It's fair to say that 2016 has gotten off to a whimper instead of a bang, however we have been seeing a number of upsets in recent weeks. The most recent of those came earlier today at the Korakuen Hall as the determined Hikaru Nishida (15-7-1, 7) [西田 光] stunned veteran Akio Shibata (27-9-1, 13) [柴田 明雄].
Shibata, who was defending the OPBF and JBC Middleweight titles, was regarded as the favourite though was in against a live under-dog. He had defeated Nishida back in 2014 and had been on a great run in recent years, with wins against Daisuke Nakagawa, Makoto Fuchigami and Koki Tyson Maebara, now known as just Koki Tyson.
Despite Shibata's great run he wasn't able to keep the momentum going here.
He started well, boxing and moving, using his reach, but before long the younger, fresher, and naturally stronger, Nishida had managed to cut the distance. Up close there was only one winner with Nishida's blows taking a swift effect on Shibata,
Nishida's blows dropped Shibata twice in round two before finish the fight in round 3, to record his biggest win, by far.
Following the bout Shibata seemed to hint at retirement, whilst Nishida looked on top of the world, and may well find himself gaining a world ranking, given that Shibata was world ranked coming in to this one.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.uk
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