Sidney Boquiren has the latest boxing news from Japan. For more Japanese boxing updates, you can follow Sidney on twitter: RingwalkNippon@Twitter
Toshiaki Nishioka is officially heading to the US for his next ring appearance as it was announced earlier today that the super bantamweight champ will face Rafael Marquez at the MGM Grand on October 1. While the 35-year old’s handlers at Teiken openly expressed that they hoped to send their charge to fight in the US, concrete details had not been released until today. Nishioka will attempt to make the seventh defense of his WBC title.
It will not be the first time the southpaw performs under the Vegas lights - he fought journeyman Jose Alonso at the Hard Rock back in 2006 – and Nishioka’s biggest career victory was on foreign turf when he stopped Jhonny Gonzalez in 2009 in Mexico.
Nishioka addressed reporters stating, "Marquez is a very strong, world-famous boxer. I am really thrilled to be able to fight someone of his stature in Las Vegas."
Although I was not very excited about this match-up when the possibility was initially rumored, it is an intriguing bout. Marquez looked fairly rusty in what proved to be a tune-up sparring session a few weeks ago against Eduardo Becerril, and it will be interesting to see how much the warrior still has in the tank. Nishioka has not really been tested since his off-the-canvas win over Gonzalez, but he was clearly hit harder and more often against Mauricio Javier Munoz in April than he had been since the trip to Mexico. The autumn clash could start off as a tense chess match that ends in a very entertaining brawl.
Talented light flyweight Roman Gonzalez appears to be a part of the card, but no word on former Japanese junior welterweight beltholder Yoshihiro Kamegai.
For more coverage of Japanese boxing, follow Sidney on Twitter: RingwalkNippon@Twitter