That is the question…that will be answered on HBO’s exciting fight card this evening. First, the highly anticipated clash between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado has been hailed by many reputable analysts as a potential fight of the year candidate. Adding to the drama of the contest, the two fighters are close friends outside the ring, and each has an offense-first style that almost guarantees good boxing. So will it be the epic clash everyone expects or just a competitive fight? I’m predicting a hell of a fight but not much of an elevation in stature for either fighter because neither one is a household name yet.
In the main event, superstar prospect Nonito Donaire will face the formidable Toshiaki Nishioka and attempt to prove once again that his talent and skill are enough to overwhelm even much heavier fighters with good records of their own. Donaire’s meteoric rise has to slow at some point but I believe his approach and his acknowledgement of the challenges he faces to be his biggest strengths, possibly enough to keep him in the pound-for-pound lists for the foreseeable future. Saying of his last three bouts that he knew the public expected sensational knockouts, Donaire asserts that the quality of his opposition more than accounts for his less than resounding success. Moving up in weight, Pacquiao has been able to more violently dominate his opponents but has usually found catchweights and other loopholes of which he can take advantage. Also, Pacquiao had plenty of trouble with strong, technically sound guys at his own weight, like Marquez and Bradley. Donaire is still under the microscope tonight with the boxing world examining every flaw to try to expose some tragic weakness. So far they haven’t showed. So far, he’s still the Pacquiao of the Filipino future of boxing. In this case at least, I anticipate Donaire’s expectations will come to be a reality, and his success should continue until he makes too ambitious a jump in weight. Tonight could be the night, but so far for Donaire, boxing is more of a Comedy/History than a Romance/Tragedy.