Back in April we saw Ryosuke Nishida (4-0, 1) [西田凌佑] announce himself as one to watch as he score a notable upset as he dominated former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (17-2-1, 17) [比 嘉 大吾], and claimed the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title in the process. Sadly since that huge win he has been quiet, and things regarding his future plans have been eerily quiet. That was until today when h was part of a press conference by the Mutoh Gym who announced his first defense and their next big show.
The unbeaten 25 year old will return to the ring on December 19th, at the Sumiyoshi Kumin Center in Osaka, to headline "You Will Be The Champion 11", where he will face off with Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Tetsuro Ohashi (8-2-1, 2) [大橋哲朗].
On paper this is a weak defense for Nishida, though given his last two bouts have been against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-5, 16) [大森 将平] and former world champion Daigo Higa it's hard to complain about him having an easier one now.
At the press conference Nishida stated that Ohashi has has good speed and technical ability, but that he had been training, and feels that he is better than he was in his last bout. Adding that he will definite win this one.
Also announced for this show is the return of Riku Kunimoto (4-1, 2) [国本陸], following his loss earlier this year to Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 12) [竹迫司登]. The former Japanese title challenger will be up against the unbeaten Kazuki Kyohara (5-0-2, 3) [京原和輝]. The hope for Kunimoto is to get a second title fight next year, and use a win here to boost his confidence and momentum coming in to that.
One other man announced for this show is former amateur standout Kaito Yamasaki (1-0) [山崎海斗], who is expected to fight in an 8 rounder against a yet to be named opponent.
The final Rookie of the Year bout for 2018 saw Nath Nwachukwu (3-0-2, 1) [ワチュク・ナァツ] and Kazuki Kyohara (3-0-1, 2) [京原 和輝] battle to be crowned the All Japan Middleweight Rookie of the year
On paper this was a very competitive match up, with both men being unbeaten and both having a similar number of fights. It looked like the most even match up on the card with no clear favourite and in the end there was next to nothing to split the two men, who fought to a draw after 4, very hotly contested, rounds. In fact none of the judges could even split the two fighters, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 38-38.
The bout was one of those rare one where the two men really matched each other, for the most part, with Kyohara perhaps just holding the edge in the first two rounds, before having his nose burst open in round 3 and being the loser of the 4th round. Though in fairness all 4 rounds were close, and could have gone either way.
Despite the scores being level their had to be a Rookie of the Year, and that went to Nwachukwu, who claims the title and keeps his unbeaten record.
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