By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - A rowdy crowd of Mexican and Japanese fight fans saw Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24KOs) retain the WBC super bantamweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over former two-division beltholder Rafael Marquez (40-7, 36KOs). The scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
The first round was tactical, with both boxers going through a feeling out process. The second was slightly in favor of Marquez, who let his hands go in the final twenty seconds and managed to connect with a few significant punches. Nishioka took the third by keeping Marquez at the end of his jab and landing straight counters down the pipe.
The fourth was razor close. Marquez with the hard shots connecting, and Nishioka controlling much of the action with his boxing. The fifth was another close round of action. The two fighters were showing a lot of respect and only opening up in minor spurts. After Marquez had a strong sixth with several accurate punches connecting, Nishioka took over the seventh by landing numerous well timed shots to the head.
An accidental clash of heads in the eight saw a bad cut open up on the right side of Nishioka's head. When the blood started streaming down, Marquez attacked with both hands and was firing hard punches to close the round. The ninth started with a similar sequence, Marquez was bringing the fight to Nishioka with hard punches coming from both hands. The champion was game, throwing back hard counters in return to back Marquez off, and finishing strong.
Nishioka came out firing with both hands at the start of the tenth. He was landing some big punches to the face of Marquez and the tide was changing very fast. Nishioka dominated from start to finish, with Marquez taking a beating. The eleventh was another Nishioka bomb-fest. He was landing big, accurate, damaging punches on Marquez, who looked like a spent fighter.
They were going for it all in the tweflth. Nishioka, the fresher of the two, was walking Marquez down and landing hard punches. They closed the fight with punches firing from both ends as the entire crowd stood up to applaud the boxers.
Also On The Card
In a six round super bantamweight bout, prospect Jesse Magdaleno (6-0, 4KOs) handed Isaac Hidalgo (8-8-2, 1KOs) a beating for three minutes, and picked up a stoppage victory when Hidalgo was unable to come out for the second round.