FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (August 16, 2012) - No sooner had the dust cleared from last Sunday night's fight, light welterweight prospect Danny O'Connor (18-1, 6 KOs) was back in the gym preparing for his next action, September 29, on the non-televised segment of a HBO BAD tripleheader at MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The 27-year-old O'Connor, a former two-time national amateur champion and 2008 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team alternate, stopped Eddie "The Puerto Rican Sensation" Soto (12-5, 4 KOs) this past Sunday evening in the fourth round of their fight, headlining the first professional boxing show in Gillette Stadium history. Boxing was preceded by a Major League Soccer match between the New England Revolution and Montreal Impact.
"I walked Soto down, everything behind my jab, and listened to what Coach Ronnie (Shields) told me," O'Connor said about his fight against Soto. "The name of the game for me is keeping active. I'm young, hungry and always in shape. Inactivity hurts fighters. I appreciate what's going on right now. I'm looking forward to my next fight and to keep improving."
O'Connor dropped Soto in the first round and again in the second. He was unloading on the Rhode Island fighter when the fight was mercifully halted by the referee. O'Connor was fighting in front of family, friends and fans from his home in nearby Framingham (MA). New England sports-and-entertainment "royalty" walked him into the ring: "Irish" Micky Ward, New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, Boston Bruins winger Shawn Thornton, former Bruins player Lyndon Byers and Danny's manager, Kenny Casey, lead singer and founder of the Dropkick Murphys band.
"Seeing and hearing all the people there supporting me, walked into the ring by those great athletes, it was exciting," O'Connor explained how he felt when he entered the ring. "I went into the ring with a game plan and had to contain my excitement so I could take care of business. Once the bell rang, I was fully focused."
O'Connor believes the unique cross-promotion, fusing soccer and boxing, was successful in terms of attracting new fans for both sports. "A lot of my fans told me they got there early to watch the soccer game and really enjoyed it," O'Connor noted. "I saw the reaction of soccer fans that stayed to watch their first fight. I think it was win-win for both sports. It was a great atmosphere, something very special for me."
O'Connor's chief second, former "Trainer of the Year" and two-time world title challenger Ronnie Shields, gave his protégé a perfect 10 score. "Danny did a really great job against a strong kid," Shields commented on O'Connor's most recent fight. "I gave him 10 on a scale of 10. He got close to his opponent and then caught him. He let both hands go with an all-out assault that ended the fight. He was great from bell one, doing everything we worked on in the gym. This is a different Danny O'Connor. Most are familiar with Danny backing up, but he's been moving forward. That's the biggest difference in Danny the past year, plus he's sitting down more on his punches. You can't make a guy punch harder, but Danny had some power but didn't know it. He's never going to be a one-punch knockout guy, but it's the accumulation of his punches that do the damage. His connect rate is in the high eighties, low nineties, and when he throws combinations, a lot happens.
"Danny was always in a retreat mode, but we have him attacking. When he faces big, strong guys standing in front of him, he can go back to boxing. He will fight different ways depending on the style of his opponent. You're seeing more body punches, uppercuts and a lot more left hands from Danny. I want him to become a more complete fighter, not fighting one style, and that's what is happening with him."
NESportsTV.com online PPV presents a double-header this Saturday night at 7PM. In the main event, undefeated former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora (45-0-1, 19 KO's) takes on Puerto Rican journeyman Wilfredo Negron (26-16-1, 19 KO's). In the co-feature, former world title challenger Brian MInto (36-5, 23 KO's) takes on former West Virginia state heavyweight champion Mike Sheppard (20-13-1, 9 KO's) for the vacant WBA NABA Heavyweight title.
This broadcast will mark Spadafora's first fight in over a year and a half. Spadafora, former IBF lightweight champ, sports one of the best records in boxing and never lost his world title inside the ring because he vacated the title to move up in weight. His opponent, Negron, has recorded a win over former world champion Saul Duran and fought Zab Judah for a vacant junior welterweight title in 1999.
This fight will mark Minto's fourth fight ever on NESportsTV.com. Minto has defeated previously unbeaten Donnell Wilson and Australian cruiserweight Pierre Karam on NESportsTV.com PPV. He also challenger for the WBO cruiserweight title against Marco Huck on this website. Sheppard is a well traveled journeyman who has weon 5 of his last 6 fights.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (August 16, 2012) - The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has officially announced its Class of 2012. New members will be inducted at the 8th annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, November 10 at the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The new CBHOF inductees are former World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight champion "Tremendous" Travis Simms, former World Boxing Union (WBU) middleweight titlist "Dangerous" Dana Rosenblatt, five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, promoter Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc.), manager George Cruz and the late manager/promoter Lou Viscusi.
"This year's class has great individuals and is an eclectic group comprised of world champion boxers, promoters, managers and trainers," CHBOF president and Class of 2011 inductee Glenn Feldman said. "We even have a direct link to Connecticut's greatest fighter of all-time, Willie Pep (inaugural CBHOF class), through Lou Viscusi."
The 41-year-old Simms, fighting out of Norwalk, captured the WBA World light middleweight crown on December 13, 2003, stopping defending champion Alejandro Garcia in the fifth round of their fight in Atlantic City. Simms successfully defended his title against Bronco McKart (DEC2) and Jose Antonio Rivera (TKO9). Travis, whose twin brother Tarvis Simms also was a world-class boxer, currently is a member of the Norwalk Town Council.
Rosenblatt (37-1-2, 23 KOs), 40, fought 13 times as a professional in Connecticut, winning 12 with one draw. Rosenblatt, who hails from Malden (MA), won the WBU middleweight title in 1996, stopping 1976 U.S. Olympian Howard Davis in the second round at the Fleet Center in Boston. Dana added the International Boxing Association middleweight title belt to his collection in 1998 with a win by 12-round decision over Terry Norris. In 1999, Rosenblatt avenged his lone loss as a pro via a 12-round decision against 2011 CBHOF inductee Vinny Paz at Foxwoods Resort Casino for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight championship..
Roach, a native of Dedham (MA), was a popular New England boxer who went on to greatness as a trainer and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this year. Roach was CBHOF inductee Marlon Starling's chief second when Starling captured his first world championship. Roach has trained 20 world champions including Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya, James Toney, and Bernard Hopkins, and Roach currently trains world champions Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Burchfield, based in North Providence (RI), has promoted countless shows during the past 30 years at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mohegan Sun and in Hartford. The "Hardest Working Promoter in Boxing" is best known for promoting Vinny Paz. Burchfield has also promoted Chad Dawson, Peter Manfredo, Jr., Scott Pemberton, Joe Mesi, Ray Oliveira, Jason Estrada, Matt Godfrey, Matt Remillard and many others.
Cruz has been a fixture for numerous years at the San Juan Center in Hartford. He guided Starling for the first part of his career, managed CBHOF inductees Tyrone Booze and "Iceman" John Scully, and has been heavily involved in Connecticut amateur boxing.
Viscusi is best remembered for guiding three Hall of Famers - Pep, Joe "Old Bones" Brown and Bob Foster - to world titles. He and trainer Bill Gore formed one of boxing's classic combinations with Lou handling the business end. A New England manager/promoter from boxing to wrestling to circuses, Viscusi was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.
Tickets for the CBHOF 8th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $75.00, are on sale now by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860-.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails at 6 p.m. ET, followed by dinner.
Go online to www.ctboxinghof.com for additional information.
SAN DIEGO (August 16, 2012) - American boxing fans have a fascination with heavyweights and WealthTV, the latest destination for boxing's premier live events, is committed to bringing the best action to its growing list of subscribers.
WealthTV has secured the live US television rights for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) North American heavyweight fight with world title fight implications for the winner on September 8, pitting two-time, two division world champion battle Tomasz "Goral" Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs) against hungry Travis "Freight Train" Walker (39-7-1, 31 KOs), presented by Main Events in association with Peltz Boxing and Ziggy Promotions, live from the luxurious Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Last month, WealthTV showcased rising star Tyson Fury's (19-0, 14 KOs) fifth-round technical knockout of veteran Vinny Maddalone, live from the United Kingdom.
Adamek, an extremely popular Polish fighter fighting out Jersey City (NJ), will be making his first title defense since capturing the IBF North American crown this past June with a 12-round decision over Eddie Chambers (36-3).
The 36-year-old Adamek is a former IBF cruiserweight and World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight world champion. Currently rated No. 4 by the IBF and No. 9 by the WBC, Adamek's most notable victims include Paul Briggs (twice), Thomas Ulrich, O'Neil Bell, Steve Cunningham, Jonathan Banks, and Chris Arreola, among the more notables. Adamek's only two losses as a professional have been to world champions Vitali Klitsckho and Chad Dawson.
Standing nearly 6'5" Walker will have a three-inch height and seven-inch reach advantage against the more experienced Adamek. Walker is coming off a big win be technical knockout of leading Australian heavyweight Kali Meehan for the IBF Pan Pacific Championship last March in Meehan's backyard.
The hard-hitting Walker, who is from Tallahassee (FL) but resides in Houston (TX), was the 2003 National Golden Gloves winner in the amateur super heavyweight class. He is rated No. 12 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and No. 13 by the IBF.
"This will be an exciting fight to watch," predicted Charles Herring, president of WealthTV. "Adamek is rated No. 4 in the World and he has tremendous talent and speed. Walker is recognized as a legitimate US heavyweight, displaying fan-friendly action, good size and dangerous power. We're excited to feature this top-world rated match on WealthTV. The action continues with two other heavyweight brawls on this September 8th card that promises thunder."
WealthTV, demonstrating it's commitment to becoming a powerhouse in world-class, live professional boxing, will be featuring this world-class heavyweight bout live for free to its viewers across the United States. "There's an extra level of excitement with heavyweight bouts and securing this strong event, headlined by Adamek vs. Walker, features two of the best heavyweights in the world," noted Robert Herring, CEO of WealthTV. "This is exactly what we want to deliver to our viewers."
"We're very happy to collaborate with WealthTV on our loaded heavyweight Sept. 8 show," Main Events president Kathy Duva remarked. "WealthTV offers us a great opportunity to further expand our market in the United States for our fighters and brand. We think WealthTV's unique viewership offers an untapped market in boxing."
Scheduled to provide chief support for the 12-round Adamek vs. Walker main events are a pair of world-class heavyweights from nearby Philadelphia, undefeated, United States Boxing Association heavyweight title-holder Bryant "By-By" Jennings (14-0, 6 KOs) and former two-time IBF cruiserweight champion Steve "USS" Cunningham (24-4, 12 KOs), in separate 10-round fights.
The 27-year-old Jennings, now rated No. 8 by the IBF, has developed into one of the hottest heavyweights in the country. His last three victories were against opponents sporting a combined record of 63-5-2 - Steve Collins (DEC10) for the vacant USBA title, former world heavyweight champion Sergei Liakhovich (RTD9), and Maurice Byarm DEC10 for the vacant USA Pennsylvania strap. Jennings faces Chris "Special K" Koval (25-9, 18 KOs), fighting out of Youngstown, Ohio.
Cunningham was a highly-decorated US amateur boxer who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Main Events. For his Sept. 8th Main Events debut he has moved up one weight class to heavyweight for the first time, taking on Jason "The Sensation" Gavern (21-10-4, 10 KOs). Cunningham has defeated the likes of world champions Guillermo Jones, Wayne Braithwaite, Marco Huck, Kelvin Davis and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
WealthTV currently has a dozen additional professional bouts in the works for its subscribers, including the recently announced GYM "Fast & Furious" series in Canada and Hennessy Sports' "Next Generation" series from the United Kingdom.
WealthTV will begin airing undercard bouts live at 3 pm ET on Saturday, Sept. 8 from the Prudential Center. The live telecast is available nationally on Verizon FiOS TV, channels 169 and 669 in HD, AT&T U-Verse TV, channels 470 and 1470 in HD, along with more than 100 cable systems across the country.
August 15, 2012 - Universal Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions and Dibella Entertainment will be presenting 'Night of Champions', a card to be held on Friday, August 31 at the Guillermo Angulo Coliseum in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
In the co-feature bout, ambidextrous boxer, José 'Sniper' Pedraza (9-0, 6 KOs), will be facing off against José Valderrama (4-1, 2 KOs), in a fight scheduled for 8 rounds in the super-featherweight division (130lbs).
"I haven't seen anything from my opponent but I have complete confidence in my team and in all they have told me about him and I am sure we will be victorious" said Pedraza, who is trained by his father Luis Espada in Cidra, PR.
Valderrama's only loss was in a very close fight against fellow countryman, Kelvin Galarza last year in Ponce, PR.
Pedraza has been very active in his community. He helped paint the premises at the Abelardo Díaz Alfaro Elementary School. He also participated in a taco eating contest with other celebrities, where he shared nice moments with the young ones of the activity organized by the 'Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico' in conjunction with Taco Bell.
"When I was invited, I didn't know I had to eat tacos," said Pedraza. "But no worries, it was part of the deal so I stepped up and competed. We had a lot of fun. I ate four tacos, with the limit being ten".
About his upcoming bout with Valderrama, Pedraza ended saying, "You will see me planted in the ring, with my signature bounce, and throwing lots of punches".
'Night of Champions' will present the feature bout between WBC No.1 ranked contender at the welterweight division and hometown favorite, Thomas Dulorme (15-0, 12 KOs), who is going up against dangerous Colombian power puncher, Iván Hernández (29-3, 23 KOs) in a fight scheduled for 10-rounds.
Dulorme and Pedraza are part of "Team Puerto Rico", a collaboration between Gary Shaw Productions, DiBella Entertainment and Universal Promotions with the purpose of gathering the best talent in Puerto Rico.
First fight is set to start at 7:00pm. Tickets priced $20, $38, $53 are available through Ticket Center (www.tcpr.com), or by calling 787.792.5000.
KEY WEST, Fla. (August 14, 2012) - The "Conch" population increased last month when the City of Key West declared July 28, 2012, as "Randall Bailey Day," honoring local favorite Randall "The Knockout King" Bailey, the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) Welterweight World Champion.
Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs), a three-time, two division world champion, was coming off of a "Knockout of the Year" performance on June 9 over previously unbeaten Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBF title.
"It was a great, fun day," Bailey said. "It was quite an honor from the people of Key West. They acknowledged me as their champion. They've been behind me since I first fought there. It was a great feeling."
"Randall Bailey Day" celebrated the history of boxing in Key West, in general, as well as another pair of popular fighters in Key West, retired world champion Glenn "The Road Warrior" Johnson (unable to attend due to a prior commitment) and Sherman "Tank" Williams, the new World Boxing Organization (WBO) China & Asia Pacific heavyweight champion who is rated No. 12 by the WBO.
Bailey, Johnson and Williams are role models in Key West, where they always attend boxing shows and work with youth at the local Police Athletic League (PAL) facility, in addition to being an invaluable part of the community at large encouraging youngsters to gain respect for discipline and hard work.
Also honored were Bailey's manager, Si Stern, and his partner, Dave Johnson, who are largely responsible for bringing international boxing recognition to Key West. Stern and Johnson have made financial contributions to provide guests with hot dogs and hamburgers, and Coca-Cola and Budweiser donated beverages.
"Randall Bailey Day" festivities included a motorcade escort by two Key West police cars, two motorcycles and two mounted units. A Key West Fire Department pumper truck, 60-passenger Conch Train (donated by Historical Tours of America) for PAL participants and their families, plus additional vehicles for the honorees, were part of the escort. The Key West Rotary Club was a sponsor of this event and the convertible cars used in the motorcade were donated by Niles Automobile.
Local boxers such as Jimmy Bowman, Eddie Agin, Danny Van Staaden and others were also on hand for the celebration.
The festivities culminated at Truman Waterfront, where the honorees were presented with prestigious Honorary Conch status (as citizens of the Florida Keys), as well as an official proclamation that declared Saturday, July 28, 2012, as "Randall Bailey Day."
New York, NY/Foxborough, MA (8/13/12) -Last night before a raucous local crowd, Framingham welterweight Danny O'Connor scored a dominant fourth round TKO over Providence's Eddie Soto in the first live boxing event to be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The card, promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Ken Casey and the Drop Kick Murphys and Warriors Boxing, was staged immediately following the ending of the MLS Soccer game featuring the New England Revolution.
The atmosphere from the soccer game carried over and then some for the boxing event as thousands of fans packed the stadium concourse to watch the live action. O'Connor, thanks to new manager Ken Casey, the lead singer for the popular band Drop Kick Murphys, has begun to accrue somewhat of a rock star following known as the "O'Connor Clan" and they were in full force last night. As soon as O'Connor began his ring walk, the crowd went into a frenzy chanting his name to the beat of Irish drums.
O'Connor, who has been working with renowned trainer Ronnie Shields for his past four fights, wasted little time in showing that he was simply in a different class than the tough Soto.
O'Connor worked behind his jab and patiently stalked Soto around the ring, mixing in good combinations to both the body and head. The lessons he has learned from Shields are becoming more and more evident in each outing, as O'Connor is now sitting down on his shots and throwing punches with bad intentions.
Near the end of the first frame, a five-punch combination dropped Soto to the canvas and sent the O'Connor Clan into an uproar. Soto beat the count easily, but it was evident that he was going to be in for a tough night.
Rounds two and three saw more of the same, as O'Connor continued to systematically break down the Puerto Rican. In the fourth, O'Connor picked up the pressure and dropped Soto again, but this time he was in far worse condition. With the referee hovering over him and counting, Soto's corner mercifully threw in the towel, giving O'Connor the TKO victory at 1:09 of the fourth round. With the win, O'Connor improved his record to 18-1, 7 KO's.
O'Connor will quickly return to action on September 29, as part of the undercard to the DiBella Entertainment-promoted HBO "Boxing After Dark" tripleheader to be held at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Headlining the card is O'Connor stable-mate, Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KO's), who takes on fellow undefeated super middleweight Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KO's).
London, Great Britain, 12 August 2012 - Impressive and dominant from start to finish, Kazak Serik Sapiyev not only claimed the Olympic Welterweight (69kg) title, but has also been awarded the coveted Best Men's Boxer at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Val Barker Trophy) by the accredited media.
The southpaw, also a two-time AIBA World Champion (2005 and 2007), beat Great Britain Anthony Joshua to the award by a single vote (11 to 10). The Super Heavyweight Olympic Champion was then preceded by Ukrainian Lightweight (60kg) Vasyl Lomachenko (seven), Flyweight (52kg) gold medallist Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba and Ukrainian Heavyweight (91kg) Oleksandr Usyk (both five), Cuban Light Welterweight (64kg) Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo (three).
When he was told the news, the Kazak was overcome by emotion.
Sapiyev battled European Champion Freddie Evans of Great Britain for the Welterweight (69kg) title. The experienced Kazak threw a huge amount of jabs in the first with the Brit having to bide his time before looking to land with the straight one-two combination.
Good tight defences by the 21-year-old Evans allowed him to soak up some of the early pressure but Sapiyev was in all-action mode, continually throwing a lot of punches to take the first 4:2.
It was the same scenario in the second, with Sapiyev the aggressor, constantly unloading and not giving his rival a moment to find any kind of rhythm.
The young Brit was being outthought and outclassed by the soon-to-be APB boxer, who took the second 6:3. Evans had to go for broke in the third but his rival was moving better, faster and simply showed more determination. The British southpaw was devoid of ideas as 28-year-old Sapiyev dominated the final round to claim the gold medal with a resounding 17:9 victory.
After the bout he said: "I am very glad to be here and this victory is for the whole of Kazakhstan. I have been waiting for this moment for so long. In Beijing I lost in the quarter-finals but was resolute as my attention immediately turned to these next Olympics."
BIG BEAR, CA (August 13, 2012) From his training camp in Big Bear, California, WBA/IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin watched with great interest as the Kazakhstan Boxing Team won four medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
‘It’s a huge accomplishment for these amateurs and I’m very proud of their efforts and success at the Olympics” said Golovkin, a 2004 Silver Medalist of Kazakhstan.
Winning a Gold Medal in the welterweight division was Serik Sapyiev with a Silver Medal being awarded to Adilbek Niyazmbetov in the light heavyweight class.
Also for the Kazakhstan Boxing Team, Bronze Medals were presented to Super Heavyweight Ivan Dychko and women’s Middleweight Marina Volnova.
Continued Golovkin, “As it was for me, I’m sure this is a special time for these boxers. I look forward to watching them continue their careers either as amateurs or professionals.”
Golovkin, 23-0-0 (20KO’s), is preparing for the world title defense of his WBA Middleweight Championship on Saturday, September 1st against #3 WBA ranked and European Champion Grzegorz Proksa at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
The Golovkin/Proksa clash will serve as the main event on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, 9:45 ET/PT.
Friday August 17 is another great night of live boxing on the Boxing Channel, free streaming of the NABA Light-Heavyweight Title match between Canadian Nicholson "Beezie" Poulard and Estonian "Anton Sjomkin" at the Holiday Inn Pointe-Claire starting at 7PM EST and promoted by Eye of the Tiger Management.
Poulard comes in from a big win over previously undefeated Lionell Thompson, Poulard is looking to continue to climb up the world rankings in the Light-Heavyweight division and if the Laval native is victorious in this bout he expects to land another major fight in November.
Free Live Boxing, Aug 17
Undefeated Light -weight Ghislain Maduma will be facing Mexican Pedro Navarrete in the co-main event, this will be a good test for Meduma who, in his first 10 round fight, will be up against an experienced fighter and a true warrior.
The live webcast will provide seven bouts in total, and will include the professional debut of the newest member of Eye of the Tiger Management's team Mian Hussain, who is considered one of the most promising prospects in the world. Other fights include, Chris Plaitis, Baha Laham and Ahmad Cheihko, an explosive fighter who delivers exciting bouts.
Tune in to BoxingChannel.tv on Friday, August 17 and enjoy great live boxing for free!
Top Rank officially announced today what was speculated by many over the past few weeks: Nonito Donaire will face fellow junior featherweight titlist Toshiaki Nishioka Saturday, October 13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The co-feature of the evening will feature former world lightweight titlist Brandon Rios against Mike Alvarado in a battle of unbeatens. Both fights will be televised on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
"History shows there is only one way for a fighter to make the leap to stardom and that’s by accepting the challenges and risks like the ones Donaire, Nishioka, Rios and Alvarado committed to on October 13. They are young, hungry and ambitious," said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank through a press release.
Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) is a fast rising pound-for-pound talent riding an 11-year, 28-bout winning streak. Perhaps even more impressive than the number of wins he’s accumulated during that time, though, are the types of fights he continues to challenge himself with. Donaire has defeated the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Fernando Montiel, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., and Jeffrey Mathebula while laying claim to three world titles along the way in as many weight divisions.
Ten of Donaire’s last 13 victories have come by way of knockout despite the fact he’s moved from flyweight to super bantam. Now, the ambitious fighter from the Philippines will turn his attention towards perhaps his toughest challenge to date.
Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs), of Hyogo, Japan, enters this fight riding his own impressive win streak. The veteran champion has won 16 bouts in a row over the last eight years. He’s been a champion in the 122-pound division since 2008 (WBC). His last bout was unanimous decision win over Rafael Marquez. While not a household name, hardcore fight fans recognize Nishioka as one of top fighters in the sport.
Donaire vs. Nishioka is the kind of fight boxing doesn’t get much of these days, where a name fighter like Donaire chooses to pit himself against the toughest competition available.
Meanwhile, Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado promises to be a solid fight for however long it lasts. Both fighters are known for rough-and-tough action, and both will want to continue their winning ways. While many fight fans thought Rios got a gift when he defeated Richard Abril by split decision earlier this year, his record remains officially unblemished and (like it or not) he’s more marketable because of it.
Alvarado will be taking a step up in class in this fight. His most notable wins include names like Breidis Prescott, Ray Narh, Emmanuel Clottey and Cesar Bazan. Alvarado defeated the previously unbeaten Mauricio Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision in his last fight. A win over Rios would solidify the 32-year-old late bloomer (he began boxing at age 20) as someone to be reckoned with in the junior welterweight division.
Do these fights move the dial for our TSS readers? Who do you like in each fight?