by Masatoshi Ueda
A press conference was held in Tokyo today for Japanese boxing fans announcing the anticipated fight between WBO/ IBF super bantamweight Champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire and the WBC Emeritus champion Toshiaki “Speed King” Nishioka of Japan. The fight will take place on October 13th at the Home Depo Center in Carson, California.
The press conference was held at Tokyo Dome Hotel, just beside the “Tokyo Dome” where Mike Tyson lost the first fight of his career against James “Buster” Douglas in 1990. Nonito Donaire could not be in attendance, for he will start his training camp in San Francisco in a few days. But many reporters from various media showed up for the biggest ever fight announcement involving a Japanese fighter.
Here, the fight is being billed as the “Fight of the Century,” a milestone in Japanese boxing history.
One of the most respected Japanese champions of all time, Toshiaki Nishioka has been telling the media in Japan since winning his last fight with Rafael Marquez, that he was looking to face the “Filipino Flash” for his next bout; however, things didn’t initially go as planned, and he had to wait for a whole year to make that fight happen.
“Since the end of last year, I have been training for the bout with Donaire,” explained Nishioka.
“I was worried that this fight would never happen, but now that the deal has been finalized, I am excited to face him on October 13th. I have fought overseas against great fighters such as Jhonny Gonzalez, [and] Rafael Marquez, but to fight Nonito Donaire motivates me more for he is known around the world as one of the top pound for pound fighters.”
Known for his killer straight left, southpaw Nishioka’s impression of Donaire is, “He has great left hook, left uppercut and he has good footwork. He’s pretty much an all-round boxer. I would like to say to Donaire that we both be at our best condition for the fight and let’s put on the best show together”
At age 36, Nishioka’s name is not well known in the States, but he can still fight. This will be the toughest test for Donaire since moving up to 122. Win or lose, if Nishioka puts on a good performance with Donaire, it will be great for Japanese boxing to be noticed by the world, especially with Ryota Murata winning the middleweight gold medal, and Satoshi Shimizu the bantamweight bronze medal for Japan in the London Olympics this month.
Donaire is a popular figure among the international boxing fans and has a big fan base here in Japan. And after this fight, his name will be known to the general public and he will be probably be the most famous international boxer in Japan.
Nishioka will be traveling to Los Angeles for a press conference scheduled on August 27th, with Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, and Mike Alvarado also in attendance.