This past week we saw hard hitting Japanese Minimumweight-come-Light Flyweight Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) score his latest win, stopping Masashi Tada in 6 rounds. With that win in mind we've decided to do an extra "Five For" this week, looking at Ishizawa, who has a lot of really interesting options to face off with on the Japanese domestic scene.
Although Ishizawa is a flawed fighter he's a very, very fan friendly one, with destructive power, and great combinations, and with that in mind we suspect he could be in some amazing fights over the next year or two, at least if he's matched well. And to be fair, it's probably easier to match him well than not to at the moment, given the exciting talent at 105 and 108lbs.
1-Masamichi Yabuki (11-3, 11)
Puncher Vs Puncher bouts are regularly ones that get the juices flowing and there's no better Puncher Vs Puncher bout in Japan at 108lbs that a bout between Ishizawa and Japanese national champion Masamichi Yabuki! This would guarantee fire works, with neither man happy to hear the bell, in fact neither man has won a decision thus far into their career. On paper Yabuki would be the favourite, having achieved more and fought at a higher level, but Ishizawa shouldn't be written off. On paper we think Ishizawa is the heavier handed fighter, and the more study man, but Yabuki is the better boxer, and the smarter fighter. Either way seeing them climb into the ring and face off would answer a lot of questions and give us something very violent, and very exciting!
2-Tsuyoshi Sato (10-2-1, 5)
When we think of great domestic match ups for Japanese fighters at 108lbs one name that will always pop up is Tsuyoshi Sato, who has an exciting style, through a lot of leather, comes forward and tries to make a war. It has cost him in the past, notably against Masamichi Yabuki earlier this year, but it's a style that makes him a must watch fighter. Combine that aggression and work rate with Ishizawa's fire power and brute strength and we have a potential Japanese Fight of the Year contender. If the naturally bigger Sato can get Ishizawa's respect this would would be an amazing war, though of course Ishizawa's power could end up being too much for Sato. Either way we would love to see these two men clash, and we would implore Kadoebi and MT Gym to give us this one in 2021!
3-Katsuki Mori (7-0, 1)
We love Ishizawa's power and aggression, but he is a flawed fighter, he's terrible with lateral movement, can be handcuffed by an opponent with good footwork and a busy style. With that in mind a bout between Ishizawa and Ohashi Gym prospect Katsuki Mori would be a great fight. Ishizawa probably has the power to take Mori out, though that's not a given and we're yet to see Mori actually being hurt, however Mori has the style, the activity and the tools to really test Ishizawa. This would be two men with different styles, that could end up gelling perfectly to give us something very, very special. We can understand the two men being kept apart for now, but we'd love to see this one take place.
Not only would Mori Vs Ishizawa be a great match up in terms of styles, but it would also be a huge local bout, with both men hailing from Kanagawa Prefecture giving the bout another extra edge to it!
4- Ryu Horikawa (3-0-1, 1)
There's no denying that Ishizawa is a heavy handed, pressure fighting monster, though we do question his work rate and his ability to adapt during a fight. On the other Ryu Horikawa looks like a sensationally talented boxer, with good movement, a great boxing brain and no fear of taking on good fighters early in his career. With that in mind we'd love to see this Puncher Vs Boxer bout. Although he only has 4 bouts to his name Horikawa has been very aggressively matched so far and Ishizawa would certainly not be beyond the radar of Horikawa, especially given the fact that Horikawa is the naturally bigger man, and was the more impressive amateur.
5-Takumi Chono (6-1, 5)
Another possible bout at 105lbs would see Ishizawa drop back down in weight and take on the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year runner up Takumi Chono, who's style, aggression, power and toughness would make for a great bout with Ishizawa. Chono might not be as strong, or as tough or as heavy handed as Ishizawa, but his style would gel well with Ishizawa's, the bout would be an exciting war up close and we suspect, given that Chono can punch, he'd draw the best out of Ishizawa. One complaint with Ishizawa is that he turns off in bouts, and against a fellow puncher we suspect we won't see that type of thing from him. Sadly though it's probably a bit too early for Chono to take on Ishizawa. Maybe one for late 2021...
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).