Rafael Marquez Could Get Another Title Shot Against Toshiaki Nishioka

Toshiaki Nishioka could face Rafael Marquez later this year. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

Veteran Mexican warrior Rafael Marquez is still set to return to the ring on June 4, part of the Sebastian Zbik vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card at Staples Center in Los Angeles. But it's what he might do after that could really grab some attention.

Ernesto Castellanos of NotiFight reports that should Marquez win on June 4, a fight with Toshiaki Nishioka for a 122-pound title could be in the making for this fall. Marquez says he would like the fight in Mexico, but would go to Japan if the money was right.

Nishioka (38-4-3, 24 KO) is regarded by most sane folks as the No. 1 super bantamweight in boxing. Marquez at one point held the legitimate super bantamweight championship, after he beat Israel Vazquez in the first of their three classic bouts (I don't count the fourth fight and neither should you).

Marquez has been campaigning at 126 pounds lately, including his last fight, a gritty loss to Juan Manuel Lopez. But if he could make a return to 122 and land something as lucrative as the Nishioka idea, that would seem to be wise, at least to me. Marquez (39-6, 35 KO) is 36 years old, but Nishioka is 34, so he'd be facing someone of his vintage instead of trying to knock off one of these young lions at featherweight. Other rumors have had Top Rank looking to match their star, Yuriorkis Gamboa, with Marquez later this year.

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