The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, David Price And Adonis Stevenson

It’s here, it’s finally here. Not just a full week of boxing, but one of the best cards of the year, an HBO doubleheader featuring junior featherweights Nonito Donaire and Toshiaki Nishioka as well as junior welterweights Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; Wealth TV is showing two (two!) cards, the better of which is headlined by a potentially explosive super middleweight match up between Adonis Stevenson and Don George. There’s much more besides, most of which figures to better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick, or a poke in the groin with a picnic table.

  • Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka, Saturday, HBO, Carson Calif. As always round these parts, TQBR founder Tim Starks will apply his dry wit and boxing smarts to a larger preview of the week’s marquee fights a bit later. My quick analysis would be that Nishioka (39-4-3) may struggle with Filipino phenom Donaire (29-1). In his last fight, just over a year ago, the Tokyo southpaw struggled with the angles, jab and right hand of a somewhat faded Rafael Marquez. A southpaw really shouldn’t eat jabs like Nishioka does, so a motivated, jabbing Donaire may be able to put on one of his trademark explosive performances. The fight that has everyone excited is the first bout of the telecast, a fight that many have already tagged as the Fight of the Year, between brawlers Mike Alvarado (33-0) and Brandon Rios (30-0-1). I don’t see a collision between these two as being anything other than a spectacular brawl in a phone booth. Rios is more proven against elite fighters, but his propensity to blow up between fights can’t be good for his career longevity. I don’t think either man has a significant advantage in defensive or offensive skills, so will and condition may be the deciding factor. Both men will give and take as much as they can, but I’ll go with Denver’s Alvarado either by jaw dropping, how-did-they-make-it-this-far decision or late stoppage.
  • Adonis Stevenson vs. Don George, Friday, Wealth TV, Montreal. This fight has been scheduled and re-scheduled so many times that it’s hard to believe it’s actually happening this weekend. There must be something in the water in Quebec, they seem to produce punchers like Stevenson (18-1) with regularity. Chicago’s Don George (23-2-1) wasn’t blessed with the fistic dynamite of “Superman,” but he does have a certain hard scrabble tenacity. “Da Bomb” isn’t much for punch avoidance, which could spell his doom against the Haitian-Canadian. This fight should reveal whether Stevenson, with 20 KOs to his name, is over-hyped or the real deal. On the undercard, fellow hard punching Quebecois prospect David Lemieux (26-2) looks to continue the rebuilding process after two embarrassing losses, facing Mexico’s Alvaro Gaona (11-1).
  • David Price vs. Audley Harrison, Saturday, Wealth TV, Liverpool. Let’s not drink the Kool-Aid, this heavyweight bout isn’t going to be competitive. Sydney gold medallist Audley Harrison (28-5) is known as “Fraudley” in England and is coming off a fraidy-cat performance against David Haye. Despite all Audley’s talk, Price (13-0), the bronze medallist from Beijing, will punch holes in him. The undercard is a festival of British titles, with the junior welterweight, cruiserweight and flyweight straps going on the line.
  • The Rest. Russian heavyweight Dennis Boystov (31-0) faces Konstantin Airich (23-7-2) in Hamburg on Friday. He could probably do better… On Showtime, also Friday, lightweight Jose Pedraza (10-0) moves up the ladder of gatekeepers one step further against Tevin Farmer (7-3-1). Undefeated middleweights Jonathan Cepeda (12-0) and Lamar Russ (10-0) will open the broadcast… Saturday brings a lightweight bout on TeleFutura between Jeffrey Fontanez (8-0) and John Nater (11-3) from Puerto Rico… There’s another British Olympic gold medalist in action Saturday, super middleweight James De Gale(12-1), up against Hadillah Mohoumadi (13-2-1) of France.