Today, ahead of that bout, both men made weight and both looked in incredible shape at the weigh in.
It wasn't just making weight that the fighters had in common but also confidence. Both were very confident at the weigh in but also respectful with both accepting that their opponent was a credible foe and accepting that the bout was a big one.
Kuga, who is stepping up massively for this one, is regarded as an unheralded prospect who will be hoping his power will be too much for the more experienced, and battle hardened, Ishimoto, who is fighting in his third Japanese title bout.
The two men meet for a title that was recently vacated by Yukinori Oguni, who gave up the title to focus on getting a world title bout.
Kuga and Ishimoto close out the pre-Christmas run in brilliant title match up!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)