By Chris Robinson
On Monday evening, IBF/WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire made an appearance on the popular ‘ATG (All-Time Great) Radio Show’, where he joined myself and several other boxing personalities for a round-robin style interview ahead of his October 13th HBO-scheduled bout with Toshiaki Nishioka.
Donaire discussed several topics during his 20-plus minutes on the show, including the danger of Nishioka, his training at Undisputed in the Bay Area of California, his thoughts on future fights with the likes of Adrien Broner and Yuriorkis Gamboa, and much more.
Before his time had finished, the 29-year old Donaire was asked for his take on the December 8th encounter between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, as the two rivals are set to face off for a fourth time inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Coming off of a highly-controversial split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley on June 9th in which he eased off the gas pedal over the second half of the fight, Pacquiao is in desperate need of a commanding performance that will restore some luster to his still-prominent career.
“We’ve seen Manny slow down a little bit,” Donaire would admit. “Maybe this will inspire him to prove [himself].
“I think that whoever wins this convincingly, is most likely the better fighter overall. Even though Manny has won the majority of it,” said Donaire of Pacquiao, who has a 2-0-1 record against Marquez despite each fight being extremely close in reality.
Without wanting to make an official prediction, you can tell that Donaire seems to give the edge to his countryman Pacquiao, who hails from General Santos City in the Philippines.
“For me, I’m always going to go with somebody who has that advantage,” Donaire clarified. “And I think that Manny, who has speed and his power, and if he can push it, I think that he’s going to win the fight. I think if Manny can bring in his speed and be smart about it like he has in the beginning; just that sheer, raw talent that he has, that raw energy that he has, I think that he can overwhelm Marquez.”
Sound logic but history has proven that it’s always a struggle on both sides when Pacquiao and Marquez meet and that fact is something that Donaire doesn’t take lightly.
“But again, Marquez already has his number," said Donaire. “Both fighters know each other well. It might look to be the same type of fight to me. Unless somebody has a different idea heading into this fight, I think it’s going to be a close fight.