Toshiaki Nishioka Too Much For Brave Rendall Munroe, Wins Wide UD To Retain WBC Super-Bantam Title

By James Slater: Just moments ago in Tokyo, Japan, WBC super-bantamweight king Toshiaki Nishioka retained his crown with a wide unanimous decision over a game, but somewhat outclassed Rendall Munroe.

The speedy 34-year-old, a southpaw like the challenger from Leicester, UK, kept his title with three scores of 119-109. Now 37-4-3(23) Nishioka retained his belt for the fifth time. Munroe, who always knew he had a huge task ahead of him in Japan, is now 22-2(9).

The battle of southpaws gave the paying fans an excellent, fast-paced fight, with tons of quality punches and very little in the way clinching. 30-year-old Munroe, known as “The Boxing Bin Man,” came out with a good, positive attitude in the 1st-round, and he put the champion on the back foot. Both men lets their hands go, and it was immediately apparent we were watching two well-schooled pros in action.

The first three rounds were close, but Nishioka, known as “The Speed King,” was living up to his nickname. Using lots of movement as well as firing with both hands, the champion was edging the rounds. However, Munroe showed he could not be underestimated, as he seemed to trouble the local fighter with a straight right to the head in the 2nd-round.

There were good body shots by both guys in the 4th, and Munroe got home with a sharp left hand to the head in what was arguably his best fight of the entire fight. Both men jabbed well, and Munroe finished the round strong.

The two southpaws took turns chopping away in the 5th, but then Nishioka hurt the challenger with a big left hand to the head. Hurt and forced to cover up, Munroe got through a tough spell, even coming back with a left hand to the head himself.

By the 6th, the world champion’s sheer skill and class were taking over, and though he was still being pushed back, Nishioka was the cleverer, faster man - making Munroe miss quite wildly at times.

In the 7th, Nishioka turned his attention almost exclusively to his challenger’s midsection. Munroe was definitely hurt to the body, and he had to come through another mini-crisis. “2-Tone” fought back bravely, but more body shots soon caught him. Munroe jabbed well and Nishioka did pick up a cut at the side of his right eye.

More crisp jabs came from Munroe in the 8th, as did further body work from the champion. Munroe, as game as he was, was simply being outworked and even outgunned. Also cut now, under the right eye, the challenger was falling way behind on points.

Nishioka used lots of movement in the 9th, whilst throwing classy bursts of shots. Munroe again pressed forward, throwing good right jabs, and both men were now feeling the pace. This was a very close round.

Nishioka really closed the show well in the final three rounds of the fight, dominating them and looking for the finish on more than one occasion. A wicked left hand to the body really hurt Munroe in the 10th, almost doubling him over. Somehow, no doubt due to his superb fitness, the younger man held on and made it through the session.

Nishioka went for it in the 11th, letting both hands go to head and body. Munroe was under serious fire, and then another body shot crashed home for the champion. Munroe, as tired and hurt as he was, was still trying in there.

The 12th and final round saw some great action. Nishioka wanted to stop his man and he did his best to do so. Absolutely blasting away with both hands with blurring speed, the WBC champ thrilled the crowd. More body work followed, as well as another rapid-fire burst, where Nishioka threw dozens of fast punches. Munroe covered up and managed to return some of the fire. Both men were punching at the sound of the final bell.

A very good fight, with a lot of admirable qualities from both men, today’s battle was a genuine crowd-pleaser.

Munroe may be able to come again (he left the ring in tears, unfortunately), while Nishioka, despite being 34, clearly has a lot left to offer the sport at elite level.

Article posted on 24.10.2010

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