Donaire upends Nishioka in nine, while Rios gets dramatic TKO 7 over Alvarado

By Nick Bellafatto, Ringside

Piling up the points as the slightly busier fighter all night long in a bout that in comparison to an epic co-main event drew mainly boo’s from the capacity crowd at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California last night, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (30-1, 19 KO’s) would finally awaken those in attendance by dropping his defensively tight and conservative opponent in former WBC junior featherweight champion and Ring Magazine number 1 ranked 122 pounder Toshiaki Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KO’s) of Tokyo, Japan.

Getting to the Japanese fighter in the sixth, Nonito would deposit Toshiaki with a sneaky left uppercut for a 10-8 round. Fast forward to round number nine and “The Filipino Flash” would drop Nishioka for a second time, the result of a straight right hand off the ropes, finally finishing his adversary with yet another left uppercut in that same frame which would prompt referee Raul Caiz Sr. to call a halt, although somewhat prematurely. The official time was 1:54.

With the win the pound-for-pound prizefighter and San Mateo, California resident successfully defends both his IBF and WBO junior featherweight titles, while in addition Nonito picks up the vacant WBC Diamond Belt which puts him in line to face the winner of Mares-Moreno set for November 10th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles should either fighter want anything to do with Donaire.

And if by chance the man who considers himself a “surgeon” that dissects his opponents apart cannot find a willing dance partner in the junior featherweight ranks, referring to WBA 122 pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux as someone he cannot get up for due to his boring and at times ultra conservative style, the “Filipino Flash” has already alluded to moving up to featherweight rather than continue on in a division he has astonishingly come close to cleaning out in so relatively few fights. Time will tell.

Rios takes a licking and keeps on ticking

In an instant classic between undefeated fighter’s, former WBA lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-0-1, 23 KO’s) of Oxnard, California would successfully debut at junior welterweight in a big way, knocking off “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KO’s) to hand the bigger, stronger looking Denver, Colorado native his first professional loss.

Closing the show at 1:57 of round 7 starting with an uncharacteristic looping right hand that would wobble “Mile High” Mike, Rios would seize the moment by immediately following up with additional smashing right hands to the head and jaw, finishing his unresponsive foe with two left hooks while on the ropes which would cause referee Pat Russell to intervene on behalf of the seemingly out of sorts Alvarado.

At the time of the stoppage two judges would have the score even, with another judge having Rios in front, contrary to what most pundits at ringside would have which was Mike Alvarado ahead 4-2 in rounds. Alvarado simply landed the visibly more appealing shots at a higher clip, getting the slightly better of it both inside and out until the fateful moment in the seventh in what turned out to be final stanza.

With what looked to be “Mile High” Mike’s ticket to victory, working behind a successful jab from time to time that would leave his one dimensional brawler counterpart stifled, it would ironically be a lazy jab over which Rios would counter to begin Alvarado’s downfall.

Taking a licking while dishing out his own form of retribution whenever possible, “Bam Bam’s” tenacity and sheer will to win would finally paid dividends in this two way battle that kept fight fans riveted. The end result would see Rios garner the vacant WBO Latino junior welterweight belt in a bout considered a WBO title eliminator.

As to the future, a rematch involving Alvarado would be more than a welcome prospect as well as an event fight fans would have no problem shelling out hard earned dollars for. However, it’s been alluded to that Rios could very well face the winner of Maquez-Pacquiao IV first which is scheduled for early December.

Whatever path the one dimensional and yet undefeated brawler pursues, it’s that one dimension that’s sure to excite those in attendance as Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, arguably the best slugger in the game, will no doubt leave it all in the ring.


To open the action this Saturday at the Home Depot Center on the undercard of Nonito Donaire versus Toshiaki Nishioka, undefeated super featherweight Saul Rodriguez (6-0-1, 5 KO’s) of Riverside, California would clash heads during the second round of a scheduled four-rounder with opponent Cesar Garcia (6-12-2, 1 KO) of Ensenada, Mexico. As a result, the referee in consultation with the ringside physician would waive the bout off in between rounds 2 and 3 due to Garcia not being able to continue, rendering matters a technical draw.

In the second bout of the evening after four rounds of action at super middleweight, Ron Ellis (4-0, 3 KO’s) of Miami, Florida did more in each of the frames, landing the harder shots to garner a unanimous decision verdict by scores of 40-36 all the way around. In the process Ellis would maintain his unblemished record while sending counterpart Katrell Straus (2-3, 1 KO) of Denver, Colorado to certain defeat.

One minute, forty seconds of the first round is all it took for Chicago native and undefeated light heavyweight Trevor McCumby, (7-0, 7 KO’s) to dispatch his overmatched and out of shape opponent Eliseo Durazo of Agua Prieta, Mexico (4-4, 1 KO) in this scheduled four round attraction. Durazo who would taste the canvass from a left hook just seconds into the bout, would then permanently succumb moments later from a crashing right hand which would prompt the referee to call an immediate halt.

Action from the opening bell in bout four would see Oxnard, California lightweight Javier Garcia (8-2-2, 7 KO’s) drop Garden Grove, California opponent Jose Roman (14-0-1, 11 KO’s) with a big left hook after a fierce toe to toe first round. Resuming action a close quarters, Roman would turn the tables in round 2, dropping Garcia with a big right. Round 3 would witness Roman put in the better work to edge Garcia yet again, causing a cut with a solid right hand.

That cut, which in no way appeared significant enough to have the action halted, nevertheless would prompt a premature ending at the conclusion of three complete rounds culminating in another technical draw. In essence, it looked as though Team Garcia had bailed out, perhaps depriving a surging Roman of the potential victory.

Over the course of seven rounds, undefeated super lightweight Jose Benavidez Jr. (17-0, 13 KO’s) of Phoenix, Arizona looked to be on cruise control over opponent Pavel Miranda (19-8-1, 10 KO’s) of Tijuana, Mexico, controlling range and distance with a solid left jab which would set up an assortment of other intermittent blows.

However, in the eighth and final round Miranda would make it interesting, waking a complacent crowd by sending Benavidez Jr. to the canvass with a solid left hook, a blow ironically not called a knockdown. Hanging on for life, Miranda would run out of time in the scheduled eight round feature so that Benavidez would earn a unanimous decision victory by scores of 79-73 all the way around.

Featherweight Evgeny Gradovich (13-0, 7 KO’s), known as the “Mexican Russian” fighting out of Oxnard, California, would face an experienced journeyman level fighter in Jose Angel Beranza (35-24-2, 27 KO’s) of Mexico City, Mexico, who would extend the evidently transplanted Russian fighter with constant movement so as to avoid solid contact for the most part.

As the bout progressed however, blows by each man began to find their destination, although the ever pressing Gradovich would land a bit more prevalently in each of the rounds to garner the unanimous decision verdict by scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72 in this eight-round contest.

Junior featherweight “Vicious” Victor Pasillas (3-0, 1 KO) of East Los Angeles, California would pound out a four round unanimous decision over Jazzma Hogue (2-3-1) of Farmington, New Mexico by scores of 40-35 all around.

Photos: Rafael Soto

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