On April 17th Japanese fans in Osaka will see unbeaten Super Flyweight hopeful Sho Ishida (21-0, 11) [石田 匠] defending his Japanese title at the EDION Osaka, in Osaka, where he takes on former OPBF title challenger Ryuichi Funai (24-6, 16) [船井 龍一]. The bout is a good looking one paper and is far from a foregone conclusion despite the fact the unbeaten man will be the clear favourite.
Whilst Ishida knows that Funai is no push over he full of confidence this morning when telling the media that he was looking for world honours and treating his upcoming defense as a world title prelude before making a world title challenge, possible in the Summer.
The Ioka gym youngster mentioned 3 fighters that he would like to face this year. They were WBO champion Naoya Inoue (9-0, 8) [井上 尚弥], who is likely to head in a different direction despite the friendly-rivalry between the Ioka and Ohashi stables, the WBA champion Kohei Kono (31-8-1, 13) [河野 公平], who would likely be open to a bout with Ishida if a mandatory isn't enforced at the same time, and WBC champion Carlos Cuadras (34-0-1, 26). All three of those are likely to be busy through the year, but Cuadras and Kono may have an opening to face Ishida on a card in Osaka.
The youngster is currently ranked across the title boards and could well find himself in a position to challenge for a title. Although he'd likely be the under-dog against any current champion he certainly can't be written off and there is a good chance that Ishida will claim a world title, one day.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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