Boxing Insider Exclusive Interview: Toshiaki Nishioka
By Masatoshi Ueda
WBC Emeritus champion Toshiaki Nishioka will be fighting his biggest fight of his career when he faces the WBO and IBF super bantamweight champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire on October 13th at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California.
This fight is “The Fight” Nishioka wanted very much as the last chapter in his boxing career since being victorious against Rafael Marquez last October.
Boxing Insider talked to Nishioka before his training at Teiken gym in Tokyo, about his upcoming fight against the Filipino Flash.
Boxing Insider: How do you feel now that the fight you wanted for the past 12 months with Nonito Donaire is officially agreed?
Nishioka: “I have waited for this fight to happen for a year, it is the biggest fight of my career, and I’m very excited and can’t wait to face him in the ring.”
When did you see Nonito Donaire as a future opponent?
“I would say that it was since after my fight with Rafael Marquez.”
Since the first time you met Donaire in August 2011, you seem to bump in to each other time to time, do you feel it was some kind of destiny?
“I’ve never thought of it before, but coming to think of it maybe it was. I first met Donaire here at Teiken gym in Tokyo last summer. Then at my fight with Marquez in Las Vegas, he was taking photos of my fight at ringside. We also met in a restaurant in California, and in the ring after Donaire’s fight against Mathebula. And just as I thought he would be fighting Jorge Arce for his next fight, all of a sudden, I was the one fighting him. Yes, it’s funny if you look back at it.”
After watching Donaire fight live for the first time against Jeffrey Mathbula, did you have any different impression than watching on TV?
“No, my impression of Donaire hasn’t changed. He was fast, strong, and a all-round fighter that I had seen on TV.”
Do you feel that Donaire is still the biggest challenge, although he hasn’t won by KO since moving up to 122?
“Donaire has everything what it takes to be one of the best fighter, and he may not have won by KO since moving up to 122, but he has been winning his fights. That is very impressive.”
To set the record straight, can you tell us how you became the Emeritus champion from the regular champion.
“I wasn’t injured or anything. After I fought Rafael Marquez, I wanted to fight somebody that will motivate me. Donaire is a fighter who is one of the top names on the pound for pound list, and a figure of the sport. That’s the kind of fighter I wanted to face. At this point of my career, I didn’t want to just defend my title with anybody. That’s why I gave up my regular title to be Emeritus champion so that I wasn’t forced to defend the title.”
What do you think this fight will mean to Japanese boxing?
“WBO and the IBF are not recognized in Japan, but like Nonito Donaire, there are many good champions, so I hope this fight will open the door for the WBO and IBF to be part of Japanese boxing.”
What kind of fight do you expect with Donaire?
“One thing I’m sure of is that it’s going to be an exciting fight.”
“SPEED KING” vs. “FILIPINO FLASH” … can we expect that kind of a fight?
“I would think that speed will be something to look out for in this fight.”
Does it bother you that you had a one year lay-off?
“No, it doesn’t bother me at all.”
How do you feel that Donaire has lot of respect and saying that you are one of the best in the division?
“I’m honored that he thinks of me that way. I also respect Donaire as the best in the 122 division, and I hope to put on a great fight together with two of the best fighters in the division.”
What is your message to the boxing fans around the world?
“I will fight with all my heart, and give everything I have in the ring. It’s a fight you can’t miss with two of the best fighters in the world fighting for the top of the super bantamweight and to be the king of the division.”