Nonito Donaire is hoping to face the Nishioka vs Marquez winner at 122 pounds next year. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Nonito Donaire fights next on October 22, but he'll be a highly-interested observer of the October 1 fight between Toshiaki Nishioka and Rafael Marquez, as he expects to face the winner early next year. From Keith Idec:
"I want the best out there and that’s one thing [Top Rank is] going to deliver, the best out there. They’re starting off after this fight with the winner of Marquez-Nishioka. Depending on how I do with the 122 guys, I might move up to 126 and you’ve got Gamboa, JuanMa and all those other guys."
One thing worth noting is that Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez are both setting plans to move up to at least 130 pounds soon. Gamboa said after his win over Daniel Ponce de Leon on September 10 that he'd be moving up, and even went so far as to call out Manny Pacquiao, which was politely declined by Pacquiao. And Lopez, who also fights on October 1 in Puerto Rico against Mike Oliver, wants to rematch Orlando Salido next year and then move up in weight, perhaps chasing a fight with Gamboa.
Nishioka (38-4-3, 24 KO) is widely-considered to be the best 122-pounder in the sport today, and will defend his WBC belt against former legit division champ Marquez (40-6, 36 KO) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight is going to be televised by Fox Sports Net and Fox Deportes in the United States.
Meanwhile, Donaire (26-1, 18 KO) faces Omar Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KO) on HBO three weeks later in a matchup between the world's best bantamweight and arguably the top super flyweight in the sport today. Talk of Donaire moving up as high as featherweight has been floating around for months, and the wheels are already in motion to take him up the ladder, as promoter Bob Arum and boxing fans are both highly interested in a potential Gamboa vs Donaire fight.