Of the two men the one with the most upside is the 24 year old Ishida, an Ioka product from the same gym as Kazuto Ioka, Ryo Miyazaki and Masayoshi Nakatani, who will be defending his OPBF title on the same show. Like Nakatani we usually see Ishida boxing on the outside, using his reach, jab, movement and speed to beat opponents, though when called for he can dig in in the trenches and has shown the adaptability he'll need when he steps up to world class.
During his career there hasn't been many real issues with Ishida's performances. The one that does stand out however is his bout with Taiki Eto 12 months ago, when Ishida seemed to run on fumes for the later rounds and was somewhat fortunate to take a split decision. That bout did leave question marks about his stamina however he proved his toughness, his will to win and his warrior spirit, whilst a fight later he seemed to show he could do 10 rounds without any problems.
Although not a huge puncher Ishida is sharp with his shots and does carry the power to stop opponents, as seen with his 2nd round KO win against Petchbarngborn Kokietgym back in 2013. That stoppage also proved that he can be devastating to the body.
Aged 30 the challenger has had an up-and-down career and will be seeking another up, in fact he will be seeking his career best win when he faces Ishida. On paper however it's easy to rule him out, especially given the fact he has been stopped 3 times in his 6 losses though those losses include stoppages to Shinsuke Yamanaka and Rolly Lunas, both at Bantamweight. It's also worth noting that he began his career 2-2 and has lost just once in the last 5 years, going 11-1 (8) during that period. Whilst his wins might not be over top tier opponents he does hold notable victories over Gakuya Furuhashi, recent title challenger Ryuta Otsuka.
Whilst Funai is on a good run, and has won his last 7 bouts, they haven't been the most impressive of wins, with the most notable results being a stoppage against Ryuta Otsuka and a razor thin decision over Akinori Hoshino. Those wins are credible, but not the sort of wins that will prepare a fighter for someone like Ishida, who stopped Otsuka in 4 rounds himself.
In the ring Funai has proven to be a fighter who has improved with age, though at 30 years old there is a chance he may well be as good as he'll ever get. He's never going to be a genuine world beater but he's certainly a credible threat here and has the experience, power, skills and toughness to really give Ishida absolute hell. We suspect however that he will show flaws that Ishida will take advantage of, and the champion's jab and move approach will take him to a clear, but hard fought win.