Nishioka retains WBC super bantam title
Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka successfully defended his WBC super bantamweight title, unanimously outpointing Rafael Marquez on Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
Nishioka improved to 39-4-3 in his sixth title defense, receiving winning scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 from the judges. Marquez dropped to 40-7.
''The key was keeping my distance from Marquez,'' the 35-year-old Nishioka said through an interpreter. ''He had a long jab. Marquez's punches extend. His punches are powerful. Not for a second could I rest.''
On the undercard, Ramon Gonzalez retained his WBA light flyweight title by stopping Omar Soto after 36 seconds of the second round. Gonzalez improved to 30-0 with his 25th knockout, flooring Soto (22-9-1) with a left to the chin.
In the fifth round, Nishioka, a left-hander, started landing most of his punches. He also landed two more in the sixth on the 36-year-old Marquez.
''As the first time to defend the title in the US, the tension was high,'' Nishioka said. ''With the support of my gym and the fans of Japan, I put on a good defense.''
In the eighth, Nishioka landed three consecutive punches, backing Marquez against the ropes, and later another to the face. After a brief timeout by referee Kenny Bayless because of a cut on Nishioka's head due to a head butt, both fighters landed several punches to end the round.
Marquez came out the aggressor in the ninth, but Nishioka rallied late in the session.
Nishioka started strong in the 10th with several lefts.
''We recognize Nishioka won the last three rounds,'' Marquez said through an interpreter. ''I think I was the winner of the fight. He was catching me with the left. I started adjusting things and came on in the end.
''I love to have a rematch. I keep going forward. I thought I was ahead on points. I don't see it as a loss. I think I was the winner of the fight.''
In September 2008, Nishioka won the interim title and became undisputed champion when Israel Vazquez vacated his title. In Nishioka's previous fight, he stopped Mauricio Munoz on April 8.
Marquez had the title for five months in 2007, defeating Vazquez, but losing the rematch.