Back in March we saw the popular Yasutaka Ishimoto (30-9, 9) [石本 康隆] lose the Japanese Super Bantamweight title courtesy of a 2nd round TKO loss to the heavy handed Yusaku Kuga [久我 勇作]. Today Ishimoto made his long awaited ring return, his first since that loss to Kuga, as he took on 23 year old Filipino Arnel Baconaje (8-3, 6) as part of a Dynamic Glove card, aired on G+.
The bout proved to be a tough one for Ishimoto, with the visiting Filipino quickly realising he didn't have to be too worried of Ishimoto's power and started to land his own heavy shots, using his physical strength well to impose his fight on the faster, more skilled, Ishimoto. It looked almost as if the Kuga bout had taken more from Ishimoto than we first realised.
After 3 rounds it looked like Baconaje was on his way to a huge, potentially career defining, win. Sadly though for the visitor he was running out of steam, and Ishimoto had used his experience well to take some of the zip out of the Pinoy. Then the bout began to swing, with Ishimoto getting his shots off more regularly, forcing Baconaje backwards. From then on Ishimoto began to become more and more dominant as a tiring Baconaje began to struggle more and more.
In round 7 Baconaje came out strong, looking to turn the fight back in his favour and for the first minute we had two-way fireworks. Baconaje however put it all into his early work and Ishimoto then took over, landing some sickening body shots, a flurry upstaird and then subsequently dropping the Filipino. Baconaje's fighting spirit saw him get back to his feet, but he was down again soon afterwards, and had the bout waved off whilst he was in agony on the canvas.
Whilst the win was a good one for Ishimoto, and proved he wasn't "done" following the loss to Kuga, it did seem like his hard, and long career had caught up with him, and he looked a long way from the fighter he had once been.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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