This coming weekend is a busy one for Asian fighters with a trio of Asian's fighting in world title fights. One of those is current WBO Super Bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (36-3, 23), who makes the first of the title he regained last year, who faces little known Hungarian challenger Zsolt Bedak (25-1, 8), who is getting his second world title shot.
The talented, and popular, Donaire has had a brilliant career and turned a 1-1 start into a career that has seen him claim world titles from Flyweight to Featherweight and likely secure a place in the HOF. Sadly however he is coming to the end of the road and has shown a clear deterioration over the last few years, with poor performances against the likes of Omar Andres Narvaez, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, Jeffrey Mthebula, Vic Darchinyan and Cesar Juarez, as well as losses to Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nicholas Walters.
Although Donaire is on the slide, and has been for a while, he is still better than most fighters and can still show touches of brilliance. That was seen in the early rounds against Juarez, with round 4 being a particularly good one from Donaire, and against Anthony Settoul, who was dominated by Donaire last year. He still carries impressive speed and power, is sharp early on and can be very dangerous, though does look like a fighter who lacks the stamina to go 12 rounds at a good pace, and has started to become a bit predictable with his dangerous left hook.
When it comes to Bedak there is very little on his record, other than his loss in 2010 to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. That loss was in a world title fight and although Bedak showed some ability early on he did get broken down and was stopped in the 10th round. Since that loss Bedak has scored 10 successive wins, though the competition has been terrible with the most notable win of that run coming against Kenyan tough guy Nick Otieno last September.
As an amateur Bedak was very good and competed at the 2004 Olympics, scoring a notable win over Abner Mares at the Olympics, sadly though his professional career has been a frustrating one, with Bedak, or his team, happy to go along the path of least resistance. Despite that he has scarcely managed to impress and we can't see him impressing this weekend in what is a high pressure situation for the Hungarian, who knows it is now or never.
We don't want to slate world title bodies, but before we get on with our prediction we do need to make a comment in regards of the WBO who should be forced to explain how Bedak has got a world title fight and how he's managed to get a #4 ranking. The ranking is among the most inexplicable in the sport and sadly we suspect that will be shown when the men get in the ring on Saturday.
Whilst we think Donaire is coming to the end he's not a shot fighter, and he does still possess that deadly left hook. We think that will be too much for Bedak who won't see out the first half of the bout. We understand Donaire having an easy first defense, and a homecoming in the Philippines, so won't criticise him too hard given his willingness to face top fighters through his career, but the WBO deserve all the criticism they get for allowing this bout to go ahead.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.