Earlier today in Osaka fight ans had the chance to see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Nishida (5-0, 1) [西田凌佑] make his first successful defense,as he over-came Tetsuro Ohashi (8-3-1, 2) [大橋哲朗], to claim a clear unanimous decision.
From the off the Nishida looked sharp, and seemed to immediately settle to the task at hand. Ohashi, to his credit, fought back well in round 2, but by the middle rounds Nishida was in control. He always seemed a step ahead of the challenger, being too quick, too sharp and having a much more versatile attack, with a lovely array of punches in his arsenal. He was landing 1-2's, right hooks and hitting some lovely counters with his left hand, and making Ohashi look second best time after time. Even when Ohashi managed to block shots, as he did when he began to neutralise Ohashi's 1-2's, he was made to pay with the Nishida landing power shots around the guard.
Ohashi did manage to get something of a lucky break in round 7, when Nishida was cut from a clash of heads. Sadly for Ohashi that drew a new side of offense from Nishida, who began to bang the body of Ohashi, and then managed to begin finding room for his straight left hand. Ohashi was taking shots, but not having much success of his own, though he was showing some real grit and spirit.
Ohashi managed to have success in round 10, knowing he needed something bit, and he landed some lovely counter shots, but that seemed to just make Nishida realise the challenger was still there, and the champion got on his toes and started to box and move. That jab of his was also kay in round 12, though Ohashi did bite down in the final round it wasn't nearly enough.
After 12 rounds we went to the score cards, which read 116-112, a score that was far too close, 118-110 and 119-109, all to Nishida.
Sunday at that the Sumiyoshi Kuim Center in Osaka, fight fans will get the chance to see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Nishida (4-0, 1) [西田凌佑] make his first defense, as he takes on Japanese challenger Tetsuro Ohashi (8-2-1, 2) [大橋哲朗]. On Saturday the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both men made the 188lb weight limit without any real issue, in fact both men came in at 117.75lbs, comfortably under the limit.
After making weight both men spoke to the Japanese boxing press.
Nishida revealed that he was very comfortable in making weight, and it did show as he looked in great shape. He also explained that he was inspired by two recent performances from his stablemates, Yusuke Mine (5-0, 2) [峯佑輔] and Tulio Dekanarudo (4-1-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] who both picked up wins last weekend. He explained that he was expecting to to stop Ohashi, but wasn't aiming for a stopping, and it seemed more like he was expecting it to come, when it comes.
Ohashi on the other hand stated that he was surprised by the fact the two men were pretty much the same size, with Ohashi expecting to be notably smaller than the champion. As for his game plan, he was going to attack like a challenger, and use his speed as his main weapon against the talented Nishida.
Relates - Nishida takes on Ohashi in first WBO Asia Pacific title defense
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.
Over the weekend fight fans in Okinawa saw Ryosuke Nishida (4-0, 1) [西田凌佑] score a notable upset win, as he took a decision over former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (17-2-1, 17) [比 嘉 大吾], claiming the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title with the victory. Earlier today, following that win, Nishida took part in a press in Osaka at the Mutoh gym and spoke about what he wants to do going forward and how the bout went.
Early in the event it was revealed that both Nishida and his chief trainer, Kosuke Takeichi, had been given a reward from the management of the gym, accounting for 1 million yen, a tasty reward alongside the expected payment both men were going to get for the fight anyway.
With the win Nishida tied a Japanese record of fewest fights to win a regional title, winning one in his 4th bout just like Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] and Ginjiro Shigeoka [重岡銀次朗]
Speaking out how he feels Nishida explained "I'm really happy to win. I received a congratulatory email and gradually realized that I won." It seemed he knew he was too big for Higa, and admitted that he didn't really Higa's punching power, something he put down to the fact that he had been fighting at Super Bantamweight before moving down in weight for this bout.
Whilst Nishida's performance was excellent it also needs to be said that Takeichi's gameplan was fantastic, and Nishida fought it fantastically well, keeping the range that Takeichi has been wanting from his star student, and controlling the bout at both range and up close.
It was Mr Takeichi that spoke about the future plans. He explained that not too much can be said, given Nishida has just won the title, but "I think he proved his ability because he beat Omori (Shohei Omori) and Higa, but he still only has 4 bouts, and I think there are some parts that aren't recognized by the people around him, so I'd like to take steps one by one. However, if we have a chance, we'd like to actively aim for the top." It should be noted that Nishida himself suggested that he wanted to face WBO Bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero if he could get the chance. It should also be noted that Mutoh gym are quoted in the Japanese press that "there is a possibility of world challenge overseas", adding further to the idea he and his team will begin to target Casimero. Given that Higa was ranked #6 by the WBO going into this bout, Nishida is expected to take a top 10 WBO ranking on the back of the result.
Mr Takeichi also went into detail about Nishida's biggest strengths and explained "Even on the big stage, there are few emotional ups and downs. No matter who the other party is, he has a good sense of normality." That was something Nishida himself spoke about, explaining he's never been a nervous guy, even since he was an amateur, and that level of composure has shown it's self since he turned professional. He's always looked incredibly relaxed in the ring, event when under pressure.
As for how the two men intent to spend their new bonus. Nishida will be spending some on home appliances, and saving the rest, whilst his trainer explained he has to consult his wife. It is worth noting that this is the second time Takeichi has received such an award from the gym, previously winning it when he guided Yuki Strong Kobayashi [ストロング小林佑樹] to winning the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, and he has his eyes on another one when Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] challenges Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] in May.
Earlier today fight fans in Okinawa got a rare show of note, headlined by a former world champion taking on a rising star of Japanese boxing. The show wasn't a big one, but the main was certainly a huge bout worthy of attention, and the under-card had several fighters of interest on it.
The show opened up with a 4 rounder between 22 year hold Kanta Yamauchi (3-2-1, 2) [山内 寛太] and 19 year old Nagi Sudo (2-2-1) [須藤 凪]. This was all action from the off and although Yamauchi was the better fighter through out there was no questioning Sudo's effort, with the youngster playing his part in a 4 round fire cracker. After 4 rounds the judges turned in cards of 40-36 and 39-37, twice, all for Yamauchi. He was a deserved winner, but he really had to earn the win in a fantastic curtain raiser.
The second bout saw touted 24 year old prospect Yusuke Mine (4-0, 1) [峯 佑輔] take a wide and clear decision over the durable Taiga Higashi (6-5, 2) [東 大河], with Mine controlling the 6 rounder without too many problems. Higashi tried to bring the action and apply pressure but the boxing IQ, footwork and movement of Mine were too much and Mine calmly controlled the action behind his jab, mixing up the action when he needed to. Higashi was never really discouraged but was also never able to really get a foothold on the bout, which was controlled by the skills of Mine.
In a solid performance Okinawa local Ryuto Owan (7-1, 5) [大湾 硫斗] dominated the tough, but limited, Takafumi Iwaya (4-5) [岩屋 卓史] who ended up being saved by his corner. Iwaya looked to start fast but Owan settled quickly, began to box his fight, using his movement and clean punching and began to control the bout from midway through the opening round. From there on Owan was in control, and he went through the gears, battering Iwaya, who was saved by his corner in round 4, whilst on the wrong end of a beating.
Sadly for Iwaya this is the second time in as many bouts that his toughness has been his worst enemy as he also took a pounding last September against Rentaro Kimura and it's hard to see his career continuing for much longer.
In the main event fans saw local favourite Daigo Higa (17-2-1, 17) [比 嘉 大吾] suffer a notable upset loss to the unbeaten Ryosuke Nishida (4-0, 1) [西田凌佑], with Nishida dethroning Higa of the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title.
From the off the size and stance of Nishida seemed to be a problem for Higa, who had real issues getting inside and working up close. Nishida seemed smooth, calm and soaked up the pressure well, whilst also landing plenty of leather himself. He was making Higa miss, and making Higa look like a Big Flyweight fighting against a Bantamweight. What didn't help Higa was when he did get inside Nishida clinched, using his natural size and strength advantages to stop Higa from getting shots off. Amazingly we also saw Nishida willing letting shots go up close, especially to the body.
The crowd, which were expected to be getting behind Higa, were nearly silent as their man struggled for any kind of sustained success. He had moments, but they were few and far between with Nishida having sustained success through all of the early rounds, dictating the action and the tempo without too many problems.
Higa began to find something of a groove in round 4, as he upped his pressure and work rate and began to fight with much more urgency. It was clear he felt he was in a hole and had to try and turn things around. He continued to be more aggressive in round 5 as well, landing some of his best shots, but it seemed like even his best shots didn't hurt Nishida who was standing his ground and landing his own leather whilst also trying to bully Higa physically when he had to.
After a few solid rounds from Higa he really did begin to look tired in the later stages, whilst Nishida seemed to have energy to burn and in the second half of the fight Nishida really started to beat up Higa who had to hold and spoil and do what he could to slow the offense of the challenger. Sadly for Higa he looked out of his depth at times, as well as out of his weight class. To his credit Higa was tough, rugged and hungry, but that was about it in stages as Nishida took total control of the action.
After 12 rounds the scores were read out, and they all favoured the challenger, widely. They were 117-111, twice, and 118-110, all in favour of Nishida who has now scored two big wins in back to back bouts, having beaten Shohei Omori last year.
For Higa this is a painful loss. He took a beating. At home. In front of the fans in Okinawa. He was dominated and shown, very clearly, that he is not a Bantamweight. Sadly however the JBC don't seem to be willing to risk seeing Higa miss weight again, as he did against Cristofer Rosales when he was the WBC Flyweight champion. He will need to go back to the drawing board, and learn to adapt to fighting as a Bantamweight, which we suspect will be incredibly tough for him.
As for Nishida, he's now beaten a former world title challenger and a former world champion. It's hard to imagine that he's not now looking for a world title fight sooner rather than later. This win was a stellar performance. It was a performance that showed how good he was, how composed he is, and how, even after just 4 bouts, he is already ready for major contests against top level fighters.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!