Azn Badger's Blog

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Toshiaki Nishioka Prevails In 12 Round UD!

*Note* Pic not taken from this evening's fight. *Note*

It’s official, Toshiaki Nishioka is now the first Japanese world champion boxer to successfully defend his title on American soil!

Sadly, I was unable to watch the fight this evening, as I don’t get the channel it aired on, but from what I read it was a wash for Nishioka.

Instead I ended up watching the Sergio Martinez/Darren Barker fight on HBO, which turned out to be suprisingly frustrating for Martinez in a Winky Wright sort of way.

I hope Barkers’ alright, as I’ve never seen a guy wilt to the canvas without taking a solid shot the way he did.

It reeks of an injury or lack of will to continue, but I’d hate to hear he had a brain bleed or something.

Enough with that shit, back to the Azn celebration!

Rafael Marquez has been getting long in the tooth ever since his costly series of fights against Israel Vasquez, so in many ways I guess he was the perfect opponent for Nishioka to test mettle against.

That is, he entered the ring shopworn, but still strong and bearing solid name-recognition.

In any case, I am immensely proud of Nishioka for his historic victory, and I greatly look forward to watching the fight to see just how well he did.

Despite this, as much as I’ll root for him, in all honestly I don’t see Nishioka being able to handle the likes of Nonito Donaire.

Like I said though, I’ll still be rooting for him, should that fight materialize in the near future.

Scores: 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113, Nishioka UD 12

 

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Filed under: Boxing, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Believe In Toshiaki Nishioka

Pictured: Toshiaki Nishioka posing with Rafael Marquez.

Well folks, it’s that time again.

Tomorrow night, a Japanese boxer will once again challenge fate and attempt to defend their world title on American soil.

Said boxer is Toshiaki Nishioka, a hard-punching and tenacious veteran who will be defending his Super Bantamweight title against the equally powerful, but slighty shopworn Rafael Marquez.

It might not sound like a big deal to us here in the states, but to date, no Japanese fighter has ever succeeded in defending a legit world title on American soil.

The last champion to step up to the challenge, was former Jr. Featherweight champion Akifumi Shimoda, who if you’ll recall was knocked senseless in the 7th round via a left hook to the jaw from the challenger, and now champion; Rico Ramos.

Pictured: Shimoda, laid out after a monster left hook from Ramos.

Though it hurt to watch Shimoda lose in such dramatic fashion, but in my heart I knew it was to be expected.

I keep tabs on quite a few Japanese fighters, and in that sense I feel the fact that Shimoda was never one of them should speak to his abilities/promise as a fighter.

Besides, the man he won the title from, Ryo Li Lee; was perhaps the biggest underdog champs in recent memory, so in many ways it’s surprising that Teiken was willing to take the gamble in sending Shimoda to the states without a few more tune-up fights under his belt.

That being said, unlike Shimoda, I truly believe Toshiaki Nishioka is the real deal:

Hozumi Hasegawa was, and forever will be, “my guy” in Japanese boxing, but deep down I’ve always known he was little more than a upper-middle tier fighter.

He was never as good as I hoped he would be, but I “picked” him, and wasn’t about to lose faith in him just because of a few losses.

A few REALLY BAD losses...

That’s just who I am.

While Nishioka may not be “my guy,” the fact of the matter is, he’s likely one of the best Japanese world champion boxers of his generation.

2 names always pop up in discussions involving the current state of Japanese boxing, namely that of Koki Kameda, and Toshiaki Nishioka.

While Kameda is easily the more popular fighter, especially among Japanese fans, in my mind I view the older and more accomplished Nishioka as the better and more complete fighter.

Kameda has immense potential, but I don’t see his no-jab, counter heavy-style sustaining him on the world stage for very long.

Plus, HE LOOKS LIKE A MONKEY. And he smells funny.

Like many Japanese boxers, Nishioka took a few losses early in his career, though this in no way prevented his career from being a consistent march upward in terms of quality of opposition.

Left-handed and atypically powerful and gutsy for a Japanese fighter, Nishioka’s only real sore spot in his career was in the early 2000’s when he fought the immensely prolific and longstanding Bantamweight champ, Veeraphol Sahaprom a mind-boggling 4 times in as many years.

During this series of fights, Nishioka lost to, and drew with Sahaprom 2 times, with each fight going the distance and being closely contested on the scorecards.

Fun fact:

Despite Nishioka’s 4 attempts to dethrone Sahaprom, it was my boy Hozumi Hasegawa who ultimately succeeded in 2004 via unanimous decision.

Not only that, Hasegawa KO’d Sahaprom in the rematch the following year, thereby cementing his reputation as a true Bantamweight champion.

Nishioka got a badass clip, so I figure it’s only fair I give one to my boy Hasegawa as well:

In fighting Sahaprom, I feel Nishioka came up short due to a clash of styles.

Nishioka isn’t the most elusive of fighters, making him easy prey for Sahaprom’s cagey tactics and seasoned boxing.

In this way, Hasegawa’s superior handspeed and constant lateral movement were likely responsible for his victories over Sahaprom.

Nishioka may not have Hasegawa’s speed or elusiveness, but he does have a solid chin, power in both hands, and the tenacity of a pit bull.

That counts for a lot when you’re a world class Southpaw with soild fundamentals.

At 35 years old, may not have many fights left in him, nor does his “on paper” reputation paint him as the best of fighters, but as of writing this, I truly believe him to be the best active boxer in Japan, and potentially in his weight class.

Despite his age, Nishioka hasn’t lost since 2004, and in the days since then, his career has blossomed in a renaissance of sorts, rewarding him with sound victories and highlight reel knockouts against solid competition.

He may not have been “my guy” in Hasegawa’s heyday, but now, when I’m forced to pick between him and the impetuous Koki Kameda, I think I’m finally ready to call Nishioka “my guy” in Japanese boxing.

Again, HE LOOKS LIKE A MONKEY.

I believed in him all those times he came this close to edging a victory against Sahaprom.

I believed in him when he finally won the title from Genaro Garcia.

I believed in him when he knocked the piss out of Jhonny Gonzalez.

And tomorrow night, when he faces another cagey veteran in the form of Rafael Marquez, I will believe in Toshiaki Nishioka all the same.

Do it for history!  Do it for Japan!

Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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