Advertisement

Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Nishioka Confident of Victory: I Don't Feel Any Decline

by Kaz Nagatsuka

As super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka prepares to square off against Nonito Donaire of the Philippines in a unification title match, the 36-year-old is as psyched up as he's ever been in his storied career.

Nishioka, the WBC champion, will face Donaire, who holds the WBO and IBF titles, at Home Depot Center in Carson, California, on Oct. 13, in a blockbuster match for the lighter weight divisions.

Nishioka last fought in October, but his long wait for another bout is nearly over. Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs) needed 39 fights to earn his first world title in 2008 and defended it seven times before being named an emeritus champion by the WBC in March, and had ardently hoped to fight Donaire (29-1, 18 KO).

"I've defended my title abroad, I've had a main event in Las Vegas against (Mexico's Rafael) Marquez," Nishioka said at a Tokyo news conference last week. "I wouldn't be motivated had it been an average fight."

Nicknamed "Speed King," Nishioka is the only male Japanese boxer to defend his world championship belt overseas more than twice.

"But Donaire has a great reputation around the world and is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters," he continued. "He's the one who I'll be fired up for the most."

The negotiations, however, don't seem to have gone smoothly, because before the matchup was officially set, Donaire was believed to be taking on WBO bantamweight champ Jorge Arce next.

In fact, Nishioka at one point thought that negotiations had completely broken down. Late in July, he got a phone call from his gym's president, Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions, Inc., telling him Arce signed a contract to fight Donaire. Both Arce and Donaire are both promoted by Top Rank, Inc., which has many star clients, including Manny Pacquiao.

"I was devastated," Nishioka recalled. "And I thought the possibility of a fight with Donaire was gone."

However it was revealed that information was wrong (reportedly, the negotiations stalled because Arce's side asked for far more money). The next day, Honda once again called Nishioka.

This time, he told Nishioka that his fight with Donaire was signed.

"I was truly pleased about it," Nishioka said.

Ken Morita, president of the Japan Boxing Commission, dubbed it "the biggest fight in Japan's boxing history."

Now that the negotiations have been settled, there's only one challenge for Nishioka to worry about — actually facing Donaire in the ring in Southern California come fall.

Donaire, who has captured world titles in four different weight divisions, will be a tough foe. The 29-year-old, who's known as the "Filipino Flash" and considered a boxing hero behind only Pacquiao in the Philippines, is on a 28-bout winning streak and hasn't lost a bout since 2001.

Tsuyoshi Hamada, a former WBC world junior welterweight champion and current representative of Teiken Gym, thinks it will be a difficult fight for Nishioka because of Donaire's heavy punches and his record of beating strong opponents.

"How Nishioka handles a guy like that . . . that'll be really interesting," Hamada said.

Nishioka understands it won't be easy to send Donaire down to the canvas. Yet he won't back down and believes he's capable of defeating his opponent.

"If I can unify the three belts," Nishioka said. "That's almost something like you see in comics. So I'm extremely excited about it."

Aside from the three belts, there's also a special WBC Diamond Championship belt on the line. It was established in 2009 and is given to the winner of a super fight between two outstanding boxers.

Only four men (Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Martinez) have received it.

So if Nishioka wins, or even if he loses, will this be his last bout?

Not so fast.

"You got my age wrong by 10 years," Nishioka joked, when asked how he feels physically at the age of 36. "I don't feel any decline or whatsoever in myself at all. If I did, I would've quit by now."

Nishioka will attend at a news conference along with Donaire among the other fighters on the day's card in Los Angeles on Aug. 27.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by cool-jupiter on 08-21-2012

[QUOTE=jsfd26;12440020]Why did Nishioka take a break from boxing? Anyone know? Im just wondering.[/QUOTE] I heard that Nishioka's promoter, Senior Honda, would like him to retire before Nishi had some damage accumulated. That's why Nishi has engaged in no fights since…

Comment by .:: JSFD26 ::. on 08-20-2012

Why did Nishioka take a break from boxing? Anyone know? Im just wondering.

Comment by Japanese Boxing on 08-20-2012

Nishioka is still a great boxer and he's had one bad performance. Let's not say he's done because he could have had an off night, in which he still won.

Comment by Juanma9 on 08-20-2012

[QUOTE=JK1700;12438822]I don't know why so many people are stating that Nishioka has slowed down. I mean, he didn't look great against Marquez, but Marquez is still very good even at this point and I had Nishioka winning clearly despite him…

Comment by MJ223 on 08-20-2012

[B]Fingers are crossed that all four combatants make it to the date with no injuries......[/B]

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (14)
Top Headlines Does Joshua Have To Beat Klitschko For The Division To Flourish? Casey Ramos Bounces Back, Decision Miguel Beltran Over Ten Pacquiao: I Had a Dream of 'Controversial' Loss To Mayweather Chavez: I Was Inactive, Injured, Didn't Train - So Canelo Picked Me Klitschko Smiles: I Know What Joshua is Thinking, What He Will Do Photos: Zambrano-Marrero, Rosario-Gallimore - Official Weigh-In Former Opponent Reflects on How Joshua Ended His Career Joshua: This Could Be Easy, I Could Go in and Catch Klitschko Amir Khan: It Makes Sense To Fight Kell Brook Now! Bellew Claims Joshua Threatened Klitschko During Face To Face Photos: Canelo vs. Chavez - Their Brothers Are Ready For War! Casey Ramos Will Aim To Impress Against Beltran in Burbank Klitschko Says The Spirit of Steward Will Be With Him at Wembley D'Mitrius Ballard vs. Ulises Sierra - Golden Boy on ESPN, May 18 Kubrat Pulev Defeats Kevin Johnson, Eyes Joshua-Klitschko Winner Tyson Fury: Back To Training, On a Mission To Set Record Straight Lennox Lewis: Joshua is Backed By Entire Country, I Never Was Wilder to Bellew Face-to-Face: You Ain't Dealt With This Power! Klitschko: I Never Seen Joshua Look So Big, He's Schwarzenegger Joshua Annoyed With Klitschko Saying Wembley Card is "His Event" Amir Khan: Joshua Seems Very Nervous, Hope He Doesn't Freeze Hearn: Fight This Tough Should've Come Much Later for Joshua Joe Cordina: To Have Hearn, Sky Backing Me Is Amazing Photos: Quigg-Simion, Campbell-Perez, Taylor-Meinke - Weigh-In Photos: Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko - Ready For Battle Hearn: Eubank Jr. Don't Want Golovkin, Father Holding Him Back! Anthony Joshua: I Think I Have To Fight in The U.S.; It's Important Joshua Weighs in at 250 Pounds; Klitschko Weighs 240¼ Pounds De La Hoya Expects To See Canelo vs. Golovkin in 2017 Frank Warren Has No Doubt Saunders Will Handle Khurtsidze Zolani Tete Targets Yamanaka, Zhakiyanov Title Unifications Frank Warren Reacts To Hughie Fury vs. Joseph Parker Situation Tony Bellew Can't Wait To 'Size Up' To Deontay Wilder at Ringside Warrington Aims To Use Martinez as Springboard To World Level Brook Plans To Chin-Check Spence: He Never Felt Power Like Mine! Klitschko Can't Be Reluctant Or Apathetic Against Joshua Walsh Feels He's Getting Gervonta Davis at The Perfect Time Tony Thompson: Given Chance, I'll Knock Povetkin the F*** Out! Malignaggi: Golovkin Was Not Exposed, Jacobs is The Goods Joshua: A Loss Won't End My Career, But it Could End Klitschko's
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement