On November 22nd in Toyonaka we'll get the chance to see a novice take on a former world title challenger, and with that in mind it seems a perfect time to discuss the novice in question as he moves towards the biggest bout of career so far. By some distance. The bout is one that few are giving him a chance in but, if he wins, he'll be rocket boosted towards a title fight, and a chance to make a name for himself.
The man in question is Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) who faces former world title challenger Shohei Omori in just his third professional bout. It might be too soon for Nishida, as many seem to suspect, or it could be right place, right time, for a relatively unknown prospect looking to announce themselves as the next big thing.
Nishida, who fights out of the Mutoh Gym in Osaka, was a stand out amateur who was always regarded as a contender in domestic amateur competitions. Whilst tournament wins weren't something the regularly win he did pick up a National Polity crown in 2014. He was also a major player in the Kindai University team in 2018, winning the MVP award. Although he never regularly won competitions, he was always regarded as one of the main contenders and was a skilled fighter, with clear potential to be a success in the professional ranks.
After impressive in the amateurs he left the sport for a while before returning and heading to the professional ranks last year, taking part in his B license test opposite fellow prospect Yusuke Mine.
Sadly, for someone with clear promise, Nishida didn't debut in Japan. Instead he debuted in Bangkok, on a small show that featured Nishida, Yusuke Mine and very, very few fighters of any note at all. The excuse given was that Takashi Edagawa and team couldn't find anyone suitable for a 6 round bout with Nishida. Despite the underwhelming event of Nishida's debut the youngster did what he needed to and took out the hapless Sakol Ketkul in just 2 minutes.
In his second professional bout Nishida did actually fight in Japan! In fact he fought in Osaka, in a 6 round bout against Filipino visitor Pablito Canada, and this has been the only chance we've had to see Nishida in a professional ring, as it was made available on Boxing Raise. In this bout Nishida looked legitimately class, like a genuine prospect worthy of following. He looked sharp, relaxed, super comfortable in the ring, had great timing, good footwork, solid balance and impressive handspeed. There were areas that he needed work on defensively, but for a fighter in just his second fight it was almost impossible to complain.
After 6 rounds against Canada Nishida took a wide decision. In fact it was 60-52 on all 3 cards, and Nishida seemed to be very much within himself, happy to get rounds under his belt and some ring time, rather than feeling the need to take his man out.
Whilst Nishida did look like a really good prospect last time out there is a difference between looking good against Pablito Canada, whilst fighting at third gear, and even having a chance against someone like Shohei Omori over 8 rounds. Nishida's up coming bout looks like a huge gamble for the skilled, young, southpaw.
From what we've seen Nishida is a natural boxer. He's very happy on the backfoot, moving around the ring, making opponents come to him, making them miss and punishing them. Omori has seen that before however and we'll need to see more from Nishida for him to beat Omori.
We like what we've seen from Nishida, who's a very talented Super Bantamweight, but we can't help feel like is team are unable to really build prospects. This isn't just a step up in class, but is more a case of being thrown in at the deep end of a pool and seeing whether Nishida can sink or swim, after only previously being in a bath tub. Saying that however if he swims Japan have got almost certainly got new star on their hands and Nishida will be in the mix for regional titles in 2021.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces