MANILA, Philippines – Former world super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan will most likely hang up his gloves after losing in a world title clash against Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire last Saturday in Carson, California.
Nishioka was expected to give Donaire a tough challenge as he was considered by The RING Magazine as the top super bantamweight in the world. But the Japanese was tentative against Donaire, and suffered knockdowns in the sixth and ninth rounds, at which point his corner stopped the fight.
It was Nishioka's first loss in eight years, dropping his record to 39 wins with five losses and three draws.
The head of Nishioka's gym, Akihiko Honda, told Kyodo that he expects the boxer, known as "Speed King," to retire.
"This is the end," Honda said. "He put himself on the line. He knows (it's over) and I think he would have called it quits even if he had won."
Nishioka is non-committal on the issue but has said that he is disappointed with how he fought against Donaire.
"I was cautious at the start and wanted to be more aggressive from the middle of the bout. I knew I was behind on points (in the ninth round), and just had to go for it. I did everything I could," Nishioka said.
Meanwhile, Donaire has been full of praises for Nishioka, calling the Japanese a "true warrior" in multiple interviews.
"Nishioka didn't have any fear. He had the heart and tried to knock me out. You saw, he kept tossing and throwing punches at me and he’s a true warrior," Donaire said.
Donaire said he was impressed at how Nishioka became more aggressive after he got knocked down in the sixth round.
"A lot of guys who got hurt would have been running around and covering like crazy," he said.
Before losing to Donaire, Nishioka had won 16 consecutive bouts, including a decision victory over Rafael Marquez in October 2011 in Las Vegas. – Report from Kyodo News