At the opening ceremony for this week’s WBC Convention at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, highly-skilled junior featherweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka was spotted.
The classy Japan native is coming off of an impressive showing on October 1st over former champion and still-dangerous Rafael Marquez that saw him box effectively while showing off a wide array of skills. Nishioka captured a unanimous decision at the MGM Grand's Marquee Ballroom that night, netting the sixth defense of his belt while also putting himself in the running for a date with rising bantamweight champ Nonito Donaire later in the year.
At 36 years of age, Marquez may be a little worn after all of his wars, but he is still dangerous and Nishioka had to be on his toes at all times during their contest.
“I prepared for the fight really well, so it’s what I expected and I was able to fight my own fight,” Nishioka would state. “But, as I expected, Marquez was a very highly-technical fighter and very tough. He was a good fighter.”
Nishioka’s October showcase served as just his third appearance on U.S. soil but he noted that he has no issues returning to America for a meeting with Donaire.
Donaire was ringside for the Nishioka-Marquez scrap and seemed eager for the challenge.
“Nishioka has speed, that’s definitely true,” Donaire stated after the bout. “Not only that, he has power. He’s very powerful in both hands and that’s what we’ve got to do, is be tricky. Be more tricky than Marquez was today. Be smarter, be faster, and that definitely, when it comes to exchanges, I’ve got to be stronger and I know he’s willing to take exchanges as much as I’m willing to take exchanges.”
As far as his feelings towards Donaire’s ability as a fighter, Nishioka was a little more concise.
“He’s a great boxer. He has great countering ability and his footwork is very good,” Nishioka stated of the Fil-Am champion.
But just as I was trying to get Nishioka to open up more about such a bout, he pointed out that nothing is official as of yet.
“The fight hasn’t been finalized so I haven’t really put too much thought into it,” said Nishioka.
Donaire’s foray into the junior featherweight division looks like it will lead him to a February 4th contest against former champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. If successful, the Nishioka matchup will surely draw interest again.