Lee Groves

10: Best junior featherweights of all time

9. Toshiaki Nishioka (active)

Record: 39-4-3 with 24 knockouts

Years Active: 1994-present

Title Reign: December 18, 2008-present (WBC)

Style: Mobile counterpuncher

Strengths: Movement, accurate left cross, persistence

Why Is He Ranked? At age 35, he may be enjoying the best form of his career. The man with the “Monster Left” went 0-2-2 against longtime WBC bantamweight king Veerapol Sahaprom between 2000-04 before capturing the “unified” WBC title at 122 by stopping Genaro Garcia in January 2009. Although other champions rated below him (and outside the top 10) have more than his six defenses, Nishioka has prevailed over excellent opposition, including an off-the-floor, one-punch knockout over current WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez, Ivan Hernandez and, most recently, Rafael Marquez. Based on the Marquez victory, the Kakogawa native still has plenty left in the tank.

Best Opponents at 122: Napapol Sor Rungvisai (W 12), Jhonny Gonzalez (KO 3), Ivan Hernandez (KO 3), Rendall Munroe (W 12), Rafael Marquez (W 12)

Also Faced in Other Divisions: Veerapol Sahaprom (L 12, D 12, D 12, L 12), Shigeru Nakazato (KO 8)

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