Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles - Oct. 12, 2012.
WBO/IBF super bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire and Japan's WBC Diamond Belt champion and champion emeritus Toshiaki Nishioka easily made the weight for their eagerly awaited title showdown at the Home Depot Center in Carson City, California tomorrow.
Donaire was the first to step on the scales in the presence of WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and officials of the California State Athletic Commission and tipped the scales at 121.6 pounds while Nishioka, cheered on by a huge contingent of Japanese supporters who flew in from all over Japan, came in at 121.8 pounds.
Donaire is likely to weigh around 130 pounds when he enters the ring on Saturday in a fight to be telecast by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN on its pre-eminent Channel 2 at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday with a replay on Studio 23.
Donaire told ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo and this reporter that "if I can get a knockout, i'll take it. But I don't like to make predictions. A win is the most important for me in this fight because we know Nishioka is a talented fighter."
Donaire said that looking at Nishioka "I know he is really ready so we are ready for anything. We are looking at his speed and he's going to come in. It could be a very diverse fight depending on what type of style and strategy we come up with inside the ring."
Donaire who turns 30 on November 16 stressed that "I feel much quicker (than Nishioka who is nicknamed 'speed king'). I'm younger and I've always been faster than my previous opponents and I believe I am faster this time again. I have the power which is stronger than his."
Valcarcel described Donaire as "the shining star" but that Nishioka is also a great fighter with lots of experience and their showdown promises to be a very close and exciting bout.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told us Nishioka "is the toughest opponent Nonito has ever faced and he knows that and he's prepared to fight."
Arum indicated "it will be a really good technical fight with a lot of action. These are two really technically proficient fighters and they are going to fight like masters. In other words a lot of good punches, a lot of skill shown and its not going to be just a brawl, its going to be what boxing is all about."
The Top Rank promoter said he was "surprised at the number of Japanese. We have discovered that apparently these are not Japanese who are living in the United States by and large but they are Japanese who have come from all over Japan so that's really heartening to see Nishioka with a fan base like he has."
The Manila Standard learned that Donaire's IBF belt won't be at stake since the organization was asking the fighter to
pay a substantial sanction fee.