MANILA, Philippines – Japanese boxer Toshiaki Nishioka claims he has not declined physically as he prepares to take on world super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in a title unification bout on October 13 in California.
The 36-year-old Nishioka, who is the top-ranked super bantamweight by RING Magazine, told Japan Times that he feels 10 years younger than his actual age.
“You got my age wrong by 10 years,” he said. “I don’t feel any decline whatsoever in myself at all.”
“If I did, I would have quit by now.”
Nishioka will challenge Donaire for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight titles.
Also at stake are the RING super bantamweight title and the World Boxing Council Diamond championship.
“If I can unify the three belts,” Nishioka said, referring to the IBF, WBO, and the RING titles, “That’s almost something like you see in the comics. So I’m extremely excited about it.”
Nishioka was not Donaire’s original opponent, as the Filipino boxer was supposed to face Mexican brawler Jorge Arce.
But Arce wound up pricing himself out of the bout, leaving the door open for a Nishioka fight.
“Donaire has a great reputation around the world and is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. He’s the one who I’ll be fired up for the most,” Nishioka said.
Nishioka last fought in October 2011, when he outpointed Rafael Marquez to at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.