One name we expect most fans to be familiar with is Nobuhiro Ishida. The Japanese fighter spent his first 29 fights in Japan, but in his mid 30's he started to fight away from home and took part in a number of high profile bouts. Those bouts brought him from being an unknown outside of Japan, and more specifically Osaka, to a name every fan knew, at least for a few years.
In less than 24 months Ishida faced James Kirkland, Paul Williams, Dmitry Pirog and Gennady Golovkin whilst becoming a genuinely notable name on the international scene. Although he would only win 1 of those bouts he was certainly someone who had come from obscurity to make the most of his career well past the age many would suggest was his physical prime.
Although Ishida is someone we suspect every reader has heard about we know there's a lot fans don't know about him, so here we bring you 10 facts you probably didn't know about...Nobuhiro Ishida.
1-Ishida began boxing as a child, at the age of 6, under the tutelage of his father. Later on he would begin training at the well established Osaka Teiken gym.
2-As an amateur Ishida ran up a very impressive record, though it's unclear what the actual record is. Some sources report 99-15 (48), others state 101-15 (50) and a third states 101-15 (48).
3-Before turning professional Ishida worked at an orphanage.
4-In May 2001 Ishida suffered his first professional loss, losing the OPBF title at 154lbs to Seiji Takechi. By it's self that wouldn't be note worthy but it would be the final bout for Takechi who hung himself less than 3 months later, aged just 24. This appears to be the only time a Japanese fighter, holding any form of title, has committed suicide, and was regarded as a major shock. Although there had been numerous rumours as to why he committed suicide, including an affair and issues with the gym, nothing was ever put down as a definitive reason.
5-In 2009 Ishida defended the WBA "interim" Light Middleweight title against Oney Valdez, amazingly the bout was the chief support bout to Kazuto Ioka's third professional bout, against Takashi Kunishge.
6-During his entire career Ishida scored only 2 opening round wins. They both came in 2011 and the first of those, rather incredibly, came in his career defining win against James Kirkland. Heading into the bout with Kirkland Ishida hadn't finished someone in the opening round in any of his previous 30 bouts! Just 7 months after beating Kirkland Ishida would stop Edson Espinoza in the first round, his only other TKO1 win.
7-On a similar note Ishida's stoppages have all come in the first 6 rounds! They have come in round 1 (twice), round 2 (4-times), round 4 (twice), round 5 (once) and round 6 (twice).
8-In his retirement ceremony Ishida took part in a public spar with former foe, come close friend Crazy Kim. As a professional Kim beat Ishida twice, by decision in both bouts.
9-When he was an active fighter his ring walk music was usually "Train Train" by Japanese band "The Blue Hearts", which can be heard at the end of this article.
10-Following his retirement as an active fighter Ishida has set up his own boxing gym, the Neyagawa Ishida Boxing Club, which currently has several professional fighters in it's stable and held it's first independently promoted show in September 2019. Prior to the show they had held some joint promoted cards.
Extra Fact - In his 40 fight career Ishida was stopped just once, by Gennady Golovkin in 2013
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).