Last time out in "Reliving the Finish" we covered a bout between two debutants in Korea, this time we go a little bit more high profile as we look at a world title bout in Monaco featuring one of the biggest names in the sport over the last 10 years and a popular challenger. The bout certainly not the biggest or most notable bout every, but it was certainly a fight with some international attention and appeal, and one that had media interest from around the boxing world.
Gennady Golovkin (25-0, 22) vs Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9)
In March 2013 Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin faced off with Japanese veteran Nobuhiro Ishida in Monte Carlo.
At the time Golovkin was the WBA "regular" and IBO Middleweight champion and was carving out a growing reputation on the global scene as a dangerous boxer-puncher. He had made his US debut the previous September, stopping Grzegorz Proksa and had then beaten Gabriel Rosado into submission in January, also in the US. Following those wins US TV were getting behind him, but he wasn't just fighting in the US as he looked to keep one of the busier schedules of any world champion in the sport.
As one of his non-US bouts Golovkin travelled to Monaco, something he ended up doing again in 2014 and 2015.
In the opposite corner to the hard hitting Kazakh was Ishida, a man best known for his monstrous upset win over James Kirkland in 2011. Sadly since the win over Kirkland Ishida had failed to build on his momentum, but had enough value in is name to face both Paul Williams and the then WBO Middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog in 2012, losing both bouts by decision.
Despite those losses Ishida had proven he was tough, he was durable and the hoipe was that he would extend Golovkin, who had stopped 12 opponents in a row.
Obviously that didn't happen.
The first two rounds had seen Golovkin out box, out speed and out skill Ishida, but he showed the Japanese fighter a lot of respect. He backed off in the first round, picked his shots and scouted Ishida, getting a read on the Japanese fighter. Golovkin put his on the gas in round 2, but Ishida was still holding his own never looked in any real trouble. That was until round 3.
In round 3 Golovkin moved up another gear. He was letting his hands go more and putting more on his shots. Gone were the jabs at range, replaced by uppercuts and hooks up close.
Just over 2 minutes into the round Golovkin landed a brutal right hand as Ishida was going backwards. Usually going backwards would have taken something off the impact, but here it did little. Ishida fell backwards, like he'd been clobbered by a baseball bat, and his backwards momentum sent him partly through the bottom two ropes. His legs in the ring, his upper body outside of it.
Immediately the bout was waved off.
It was a wonderful sight, and a slightly scary one until Ishida regained his bearings.
In the years that followed this bout Golovkin would go on to become one of the biggest names in the sport, landing a string of big fights and adding the WBC and IBF titles to his collection. Ishida on the other hand returned to Japan and had a run at the Japanese Heavyweight, losing a close decision before retiring to set up his own gym in Neyagawa, Osaka.
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).