These two first met in March 2014. At the point Nishida was a struggling fighter with a record of 9-6-1 (3) and was looking to build on notable wins over Fukutaro Ujiie, Kazuhika Hidaka and Go Nakahori. Fuchigami on the other hand looked like a man coming to the end of his career with losses to Gennady Golovkin and Akio Shibata. That bout ended with Nishida taking a decision win. A rematch last year saw the then 12-7-1 (4) Nishida force a 5th round TKO against the then 21-10 (12) Fuchigami, in what was Fuchigami's 4th loss in 5 bouts. Really that have been the end of the rivalry.
Now we're heading into a third bout with the champion clearly being favoured over the challenger.
Aged 29 Nishida is a man coming into his prime and he's tough, rough and has a great engine allowing him to bring the pressure and break down his opponents. He'
slow, rather predictable and can be out boxed, as we saw earlier this year against Dwight Ritchie, but against fighters who can't keep on their toes for 12 rounds he's a nightmare, as seen when he stopped Akio Shibata back in March.
Nishida does nothing special. He's a flat footed and relatively slow. What he does though is effective, especially against older fighters who lack the energy to bounce about for 12 rounds.
At his best Fuchigami was a very solid fighter. Yes he was stopped by Golovkin but he was a good, solid and gutsy fighter. In fact his bout in 2011 with Koji Sato was phenomenal with Fuchigami proving his heart and slowly breaking down the feared Sato despite taking some nasty shots of his own. That bout was Fuchigami at his best, and was part of a 9-0 (8) run that also included wins against Tetsuya Suzuki, Takayuki Hosokawa and Fukutaro Ujiie.
Sadly since fighting Golovkin we've seen Fuchigami really struggle and he has subsequently gone 4-4 (4) with two losses to both Akio Shibata and Nishida. He has shown some lovely skills, and was out boxing Nishida in their second bout, but his punch resistance seems to be completely gone and he can't fight hard for 12 rounds any more at the age of 33.
Given how the last bouts between these two went it's hard to imagine Fuchigami win this one, in fact it'd be one of the biggest shocks of the year if Fuchigami was to over-come Nishida. We suspect Fuchigami will start well but be broken down in the middle rounds with Nishida scoring a stoppage after 7 or 8 rounds.