MANILA, Philippines – Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. knows he will be having a smart and calculated fight against Japanese champion Toshiaki Nishioka in California this Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
But if the opportunity presents itself, Donaire said he will go for the knockout.
“Kung makuha ko ‘yung knockout, kukunin ko ang knockout,” said Donaire, the unified World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantam king.
The Filipino Flash is aware that he will be having a tough fight against Nishioka, who is dubbed as the “Speed King” of Japan.
Donaire said that just like him, Nishioka is capable of knocking out foes with just one punch.
“He has a good straight power punch and it’s really clear he can knock people out with that straight [let] punch,” said the Filipino.
He said this is why he needs to stalk Nishioka first before going for the kill.
“Hindi kami nagpipilit, a win is the most important for me, for this fight,” said Donaire.
Aside from Donaire’s WBO and IBF title straps, also at stake in the 12-rounder are the World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond belt and the RING Magazine super bantamweight title.
Nishioka, the WBC emeritus champion, said a victory against Donaire will be his key to enter the pound-for-pound rankings.
“Donaire is pound-for-pound No. 5,” he told RingTV. “If I beat him that brings me to that position."
However, he admitted that Donaire’s fighting style will be difficult to handle.
But the Japanese champion said he is prepared to make adjustments.
“I’m mainly a boxer. I adjust in my fights no matter what my opponents do, [whether they are] aggressive or box,” said Nishioka.
The 29-year-old Donaire has a slight advantage in speed and power.
What could affect the fight’s outcome is Nishioka’s age (36) and his 1-year lay off from the ring.
But Nishioka is confident that he moves and acts in the ring younger than his age.
“You got my age wrong by 10 years. I don’t feel any decline or whatsoever in myself at all. If I did, I would’ve quit by now,” he was earlier quoted as saying.
The fight will serve as the main event of the fight card that takes place at the Home Depot in Carson City.
It will be aired locally on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum expects a chess match fight between the two boxers.
“It will be a really good technical fight, with a lot of action,” said the veteran promoter. -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News