In Osaka on December 31st fans will get a trio of title fights. The least significant of those title bouts is a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between unbeaten champion Sho Ishida (17-0, 9), one of a number of fast rising Japanese youngsters, and unheralded challenger Masato Morisaki (9-3-1, 5).
Of the two men it's Ishida who is the better known fighter, the more established, the more touted and the more skilled. His is, like many at the Ioka boxing gym, tipped to go a very long way and the Japanese title he currently holds is expected to be little more than the first in a huge collection of professional titles that he will win.
Aged 23 Ishida is blessed with wonderful speed and movement as well as a tall and rangy frame that allows him to box from range like a number of his gym buddies. Like those gym mates, including Masayoshi Nakatani and Takeru Kamikubo, he has shown an incredible ability to box on the move with his lightning jab being the root of his success. Not only is his jab lighting quick but it's laser accurate and razor sharp allow him to pick off opponents think they can just charge in on him.
Whilst the jab is Ishida's key offensive weapon it's far from his only weapon and in fact it opens the door for many of his other weapons including vicious uppercuts when an opponent is up close and lovely hooks, especially to the mid-section. It was one such body shot that put away the tough Petchbarngborn Kokietgym, in what was Ishida first stand out win. It that was win over Petchbarngborn that showed just how good Ishida was and since then he has racked up 3 wins, including his Japanese title win earlier this year over Yohei Tobe. The win over Tobe is the best so far for Ishida and really showed off his ability in what was a high skilful contest. That bout proved he was as good as some suggest and that he still has a lot to achieve with OPBF and world titles both like to become his in the coming years.
Morisaki, 32 years old, is significantly older than the defending champion here though is also a man who is sat at the bar in the Last Chance Saloon. He has lost 3 of his previous 7 and is, sadly, without a really notable win. He is the stereotypical “easy first defense” and is unlikely to really have anything to test Ishida with.
For those who haven't seen the challenger as of yet he's nothing special. He is a patient fighter who appears to have spiteful power in his right hand but is predictable, comes forward with his hands relatively low and doesn't have either the speed nor timing to make up for his flaws against a higher level of fighter. Many of his wins have been down to his opposition just as much as himself, with just 1 win over an opponent with a winning record.
As well Morisaki's limited “victims” he has also lost to limited opposition, including Shun Ishibashi, who stopped Morisaki in 7 rounds in late 2013. Ishibashi is the only man to have stopped Morisaki but is a limited non-puncher and this loss needs to send alarm bells for those thinking about the upset.
With what we know about the challenger and what we've seen of him we can only assume one winner here, Ishida. The question is whether or not he can stop the challenger though we have to assume he can, given Morisaki's stoppage loss to Ishibashi.
We suspect this one will be over early. Ishida has the ability, power and speed to make light work of a fighter like Morisaki and we think he'll go out to impact, something he'll accomplish with an early and eye catching victory. Don't be shocked if this one only goes 2 or 3 rounds.
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.