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Nishida upsets Rodriguez, wests IBF bantamweight title in Osaka

May 04, 2024 21:59 pm

  Top-ranked challenger Ryosuke Nishida of Muto Boxing Gym, scored a knockdown in the fourth round and went on to earn a unanimous decision over Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico to wrest the International Boxing Federation bantamweight title on May 4 in Osaka.

New champion Nishida enjoys victory with his wife Sana

  After the 12-round fight at EDION Arena Osaka, two of the three judges scored the fight 115-112 and the remaining one had it 117-110, all in favor of the 27-year-old Nishida.

  The undefeated Nishida captured the title in his ninth professional bout, while the 31-year-old Rodriguez failed in his first defense of the title he won by decisioning Melving Lopez of Nicaragua last August.

  The left-handed Nishida got off to a good start as he stuck out sharp right jabs and left hooks to the body and controlled the fight.

  In the fourth stanza, Nishida, who fought as an amateur during his high-school and university days, landed a left hook to the liver at close quarters, sending Rodriguez crouching down for a mandatory eight count.

  While Rodriguez fought back strongly in the middle of the round based on his favorite straight rights to the head, Nishida did not move back and exchanged blows with the Puerto Rican and ended the fight on top, although Nishida’s right eyelid was puffed up.

  After the fight, Nishida said from the ring, ‘’I was planning to work my opponent’s body, and it worked out well. Though Rodriguez had a hunger to victory, I wanted to stick to my style of boxing. I want to say thank you to all those who supported me despite the fact I was viewed as an underdog. I will keep plugging away through my close consultation with my trainer Mr. (Kosuke) Takeichi.’’

  With the victory, Nishida extended his unbeaten streak to nine, one by knockout. For his part, Rodriguez fell to a 22-3 win-loss tally with 13 KOs.

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