The bout between Ishida and Takehara is set for December 27th and is widely viewed as being an unofficial eliminator for Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto, a man who has beaten both Ishida and Takehara this year.
This bout will be Ishida's third as a Heavyweight following his narrow defeat to Fujimoto in an 8 rounder back in April and a decision win over Frenchman David Radeff back in September. It's hoped that the 39 year old fighter will manage to cap off his long, and very interesting, career by winning the Japanese Heavyweight title before retiring from the sport. It's fair to say the experience of the previous 2 Heavyweight bouts for Ishida will have helped him learn about his body and what it's capable of with stamina being a clear issue in the latter rounds of both of his previous Heavyweight bouts.
As is always the case Ishida has been happy to post up recent training pictures and hopefully we'll again see his body transform into that of a small but quick Heavyweight. With out his speed however Ishida would be little more than a sitting duck in the division, even on the Japanese domestic scene.
(Image courtesy of Nobuhiro Ishida's very own blog)