Jhonny Gonzalez's dream to return to world championship standing came to a crashing halt last night at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico as he was stopped by reigning WBC super bantam kingpin Toshiaki Nishioka in just three rounds.
Gonzalez nearly pulled off an upset in the very first round as the hard-punching Mexico City man announced his arrival by canvassing the champion but Nishioka rose to his feet and made it through the round.
In the second, the champion began to settle in as his compact southpaw style began to reverse the disastrous start but Nishioka was still wary of Gonzalez's power.
In the third, Nishioka rammed home a perfect southpaw left behind a double jab that had Gonzalez on his back and in dire straits.
The former WBO bantam champion wasn't able to beat the count and the contest was declared over at 1:20 of the third frame.
Gonzalez, 40-7 (34), sees a six fight win streak snapped while Nishioka, 34-4-3 (21), who hasn't lost in pver five years, retains the WBC belt for the second time.
Former IBF bantam champion Rafael Marquez, 38-5 (34), returned to action after a year off and made it back in a big way, dropping Colombian opponent Jose Francisco Mendoza, 21-3-2 (17), twice enroute to winning by stoppage in the third at featherweight.