Donaire strong contender for Fighter of the Year

 With his successful unification of 122-pound titles from two major sanctioning bodies, Nonito Donaire Jr. is touted to be one of the front runners for the Fighter of the Year plum.

“With 2012 not quite two-thirds of the way through — and with major boxing action not set to resume until September — one favorite for 'Fighter of the Year' for the moment is Nonito Donaire,” said Boxing Scene’s David Greisman
Following his so-so performance against Omar Andres Narvaez last October, Donaire kicked off his super bantamweight campaign with a World Boxing Organization (WBO) title win over former titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in February.

Five months later, Donaire nabbed his second title in the super bantamweight division by taking a unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title.

But Greisman said Donaire will need a decisive win against the top 122-pound boxer to make a very strong case for the Fighter of the Year award.

He said Donaire will need to beat Toshiaki Nishioka.

“Toshiaki Nishioka is rated No. 1 by The Ring magazine, No. 1 by and No. 2 by,” said Greisman. “Nishioka has not suffered a defeat in more than eight years.”

A victory over Nishioka could see Donaire cap off year 2012 with his biggest win, said Greisman.
Donaire is scheduled to meet Nishioka on October 13.

Aside from the Filipino Flash's WBO and IBF titles, also at stake in the fight are the RING Magazine and the WBC Diamond titles.

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