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Fernando Montiel Requests WBC Title Shot at 122 Pounds

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Fernando Montiel is looking to get back into the race, but now at 122 pounds. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Fernando Montiel is looking to get back into the race, but now at 122 pounds. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Fernando Montiel has reportedly requested a shot at WBC super bantamweight titlist Toshiaki Nishioka. Montiel is coming off of a second round TKO loss to Nonito Donaire in February.

Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KO) said even before the Donaire fight that he intended to next move up to bantamweight. The 32-year-old is one of several active Mexican fighters chasing a major title in a fourth weight class, along with Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Jorge Arce, and Marco Antonio Barrera. Of the five, Montiel has gained the least fame over the years, but given his position may have the best shot.

And you can say this for him -- he's not seeking out a lame duck titlist, either. Nishioka (38-4-3, 24 KO) is regarded as the best 122-pound fighter in the world, and even though Nishioka has fought in Mexico before, Montiel would likely have to go on the road to Japan for the fight. He did just that last year to face Hozumi Hasegawa -- then regarded as the No. 1 bantamweight by most -- and won.

Montiel will first return in Mexico on June 25. No opponent has been named. But the WBC has a history of rewarding fallen titlists with quick title shots in the next division up if they so desire, so Montiel landing a Nishioka shot by the end of the year has to be considered in play until the WBC says no.