The Neutral Corner

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Rios, Donaire headline HBO double header

Nonito Donaire reacts after being declared the winner

Nonito Donaire reacts after being declared the winner by technical knockout over Fernando Montiel to win the WBO and WBC bantamweight title fight in Las Vegas. (Feb. 19, 2011) (Credit: AP)

Saturday night at the should prove to be a big one for HBO as the network will feature several of the most exciting boxers in the business.

Brandon Rios (30-1-21 KOs) will take on Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round junior welterweight bout at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca. on HBO's Championship Boxing.

Both fighters appear poised to be ready for the next step, but both took the high road when speaking about their opponent in a recent conference call with reporters.

I’m thinking in my mind that Brandon is training the best he can. He hasn’t made weight in his past couple fights, but now he is moving up in weight and fighting somebody bigger and stronger,” said Alvarado. “I am sure his nutrition is good and he is having a great camp. That makes me more humble and more focused to be ready.

As for Rios, the former WBA lightweight champ, he isn’t taking Alvarado lightly.

Said Rios: “This is going to be a tough fight. Alvarado is a tough jr. welterweight. Our styles are similar. He likes to come forward and I like to come forward. I don’t like to play a chess game. I like to go in and handle business and he likes to do that too. It’s going to be one helluva fight. The fans are going to love it and I’m going to come out victorious in this one.”

Rios and Alvarado is just one fight on the card. Boxing fans will be treated to a second great matchup on the undercard as WBO and IBF junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) will take on Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs). Donaire (pictured) comes into the bout riding an 11-year, 28-bout winning streak and Nishioka has a 16-bout winning streak.

Nishioka hasn’t fought since October 1, 2011, but Donaire isn’t convinced the native of Japan is any less dangerous.

“I think that being older and being a veteran, their record is never as bad as it is. We have been training really hard for this fight [and] we don’t want to take any chances at all,” said Donaire. “I believe when we are at this level and at this age and even if he hasn’t fought in a while he can be very dangerous.”
 

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