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Home > Match Information > WBO champ Taniguchi back to basics for Apr. 22 title defense against hard-hitting Ishizawa

WBO champ Taniguchi back to basics for Apr. 22 title defense against hard-hitting Ishizawa

Apr 15, 2022 21:43 pm

World Boxing Organization minimumweight champion Masataka Taniguchi of Watanabe Boxing Gym told reporters online on Apr. 15 he will go back to square one in his first defense of the title against fifth-ranked Kai Ishizawa of M.T Boxing Gym on Apr. 22 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.


Southpaw Taniguchi, who captured the title last December with an 11th-round technical knockout over Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico in Tokyo, said the main theme of the upcoming fight is to ‘’beat Ishizawa’’ irrespective of the fact he once defeated Ishizawa, 25.

In September 2019, Taniguchi, 28, won an eight-round unanimous decision in a fight to decide the challenger to the vacant Japanese title although he suffered a knockdown in the second round.

While Taniguchi won the Japanese title, defended it once and became the world champion, Taniguchi is appeared careful more than necessary. In other words, his modus operandi vis-à-vis boxing is to concentrate on beating his opponent at hand.

Taniguchi, flanked by the gym’s head Hitoshi Watanabe and trainer Jun Hoki, is stepping up agility training while paying more attention to what he eats.

Watanabe said, ‘’He has been training earnestly even after becoming the world champion just like he was a challenger.

Taniguchi echoed by saying, ‘’I think the Ishizawa today is different from the Ishizawa I fought before. I think he has become stronger as if he were a different person.’’ Taniguchi, therefore, has trained with boxers in the heavier weight divisions in an attempt to cope with Ishizawa’s power.

It is true that Ishizawa changed his then power-based fighting style to more technique-oriented boxing ever since losing to Taniguchi.

Taniguchi commented, ‘’What I am chasing is higher than I initially expected. In that sense, I have not yet reached my peak. I think I can expect more from me.’’

Taniguchi has a record of 15 wins, including 10 knockouts, against three losses, while Ishizawa has a 10-1 win-loss tally with nine KOs.

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