Over the years boxing has had some amazing finishes to bouts and we look at another memorable finish today as we travel back to 2009 and focus on a bout in Monterrey, Mexico. The bout isn't as well remembered as it should be, but featured two huge names, at least for lower weight fighters, in a really interesting match up between East and West.
Toshiaki Nishioka (33-4-3, 20) vs Jhonny Gonzalez (40-6, 34)
In September 2008 Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka won the WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight title as he took a wide decision over Napapol Sor Rungvisai, winning a big one at last following 4 set backs against Veeraphol Sahaprom.That title was quickly upgraded to the full version by the time Nishioka returned to the ring and stopped Genaro Garcia the following January. The talented "Speed King" wanted to be a bigger name internationally however and whilst he could have stayed in Japan defending his belt for years he chased bigger things. That lead him to Mexico to face the monstrously heavy handed Jhonny Gonzalez, a former WBO Bantamweight champion.
Although Nishioka was the champion he wasn't very well known outside of Japan. That was something he always seemed to want to change. Prior to this bout he had fought in France, being one of the very few Japanese fighters to win a bout in Europe, and in the US. In fact later in his career he made a big effort to become more well known in the West fighting his final two bouts in the US.
Gonzalez on the other hand was well known. The Mexican was regarded as one of the most devastating punchers in the sport. He combined his freakish power with solid boxing fundamentals and was a really talented boxer-puncher. Although he had 6 losses to his name 4 of those had come very early in his career, and he had since gone 26-2 (22), with both losses coming by stoppage whilst leading on the scorecards against world class opponents.
The Mexican challenger was the betting favourite and got off to a good start, putting Nishioka down in the opening round. He had proven he could hurt the champion but Nishioka wasn't there to just hand over his title. In fact the bout was a really technical match up with both men looking to line up their power shots. Neither man was wanting to give the other too many openings, with Nishioka knowing that Gonzalez could punch like a mule, and Gonzalez having been stopped in his last 2 defeats.
About a minute into round 3 Gonzalez threw a rather slow straight, followed by a jab and then another straight. Nishioka slipped them well then took his turn to throw, throwing a blinding jab before landing a dynamite straight left hand. The shot nearly took Gonzalez's head off, dropping him hard. Somehow the Mexican got to his feet, defying everyone's eyes, but he was gone, wobbling when up as the referee called a halt on the contest.
Whilst this wasn't the cleanest of KO's, in terms of leaving a man flat out, it was one of the cleanest shots you'll see land.
This is a big of a forgotten finish, but was a spectacular one!
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).