurt and threw in the towel ending his 8 year winning streak.

Donaire goes on to earn another top name victim to his resume and gains a few more critics. At this point, Donaire is doing everything he can do in facing the best opposition that is available to him. Sounds like the same scenario from the Klitschko brothers.

The undercard of the evening was perhaps the most anticipated of the night and left fight fans craving for more. Two fighters known for their all action style put their undefeated records on the line in what was pre-hyped for “Fight of the Year” honors. Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-0-1-22KO) stepped up to jr. welterweight to face the hard hitting Mike Alvarado (33-1-23).

From the opening bell the fight lived up to expectations as both men stood their ground and traded shots which had the crowd on their feet like a blood thirsty mob. Alvarado had initially stated he planned to box his way to victory but abandoned that strategy early on and was drawn into a heated exchange which could have been scored either way. When Alvarado did stick to the jab followed by an overhand right he found success. His obstacle was a determined Rios who just would not back down and continued his forward assault.

As they came to close quarters round by round, we seen more of the same excitement with Rios drilling to the body and going upstairs with a stiff uppercut and Alvarado attempting to make space to setup the jab yet getting caught in a shoot out. The result ended in Rios imposing his will in the seventh round by landing a solid overhand right that sent Alvarado to the ropes in a daze. Rios seen the green flag and unloaded a series of barrages that Alvarado had no answer for. The referee jumped in to stop the bout and Rios makes a splash in his jr. welterweight debut.

The post fight interview presented questions about a possible Pacquiao matchup or rematch with Alvarado. The outspoken Rios pulled no punches as usual and stated that if the fans wanted a rematch then they should do it. His comments on Pacquiao were equally as brave, however many would agree that Pacquiao would be more than he could chew. A rematch with Alvarado though; any day.

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