Honda on Donaire-Nishioka, Yamanaka-Santa Cruz, More

By Ryan Maquiñana

Hall of Famer Akihiko Honda, CEO of Teiken Promotions, arrived in California last week to watch his fighters in back-to-back televised cards.

“He tried to show his heart, but a little too much, which is why he took two big [punches],” Honda told regarding Teiken welterweight Yoshihiro Kamegai, who drew with Jorge Silva in an entertaining main event last Saturday in Sacramento.  “He can take [punches], and we will give him another chance here in America.”

After describing his contentment with lightweight Jorge Linares’s wide unanimous decision over Hector Velazquez, he switched topics to this Saturday’s featured bout in Carson involving unified junior featherweight champ Nonito Donaire and Teiken fighter Toshiaki Nishioka, who is generally recognized as the top 122-pounder in the world.

“He’s been training very hard and very good,” Honda said of Nishioka.  “It’s the best I have ever seen him, and I hope he will show it.”

The last time the Home Depot Center housed a major card, bantamweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz emerged as a star-in-waiting.  Regarding a potential matchup between Teiken 118-pound titlist Shinsuke Yamanaka and Santa Cruz down the line, Honda smiled in approval.

“Oh, that would be good,” he said.  “Next is Tomas Rojas. And next [after that] is the mandatory [challenger], and after the mandatory, we’ll put him with anybody.”

Honda also offered his thoughts regarding a possible junior lightweight unification bout between Teiken’s Takahiro Ao and countryman Takashi Uchiyama.  Ao defends his belt in his hometown of Tokyo against Gamaliel Diaz on Oct. 27.

“Yes.  Next year we will try to do [that fight],” Honda said.

Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Japanese Boxing on 10-10-2012

[QUOTE=subhuman;12591840]Yeah, or at least have more of them fight over here in the US. After watching some video of Nishioka I think he's a fighter I would have enjoyed watching coming up had his fights been aired on HBo or…

Comment by subhuman on 10-10-2012

[QUOTE=Corelone;12590378]We need a Japanese boxing video outlet, no, a worldwide video outlet to watch this talent. Many times good boxers spend careers ignored by major outlets and surprises, newcomers, are really a body of work. I wish.[/QUOTE] Yeah, or at…

Comment by Mr. Fantastic on 10-10-2012

Japanese boxing is so damn underrated in other parts of the world.

Comment by Light_Speed on 10-10-2012

Yamanaka-Santa Cruz would be a really good fight. [QUOTE=Corelone;12590378]We need a Japanese boxing video outlet, no, a worldwide video outlet to watch this talent. Many times good boxers spend careers ignored by major outlets and surprises, newcomers, are really a…

Comment by Japanese Boxing on 10-10-2012

The closer it gets the more I have a problem waiting.

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