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Q&A w/ Toshiaki Nishioka

(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)
(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)

Toshiaki Nishioka: “I’ll be the first Japanese fighter to successfully defend the world title in the United States.
By Anson Wainwright

Though he’s widely regarded as the best super bantamweight in the world, Toshiaki Nishioka, 38-4-3 (24), has yet to fight in America and is largely without a marquee name on his impressive record. When he meets Rafael Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Casino this weekend, he gets chance to lay both of those things to rest. Nishioka, 35, will be looking to make the sixth successful defence of his WBC super bantamweight title while Marquez will be looking to regain the crown he held for five months back in 2007. So far, the Japanese southpaw has been very dominating since he became champion with only one of his challengers to date seeing the final bell. This fight with Marquez looks to have the makings of a terrific matchup that will enhance one’s standing in the game in a fight neither can afford to lose.
Anson Wainwright - You face Rafael Marquez on October 1 in Las Vegas. What are your thoughts on this fight and the event?

Toshiaki Nishioka - This show being WOWOW’s “Excite Match” 20-year anniversary show and fighting Rafael Marquez, this a big fight for me. I will rise to the occasion and put on a great performance.
AW - Do you consider this fight to be the one that could really get you known to the boxing public as you are facing one of the best fighters in the lower weights of the past decade?
TN - I think fighting and winning against big name like Rafael Marquez in Las Vegas will get me known in the US. 
AW – You will be up against history when you meet Marquez. No Japanese fighter has ever retained his title on American soil.
TN - I’ll be the first Japanese fighter to successfully defend the world title in the United States.
AW - Where are you training for this fight? Can you tell us a little about your training? How long are you in camp? What’s a typical day like and what is your diet like?
TN - I am training in Tokyo at Teiken Gym, same as usual. I am having a great camp and I believe I am in the best condition ever. 
AW – You’re widely regarded as the best super bantamweight in the world. How easily do you make 122? What is your walk-around weight?
TN - I do have to come down to make weight but making 122 is not a problem for me.  
AW - Japanese fighters can only fight for the WBC and WBA titles so you could only fight the winner of Rico Ramos vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux. What are your thoughts on them as fighters, plus the other champions, Takalani Ndlovu of the IBF and the WBO’s Jorge Arce?

TN - Right at this moment, all my thought is on beating Rafael Marquez. I am not thinking past beyond this fight.
AW - Last year, Fernando Montiel travelled to Japan and KO’d your friend and compatriot Hozumi Hasegawa. He is now fighting at 122. Is that a fight you’d like further down the road?
TN - If the opportunity arises, I would like to consider it but again, my thought for now is on Marquez.
AW - Can you tell us about your early years growing up in Kakogawa, Hyogo and the path your life took toward boxing?
TN - I had a very typical childhood. I started taking interest in boxing when I was in elementary school and just following the path that boxing took me.
AW - Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person, your family life as well as your hobbies and interests?
TN - I am married and have one daughter. In my spare time, I try to spend as much time as I can with my five-year-old daughter.
AW - You’re 35 now which is thought of as old for a fighter in the super bantamweight class. What would you like to do with your life when you finish boxing? 
TN - I plan to start a boxing gym after I retire from fighting.  
AW - What goals in boxing do you still have? 
TN - My immediate goal is to beat Rafael Marquez and become the first Japanese fighter to successfully defend the world title in US.
AW - Do you have a message for your fans ahead of your fight with Marquez?
TN - This fight is a big fight for me. I am very excited about this fight. I will put on an exciting fight so please watch the fight.

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