By Chris Robinson
Nonito Donaire scored a commanding victory this past weekend in Carson, California, as he stopped brave former champion Toshiaki Nishioka inside of nine one-sided rounds. The action may have started slow, but Donaire’s eye-catching knockdowns in the sixth and ninth rounds helped to put an exclamation point on his showcase.
Taking in the contest from ringside, where he was calling the bout for TV Azteca, former three-division champion Marco Antonio Barrera spoke on the 29-year old Donaire’s performance.
“Nonito Donaire looked very good,” Barrera revealed. “He moved very fast. Nishioka [didn’t] want to throw punches. It was a very good [win] for Nonito Donaire.”
In the wake of Donaire’s dominance over Nishioka, people have started to look at his standing on the sport’s pound for pound ladder, some even hinting that he is now near the same level as his Filipino countryman and eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao.
Barrera knows Pacquiao very well, having twice lost to him, in November of 2003 and October of 2007. And despite never finding a way to break through on Pacquiao during their 22-plus rounds in the ring together, it is actually the ability of Donaire whom Barrera seems to prefer.
“They are different in style,” Barrera admitted. “Nonito Donaire, he’s more intelligent. Manny Pacquiao, he throws punches all the time but I like Nonito Donaire [more].”
Barrera is known best to fans for being a calculated assassin in the ring, one who got into his share of brawls in his day. The Mexico City native left us with fond memories from his duels with Kennedy McKinney, Junior Jones, Erik Morales, Rocky Juarez, Prince Naseem Hamed and others over the years.
Barrera also had to enjoy the HBO co-feature on Saturday night, as Brandon Rios outslugged Denver, Colorado’s Mike Alvarado on his way towards a 7th round TKO victory in a tremendous firefight.
“Great fight,” Barrera would say without hesitation. “Brandon Rios, he’s a warrior. He has a big heart. To me, it’s the fight of the year.”