Upset In Japan As Ryosuke Nishida Takes The IBF Bantamweight Title From Emmanuel Rodriguez Via 12 Round UD!

By James Slater - 05/04/2024 - Comments

Yet another bantamweight title has gone to Japan, the country really having made both the bantamweight and the super-bantamweight divisions its own these past few months or so. Earlier today in Osaka, Japan, Ryosuke Nishida upset the odds as well as defending IBF 118 pound champ Emmanuel Rodriguez, the fighter with the 8-0 record going in dropping Rodriguez in round four and winning a fairly wide (at least on one card) unanimous decision.

Scores were 117-110, and 115-112, 115-112. 27 year old southpaw Nishida is now 9-0(1) and he has become a world champion after having spent a little over four-and-a-half years as a pro. Puerto Rico’s Rodriguez falls to 22-3(13), with him losing the title on his first defence of his second reign today. It was back in 2019 when Rodriguez lost the IBF belt to Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue. Now, at age 31, it will prove a tough task if Rodriguez is to become a three-time champion.

Nishida, showing far more experience and know-how than his eight pro fights would suggest might be the case, outclassed a good champion today, his skills befuddling Rodriguez and impressing the fans as well as the three scoring judges. Nishida attacked the body well and though he is not a noted puncher (just that one KO win), he certainly managed to hurt Rodriguez, to the body especially. A left hook to the midsection scored the knockdown in round four, with Nishida having started the fight in dominant fashion.

Rodriguez dug in and managed to come back and win some of the middle rounds. Some of the later rounds were pretty close, and Rodriguez, knowing he was behind, really did try to rally and come back. But Ishida was the worthy winner, no doubt about it. Ishida is now the ninth fighter from Japan to currently hold a major world title; the sport really booming in the country.

The four 118 pound belts “Monster” Inoue vacated upon moving up a division are now held by the following fighters: Ishida, IBF, Jason Moloney, WBO, Takuma Inoue (Naoya’s brother), WBA, and Junto Nakatini, WBC.

The bantamweight division is crammed full of talent right now, and a whole lot of it is Japanese talent.