The 35-year-old Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs), of Tokyo, scored his 16th-straight victory with a unanimous decision over former two-division titleholder Rafael Marquez (40-7, 36 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I think that Nishioka showed that he’s a very strong fighter and very awkward. He’s a tough out,” said Arum.
“He showed that he could be a crowd-pleaser, particularly when he started banging away. I think that he proved that he can be very exciting.”
Nishioka has not lost since dropping a unanimous decision to former WBC bantamweight beltholder and Thai legend Veeraphol Sahaprom in March of 2004 — a span of seven years and six months.
He is also the last man to defeat WBC featherweight titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez (50-7, 44 KOs) in May of 2009, a fight in which Nishioka rose from a first-round knockdown and then floored Gonzalez in the third to score a knockout.
A resident of San Leandro, Calif., who moved there from the Philippines when he was 11, the 28-year-old Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) scored his 25th straight win with a second-round knockout of three-division beltwinner Fernando Montiel (46-3-2, 36 KOs) in February.
Donaire will defend his belts against WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez (35-0, 23 KOs) at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Oct. 22 .
Donaire also has mentioned potential bouts with the winner of an IBF-ordered bantamweight rematch between Abner Mares (22-0-1, 13 KOs) and Joseph Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) that is slated for Dec. 3, but Arum said that Donaire’s clash with Narvaez could be his last as a 118-pounder.
“Nishioka’s going to fight Donaire, but he’s not going to fight him before May or June. Donaire has a fight on Oct. 22,” said Arum. “And then he’ll have another fight sometime early next year. But next year, it will not be a fight at bantamweight. It will be at 122.”
Donaire could not be reached. But during an interview with RingTV.com on Sept. 1, Donaire admitted that he gains a tremendous amount of weight between fights.
“After I rest for six months, I’m blowing up to about 145, and I’m not even fat or anything,” said Donaire. “So I really am losing a lot of weight to get back down to 118.”
With a victory over Narvaez, Arum said Donaire would likely pursue a shot at WBO junior featherweight beltholder Jorge Arce (58-6-1, 44 KOs), who defended his belt with a fourth-round stoppage of Simphiwe Nongqayi (16-2-1, 6 KOs).
The 32-year-old Arce is 6-0-1 with five knockouts since last suffering defeat, that loss being against Nongqayi by unanimous decision in Sept. of 2009.
Arce was coming off a 12th-round knockout of then-WBO beltholder Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (20-1-1, 17 KOs), ending the 27-year-old’s run of six straight stoppages, in May.
WILL MIKE JONES GET A SHOT AT ANDRE BERTO?
The 28-year-old Jones (25-0, 19 KOs) will meet the 31-year-old Lujan (38-5-2, 24 KOs) on the undercard of the rematch between WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) and Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) on Dec. 3 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The 28-year-old Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) is coming off of a fifth-round knockout of Jan Zaveck (31-2, 18 KOs) on Sept. 3 as he rebounded from the unanimous decision loss of his WBC title to Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) in April.
“They’re two good fighters in a tough fight. It absolutely adds to the marquee value of the fight. So that’s terrific. That adds to the importance of the fight, absolutely,” said Arum.
“It also enables the winner of the fight to fight for the title, and I compliment the IBF for doing that.”
Berto is promoted by Lou DiBella, with whom Arum has differed recently regarding the potential for RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs), promoted by DiBella, to face RING/WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), promoted by Arum, at a catchweight of 150 pounds.
“[The disagreement] is bulls–t. I like Lou,” said Arum.
“So that wouldn’t hurt the chances of making the fight [between Berto and the winner of Jones vs. Lujan], because if for any reason they refused to do it, then we would go to purse bid.”
Lujan has won 12 straight fights, including six stoppages, with one of them being a ninth-round knockout of Mark Melligan in his last fight in July.
Ranked third by the IBF, Jones is coming off a second-round knockout of Raul Munoz, which was accomplished in June before his hometown fans at the South Philly Arena.
Prior to that, Jones battled to consecutive victories over Jesus Soto Karass in February and June.
“I think that [Berto] is a great fighter, but then again, I think that I can beat him. He looked pretty good in his last fight,” said Jones in an interview with RingTV.com last month.
“My way of looking at it is that Andre Berto’s got the belt, but all that he’s doing is just holding it for me like everybody else. When I get my shot, I’m going to take it.
Jones is no stranger to having fought on big cards, winning on the undercards of Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Margarito in November, and Nonito Donaire’s second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel in February.
“This is a big-time opportunity, because I’m finally fighting somebody who is in the top 10, so that’s what I’ve been calling for. I want to fight the best in the world and to show my skills against them,” said Jones.
“I want to fight the best out there. This is my chance to show people that I can handle these guys and that I can be dominating against them.”
ROBERT GUERRERO SUPPORTS CANCER RESEARCH
Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) chose in March of last year to pull out of a scheduled clash with Michael Katsidis (28-4, 23 KOs) in order to be with wife Casey Guerrero during a bone marrow transplant that was part of her leukemia treatment.
The fighter has been an ardent supporter of cancer research and patient support, and, as such, has worked closely with Light The Night Walk, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising walk, to which donations can be made by clicking here.
Guerrero’s devotion to his wife and family were recognized when he received The Bill Crawford Award for Courage In The Face of Adversity from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Assured that Casey’s cancer was in remission, Guerrero returned to the ring with an eighth-round knockout of Roberto David Arrieta in April of last year.
But last month, the 28-year-old Guerrero received arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn tendon in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder that will prevent him from fighting for six months.
A winner of five belts over three weight divisions, Guerrero had been preparing to face Marcos Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) for what the WBA calls its “regular” title on Aug. 27, but had to pull out after he injured the shoulder throwing a punch during sparring.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com