Advertisement
Advertisement

Nashiro vs Rojas in Osaka: Japan’s Nobuo Got Bling

By Cliff Rold

Three-time World Champion.

What fighter would not want the description affixed to their career at its close?  Most would be happy with one stint, one moment where they could point to being the very best in the world.  Rare is the fighter who can lay claim to the highest honors and remain there for years, defending and turning back the challenges of the best his division has to offer.

Japan’s Nobuo Nashiro (14-2-1, 9 KO) has not been of that rare, enduring breed.  However, this Saturday night in Osaka, he’ll make a play for a hat trick of belts.  Win and, at least to those within earshot of him, he’ll be called a three time ‘world champion’ after only 18 professional fights.

It won’t be true in any meaningful sense.

Looking beneath the number, it comes across as a product of an incredible silliness in this era as bad as at any point in boxing history.  Consider the following, and do try to follow along:

• Nashiro won his first title at 115 lbs., a WBA belt, with a 10th round cut stoppage of 31-fight veteran Martin Castillo in July 2006;

• Nashiro lost the belt in May 2007, or two fights later, to 31-fight veteran and former WBA titlist Alexander Munoz;

• Munoz lost the belt in a unification match with Cristian Mijares and, because of a WBA rule that allows for a “Super” champion and regular champion…

• …Nashiro won a second, vacant WBA belt with a decision over Kohei Kono in September 2008;

• Following two defenses, Nashiro lost his second WBA belt (the one he captured without regaining the one he lost)in May 2010 to former lineal Jr. Flyweight king Hugo Cazares (whom he had held to a draw in his previous fight);

• Vic Darchinyan (who beat Mijares, who beat Munoz, who beat Nashiro) has vacated his Super belt, making the regular WBA title the primary title for now;

• Cazares has not lost that belt; and,

• Nashiro will aim this weekend to be a three-time champion without regaining the title he lost for the second time, this time with an entirely different sanctioning body belt in play.
 
So, yeah, not true in any meaningful sense.

It’s fair to say that, if winning belts even in this jumbled mess were easy, more fighters would do it. 

It’s more fair to respond and say, “Dear God almighty, how many more could there possibly be?” 

And yet, still, after all that, it is still possible to be impressed with the short run of Nashiro. 

There’s certainly no reason (outside of his being in the most meaningful fight of an otherwise slow weekend) to single him out for the offense of being part of an intellectually offensive title picture.  Nashiro isn’t benefiting from the opportunity to become a multi-time ‘champion’ any more than, for example, ‘two-time Heavyweight champ’ Tim Witherspoon or than ‘four-division’ champ Leo Gamez did before him.

To their credit, Witherspoon and Gamez were damn good fighters. 

So is Nashiro, and the Japanese battler won his first title doing something neither of those men did.

In knocking off Castillo in 2006, Nashiro’s first title came in defeating a Castillo who had at least some claim to the designation of ‘best in class.’  The lineal title at Jr. Bantamweight in 2006 might have belonged to Masamori Tokuyama but Castillo, with two wins over Munoz and a dominating thumping of Eric Morel under his belt, looked like he might be the man.

Nashiro was making only his eighth pro start.  The loss to Munoz two fights later was decisive, but that marked only his tenth fight.  That level of foe, so early, is hard to come by on most ledgers.  Nashiro has fought a fairly consistent level of real competition since a decision over a 26-3 former World title challenger, Hidenobu Honda, in his fifth outing.

Nashiro has never been kept from challenges. 

When he challenges for the WBC belt this weekend against veteran Tomas Rojas (34-12-1, 23 KO), it will mark what appears on paper to be a step down in competition from the Castillo’s, Munoz’s, and Cazares’s of the world.

For most fighters still grinding towards their twentieth pro start, a cagey been-‘round-the-block Rojas type would be a step up.  It’s just not the case here.

As noted, hollow titles and numbers aside, there is plenty to be impressed with in the career of Nobuo Nashiro.  There is also entertainment. 

Anyone who saw the fights with the bigger names, particularly the brawls with Cazares, knows Nashiro will give the people their money’s and time’s worth with Rojas this weekend.  Their styles should clash nicely. 

Nashiro should win.

And, if a unification contest with Cazares, if Hugo Cazares-Nobuo Nashiro III, does not follow, it will be far more outrageous than Nashiro being called a three-time champion.

After all, belts, among the sports many (often absurd) idiosyncrasies are always good for conversation.  They earn the shaking heads and embarrassed, tortured, explanations boxing fans are forced to give when conversing with fans of more rationally conducted athletics.

It is the fights though, the exchanging of leather between four tightened fists, that keeps eyeballs on the game.

Nashiro makes good fights.  That’s meaningful, truth, in every sense.

Weekly Ledger
But wait, there’s more…

Kissed by an Arreola: http://www.boxingscene.com/chris-arreola-kisses-lopez-kisses-dallas-0-goodbye--35306
Bradley Needs Khan:
http://www.boxingscene.com/bradley-one-khan-from-peak-review-ratings--35471  
Picks of the Week:
http://www.boxingscene.com/boxingscenecoms-television-picks-week--35086

Cliff’s Notes…
More fun with straps: Jose Sulaiman says the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. he saw last weekend won’t be a champion.  If all he has to do is beat Sebastian Zbik, Sulaiman is right.  The only real Middleweight champion is Sergio Martinez.  Paying sanctioning fees to someone who says otherwise doesn’t change that…The team of Vic Darchinyan is showing savvy is positioning themselves for a rematch with Abner Mares should the young Mexican get past Joseph Agbeko in the Spring.  If Darchinyan can get past Yonnhy Perez and Agebko is still standing, would Darchinyan want an Agbeko rematch as badly?  Or might he pursue the winner of Fernando Montiel-Nonito Donaire?  Regardless, the little bomber isn’t getting any younger and should be appreciated for however much longer the sport has him…Vitali Klitschko’s trainer says Odlanier Solis will be dangerous for one round?  If Solis can get below 260 lbs. for the first time in five fights, that has to be worth a round two…There’s been too much complaining about Timothy Bradley’s lethal forehead.  He knows how to mix in a quick belt line shot too.  Credit where it’s due.  Love it or hate it, Bradley is all fighter.  

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by richarddam on 02-03-2011

[QUOTE=Shadows;10051276]Good stuff. After 17 fights, Nashiro has faced a lot of quality, and even though Rojas appears to be a step down as the article mentioned, a lot of Rojas' losses came against the likes of Anselmo Moreno, Gerry Penalosa,…

Comment by Shadows on 02-03-2011

Good stuff. After 17 fights, Nashiro has faced a lot of quality, and even though Rojas appears to be a step down as the article mentioned, a lot of Rojas' losses came against the likes of Anselmo Moreno, Gerry Penalosa,…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines AIBA Executives To Meet, Discuss Further Changes, Improvements Kohei Kono-Luis Concepcion: Pre-Fight Report Card Arum Expects Pacquiao To Have at Least Two Fights in 2017 Rex Tso To Keep a Close Eye on Kono vs. Concepcion Outcome Neeco Macias: I Was Lucky Enough To Be Blessed With Heart George Foreman Fails To Sell His Lambo at Huge Car Auction Eubank Jr: Brook Has No Fire, He's Happy To Get Golovkin Payday Ed Brown Continues Busy Schedule, TV Networks Interested Peralta: Until Recently I Went Hungry, I Suffered A lot, Overcame It Canelo: Let's See if Liam Smith is The Fighter He Says He Is Jack Asis Calls it a Day, Decides To Retire From Boxing Cuadras: Chocolatito is Too Small, I Will Get The Job Done Don King: Povetkin-Stiverne Can Go To Russia, Putin is My Friend Sugar Ray Leonard on What Brook Needs To Shock Golovkin Juanma Calls Vazquez a Clown, Reveals Details of Catch-Weight Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Canelo, Khan, Golovkin-Brook, More Sergio Mora: That Was No Knockdown vs. Jacobs; Was All My Ankle Video: Kell Brook Glowing With Confidence as Golovkin Nears Joshua-Pulev, Parker-Price, Whyte-Chisora Triple on 11/26? Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua's Return, DeGale, Jack, Smith Amir Khan: I Want The Danny Garcia Fight, I Want Him in May Malignaggi vs. El Mousaoui in Line For EBU Clash, Bundu Stripped Brook: I've Faced Death, Golovkin is Fun - I'll Rip Into Him! Canelo: When My Body is Ready, I'll Take on Anyone and Everyone Tyrone Brunson vs. Ismael Garcia Tops 10/14 Card in Philly Joseph Diaz Jr. Feels He’s Close to a Title Shot After Cancio Fight Joseph Parker's Handlers Interested in Facing David Price Next Daniel Jacobs Wants To ‘Hurt’ Sergio Mora, ‘Shut That Trap Of His’ Canelo: Golovkin-Brook? GGG Should Have Shut His Mouth! Joseph Parker's Coach Discusses Strategy For Dimitrenko Clash Clearing The Deck For The Fall: BoxingScene Ratings Update Golovkin Ready To Jump Right Back To The UK For Saunders Fight Gamache Warns Not To Underestimate Svensson in Lauren Bout Chisora To Whyte: Let's Do It and I'll Whoop Your Ass - It's Easy! Canelo Jabs Critics: Nobody Will Pressure Me Into Golovkin Fight! Chocolatito To Finish With 113 Rounds of Sparring For Cuadras Imminent Big Fights Prompt 2017 Wish List Canelo Smiles: Lara Calling Out GGG, Golovkin Won't Fight Him! Danny Roman Hopes To Continue Raising His Competition Joseph Parker's Younger Brother To Make Pro Debut on October 1
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement