One of the few Japanese fighters to make a real mark on the US scene in recent years has been Nobuhiro Ishida (27-11-2, 11). The Japanese Light Middleweight, come Heavyweight, had a really career when we look back on it. He made his debut in his mid 20's, moved through the weights late on and later became a gym owner. During his 40 fight career he scored a number of notable wins. With that in mind we'll take a look at the 5 most significant wins for... Nobuhiro Ishida.
Kook Yul Song (March 1st 2001)
We start this by going all the way back to 2001, for what was Ishida's 6th professional bout. The bout saw Ishida taking on Korean fighter Kook Yul Song, the then OPBF Light Middleweight champion. Ishida was 5-0 (2) at this point whilst Song was 21-3-2 (16), and had held the OPBF title since 1997. The bout was close, well contested, and resulted in Ishida taking an 11th round Technical Decision to win the title, his first title. The bout gave Ishida's a very early shot in the arm, though his reign was a short one, losing 2 months later to Seiji Takechi.
Yuki Nonaka (December 22nd 2004)
Following his OPBF title win Ishida struggled for momentum. He had gone 5-5-1 following his title win, seeing his record fall to 11-5-1 (4). His career looked like it was going nowhere when he faced Yuki Nonaka. The bout saw Ishida take a 10 round decision over Nonaka and begin a great stretch of his career, which saw him go unbeaten for almost 6 years. The win may not be one of the biggest or best of Ishida's career, but was significant in reviving his career, and one that, on reflection, was massively significant and has aged really well. Over the years that follow Nonaka would become a major force on the Japanese and Oriental scene. This win is one that looks a lot better on reflection than pretty much any other win on Ishida's record.
Marco Antonio Avendano II (August 30th 2009)
Whilst Ishida failed to win a proper world title he did a WBA "interim" title in 2009 when he beat Venezuelan fighter Marco Antonio Avendano in their second bout. The two had fought in September 2008, with Ishida taking a close win, in what was an eliminator for the WBA title. Rather than getting a shot at the actual title however Ishida had to wait, almost a year, to get a shot at the interim title, against Avendano. In their second bout Ishida took a clear decision over Avendano to take the interim title, which would later open the door to him fighting in Mexico, where he lost the belt to Rigoberto Alvarez.
James Kirkland (April 9th 2011)
Of course the biggest win in Ishida's career was a non-title bout in the US, a win that saw him shaking the boxing world, and ending the rise of the then unbeaten James Kirkland. Ishida, then aged 35, was brought to Nevada to lose to the then 27-0 (24) Kirkland. No one seemed to tell Ishida he was there to lose, and instead of becoming the next Kirkland victim the Japanese veteran, fighting for the 31st time, stopped Kirkland. Inside a round. This was Ishida's first win outside of Japan, his first TKO1 victory, and came in the biggest fight of his career, to date. The win was so big it helped Ishida land a trio of big fights on the back of it, with bouts against Paul Wiilliams, Dmitry Pirog and Gennady Golovkin following this win. A true, career defining, victory!
Kotatsu Takehara (December 27th 2014)
In the final part of his career Ishida put on weight, a lot of weight, and moved from Middleweight to Heavyweight in the pursuit of the Japanese Heavyweight title, held by Kyotaro Fujimoto. He secured a shot at the title by defeating veteran Kotatsu Takehara at the end of 2014, proving to the JBC that he was a capable Heavyweight, and deserved a title fight, something they denied him 8 months earlier. Sadly for Ishida his desire to claim the title ended in naught, when he lost in April 2015 to Fujimoto in a title bout, but this win gave the end of Ishida's career a real purpose.
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