December 27th 2014- Sumiyoshi Ward Center, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Nobuhiro Ishida (26-10-2, 10) Vs Kotatsu Takehara (10-10-3, 4)
One of the biggest Japanese stories of 2014 was the story that Nobuhiro Ishida, the former WBA interim Light Middleweight champion, was going to move through the weights in an attempt to become the Japanese Heavyweight champion. When we first reported the story it seemed ridiculous though as the year progressed it became obvious that Ishida's intentions were genuine. In his third bout as a Heavyweight Ishida took on former 2-time Japanese title challenger Kotatsu Takehara with the two men trading blows on the grounds that the winner would get a Japanese title fight in 2015.
(Video courtesy of Mantagu)
In July 2013 the flamboyant Kyotaro Fujimoto became the first Japanese Heavyweight champion in more than 50 years. He did that by stopping veteran Peter Okello in 6 rounds.
Some 4 months after the victory over Peter we saw Fujimoto returning to the ring for his first defence of the belt as he took on Kotatsu Takehara, a limited Japanese Heavyweight who had fought on the international stage against Magomed Abdusalamov and Lucas Browne, who had both blown him out in a round, and Alex Leapai, who he held to a 6 round draw.
On paper it was a mismatch. Kyotaro, the golden boy of the Japanese Heavyweight scene, was 7-1 (5) and a man who had impressed fans with movement, skills and speed. Takehara was 9-8-3 (4) a was effectively a journeyman. In the ring however the bout was far from being a mismatch. We won't ruin the result but to say this was competitive is really not stretching the truth at all.
Interestingly the men will fight again on September 10th. The winner of their rematch is likely to fight Nobuhiro Ishida on New Years Eve in what could well be a hugely important bout for the Heavyweight division in Japan.
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