By Chris Robinson
On Saturday night I was able to take in my first live viewing of WBC super bantamweight champion Tishiaki Nishioka from Japan as he pulled out a unanimous decision victory over former champion Rafael Marquez in Las Vegas. Fighting inside of the Marquee Ballroom inside of the MGM Grand, Nishioka impressed with his deft movement, quickness, and a potent left hand that kept Marquez at bay for much of the fight.
All in all, a solid win for the 35-year old champion, who may be in line to face off with rising bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire sometime in 2012 if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has his way. The ultra-talented Donaire happened to be ringside for last night’s show and after the bout he couldn’t hide his eagerness towards an eventual clash with the Japanese lefty.
“Looking at it, there was one thing that both guys did that I could have taken advantage of,” said Donaire of the Nishioka-Marquez clash as he walked his way to the post-fight presser. “But looking at it, Nishioka did a great job of letting go instead of being tactical. One thing that he did, throw that straight left and move to the right and Marquez couldn’t have any defense on that. That was a very smart thing to do, to use his legs more when he would attack. That straight left was excellent. Very powerful, especially the body shots.”
And if he ever found himself in the ring with Nishioka, what would Donaire have to look out for?
“Nishioka has speed, that’s definitely true. 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,” Donaire continued.
Donaire did stop himself to mention that he must take care of Omar Narvaez first, as he faces the super flyweight champion on October 22nd inside of the WaMu Theater inside of Madison Square Garden. Donaire has a great following on the West Coast but admits that it’s a welcome change of pace to see his HBO date land in a legendary venue.
“It’s amazing. New York is a big, big city. New York is an amazing place and it’s a great opportunity and an honor for me to be fighting in Madison Square Garden.”
[Reader's note: Anyone wanting a ringside view of the Nishioka-Marquez clash, including telling action shots and appearances from Donaire, Jorge Arce, Ricardo Mayorga, Marco Antonio Barrera and others, please visit the Massive Nishioka-Marquez Fight Gallery ]