Tonight at 10 pm ET, HBO brings a doubleheader from Carson, California, one of the most anticipated and well-matched fight cards of 2012, featuring Nonito Donaire against Toshiaki Nishioka in the super bantamweight main event, and a junior welterweight clash between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado.
Donaire (29-1 ,18 KO) and Nishioka (39-4-3-, 23 KO) are considered the top two super bantamweights in the world (reverse order) in most rankings. The 36-year-old Japanese star Nishioka has been at or on top of the 122-pound weight class for years now, but hasn't fought in a full year, last beating Mexican veteran Rafael Marquez in Las Vegas last October.
Donaire, meanwhile, has two quality wins this year of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Jeffrey Mathebula, and is considered the pretty heavy favorite. But it's hard to count out someone as good and experienced as Nishioka.
While the main event could be more a technical marvel, the co-feature is all about blood, guts, and action. Rios (30-0-1, 22 KO) is a former lightweight titlist moving up, overdue, to 140 pounds. He made weight yesterday, and while it may have come with a sigh of relief, he looked much more like his old self at the weigh-in than his last two trips to the scales, where he missed 135 pounds both times and appeared half-dead.
Alvarado (32-0, 23 KO) is a double-tough brawler, just like Rios, with a bit more urgent a time frame to get his career really rolling toward big fights, as he's 32 and has given away some valuable years of his career to outside problems and distractions. Focused now, he's on a good run and looking to really make his mark tonight.
There's not much more to say. This is a can't-miss show for boxing fans of any level, from the extremely casual to the insanely dedicated. Join us tonight!