April 30, 2014


Unsanctioned by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) to put his national belt at stake, Japanese heavyweight champ Kyotaro Fujimoto (8-1, 5 KOs), 232.75, was forced to square off against former WBA interim 154-pound champ Nobuhiro Ishida (25-10-2, 10 KOs), 206.5, in a non-title eight-rounder and was awarded a close but unanimous verdict (77-76 and 77-75 twice) in a see-saw contest on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Ishida was unsuccessful to win the WBA 160-pound throne as he was annihilated by Gennady Golovkin in three blitzkrieg rounds in Monaco thirteen months ago. The 38-year-old ex-WBA super-welter titlist jumped up some 50 pounds to make this ambitious encounter possible in several months. The JBCfs view is so logical that it saw Ishida had no credentials in the heavyweight class, so couldnft sanction it as a national championship contest.

After their cautious start in the opening canto, Ishida began to take command with longer and more accurate jabs, while Kyotaro, eleven years his junior at 27, kept circling to look for openings out of the upright stylist. Ishida, who once dismantled James Kirkland in the first upset round in 2011, swept the second through fourth rounds with comfortable ease.

Strongly encouraged by his cornermen, Kyotaro started his engine from the fifth and scored with solid one-two combinations to the taller opponent. Surprisingly Ishida went into a stall probably because he had gained weight too much in a short period and wasted his energy to move his much heavier body than usual up to this point in this game. Kyotaro dominated the fifth through seventh, and it seemingly became a one-round fight in the final session, which either could win as it was so close.

With this defeat Ishida most probably hang up his gloves for good. The future of the heavyweight action in Japan will depend on Kyotarofs success as a professional athlete, since boxing has been regarded as an unrewarded sport for tall and big Japanese youngsters and they usually entered the world of baseball, sumo wrestling, rugby, basketball, volleyball, judo, etc. Should the Japanese heavyweight prospectfs purse be only around $50,000 in total with three or four appearances in a year, our big boys with good reflexes and physical power wonft enter the paid ranks in the future, which means there wonft be any possibility of a world heavyweight champion out of Japan.

Should an Ichiro Suzuki, an excellent baseball player now belonging to New York Yankees who sometimes looks like an acrobatic Ninja, have participated in the boxing world, he could have been a Chris Byrd-like speedster. Not all Japanese are small, but there are very few that attempt to fight professionally as heavyweight boxers because of the economy, that is, the amount of the purses. Wefll watch Kyotarofs future with great interests.

Promoter: Kadoebi Jewel Promotions.


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