Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. (29-1, 18 KO) may be the favorite in his bout with Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KO), but the Japanese boxer can't be underestimated in this fight.
Flash, no doubt, has an advantage in many aspects of this matchup.
First of all, Flash is the younger of the two fighters at age 29 and is in the middle of his physical prime. On the other hand, Nishioka is in the twilight years of his career at the tender age of 36 years old.
That fact alone could give Donaire Jr. the advantage in the energy department as the fight gets into the later rounds.
Conditioning could also be a factor that hinders Nishioka's chances in this fight.
The 36-year-old hasn't been in a ring in a little over a year after an impressive victory over Rafael Marquez. Meanwhile, Flash has fought two bouts this year with his last coming back in July with a unamimous decision win over Jeffrey Mathebula.
Flash also figures to have the edge in both the power and overall skill categories.
Despite all that, Nishioka comes into this fight having won 13 of his last 14 fights and where he lacks in other important categories; he does have the edge in experience with almost double the amount of fights that Donaire Jr. has taken part in.
Not to mention, Nishioka is no stranger to long bouts, so an anticipated 12-round bout with Donaire Jr. is nothing the Japanese boxer can't handle. Nishioka is a gritty battler, so don't expect him to mail it in during this fight. If Flash wants to end this bout before a decision, Nishioka will make him earn it.
But, you can be rest assured that Nishioka will not punch himself out of this fight, and instead, he will be the clever fighter he has always been and wait for the more aggressive Donaire Jr. to tire himself out. It just remains to be seen if Nishioka can ward off his opponent long enough to make that happen.
Nishioka doesn't lack power either, as proven by his 24 career knockouts.
On paper, everything favors Flash, but Nishioka's experience and intelligence in the ring will make him a very formidable opponent who can't be brushed aside by any means.