Nonito Donaire won THE RING’s vacant junior featherweight championship with his 9th-round stoppage of Toshiaki Nishioka on Saturday.
The highly regarded Japanese veteran, who was THE RING’s No. 1 rated 122 pounder going into the anticipated showdown, never seemed to be in the fight due to his cautious lack of aggression. Donaire, the magazine’s No. 3-rated junior featherweight last week, took advantage of Nishioka’s style and completely dominated the fight from the opening bell.
The question that needs to be answered is when will Donaire fight Guillermo Rigondeaux, the undefeated 122-pound beltholder who assumed THE RING’s No. 1 ranking in the wake of Nishioka’s loss?
This is a fight that needs to happen sooner rather than later in order to test each of these warriors.
Brandon Rios took over the No. 5 position in THE RING’s junior welterweight rankings after halting previously undefeated Mike Alvarado in the seventh round of a Fight-of-the-Year candidate.
Based on his valiant performance against Rios, especially in the later rounds, Alvarado was only dropped three places in THE RING’s ratings, from No. 5 to No. 8.
Rios prevailed a brutal give-and-take fight, making up for his controversial split decision over Richard Abril in his previous fight.
There were no changes in THE RING’s ratings in the following divisions:
Heavyweight, light heavyweight, cruiserweight, middleweight, junior middleweight, welterweight, junior welterweight, junior lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight, junior bantamweight and flyweight.
Super middleweight: Adonis Stevenson and Edwin Rodriguez were reversed of each other’s rankings. Stevenson is now No. 9. Rodriguez is now No. 10.
Jr. Welterweight: addressed above.
Junior featherweight: Nishioka was dropped to No. 3.
Junior flyweight: Armando Torres was dropped from the rankings and replaced with Odilon Zaleta, who stopped Torres the 12th round of their fight last Friday, at No. 10.
Strawweight: Katsunari Tarayama, who has lost his last two bouts, was dropped from the top 10 rankings and replaced with undefeated Carlos Buitrago at No. 10.
Photo / Chris Farina-TOP RANK