Back in May 2019 we spoke in depth about the talented Kai Ishizawa (then 5-0, 5 now 6-1, 6) as he featured in one of our "Introducing" articles. At the time Ishizawa was preparing for his 6th professional bout, a contest against Indonesian visitor Silem Serang, and was hoping to build on his impressive 2018 win over Yuga Inoue.
Then aged just 22 Ishizawa was making waves. He was the Japanese Youth Minimumweight Champion, he was showing himself to be a very exciting, hard hitting, though somewhat unpolished, fighter. He was teak tough, had rocks in his hands and kept coming forward, with belief that his aggression and power would be too much for anyone. That had been proven against Inoue and against Tatsuro Nakashima, in his two best wins
Unsurprisingly Ishizawa had no issues at all with Serang, who was stopped in the 4th round by Ishizawa in June 2019, on a card that was televised in G+ and headlined by Junto Nakatani. From the opening round Ishizawa pressed forward, showed a stiff jab, cut the distance behind a high guard and went about breaking down the Indonesian. Serang was in survival mode from pretty much the first minute, but eventually he was broken down, dropped and stopped.
After moving to 6-0 (6) Ishizawa then got a big step up fight as he took on former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi in a Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator. The winner of that bout would then be set to get a shot at the belt in early 2020 as part of the Champion Carnival. As we all now know the Champion Carnival has been delayed due to on going global crisis, but the rewards were big for the winner of this.
Sadly for Ishizawa the bout with Taniguchi was too much too soon. The gutsy youngster had some moments, in fact he dropped Taniguchi, but was made to look too inexperienced, too raw and too much of a crude novice against the talented Taniguchi, who took a clear decision over the previously unbeaten man. This meant that Taniguchi was then in line for a Japanese title fight whilst Ishizawa had to go back to the drawing board and learn from the setback.
Sadly we've not seen Ishizawa return to the ring following his first loss, but the hard hitting youngster seems like the type of young fighter who will learn from a loss like this, much like Taniguchi has from his defeats.
At the time of writing Ishizawa's next bout hasn't yet been set, though the hope is that he will be back in the ring sooner rather than later, even if it is just a simple and straight forward comeback win after his loss to Taniguchi.
Aged just 23 we really we see Ishizawa having a lot of potential, and hopefully he, and his team, can develop that potential over the next few years, and have him in the mix for domestic titles by 2022, and potentially regional titles the following year. He's young, promising, exciting, aggressive and strong. He just needs to physically mature and develop his defense and ring IQ if he's to make the most of what still promises to be a very, very exciting career.
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