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Hero’s return for Nishioka!

By Joe Koizumi

WBC super bantam champ Toshiaki Nishioka made a hero’s return to Japan as he very impressively scored a successful defense with a one-punch third-round stoppage of Johnny Gonzalez in Monterrey, Mexico, last Saturday. His haymaker was as picture-perfect as that of Hiroyuki Ebihara who dethroned undisputed world flyweight ruler Pone Kingpetch in the first round in 1963. Ebihara was then called “razor punch” but Nishioka must be entitled to the same admiration. Nishioka, a 32-year-old southpaw Japanese, is said to make his next defense here this fall, and confidently said, “I’m the world champ, so will fight anybody.” The most anticipated will be his confrontation with hard-hitting ex-champ Rafael Marquez who is also willing to participate in his fourth encounter with grudge rival Israel Vazquez. His marvelous performance in Mexico has tremendously raised Nishioka’s stock among fight fans here.

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