Home Boxing News Yasutaka’s difficult choice looks like an interesting one

Yasutaka’s difficult choice looks like an interesting one

Japanese boxing doesn’t get the attention it often deserves. As a result many are surprised by how good Japanese fighters are. This was seen last year when Yasutaka Ishimoto upset former world champion Wilfredo Vasquez Jr.

Since the victory over Vasquez Jr we’ve seen Ishimoto scoring back to back stoppages over international opponents to run his current winning streak to 5 bouts.

After his most recent victory Ishimoto said that this year he was focusing on titles, specificially mentioning the OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) title.

Although currently unranked by the OPBF (a mystery in it’s self) Ishimoto would likely be looking towards either Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake or Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa.

Naturally a Super Bantamweight Ishimoto is world ranked by the WBO (#7), IBF (#9) and WBA (#13) all at 122lbs. Despite this he has fought his last 2 contests at a 124lb contracted weight, midway between Super Bantamweight and Featherweight. This would indicate that Featherweight is a real possibility.

Having watched Shingo Wake’s recent fights it’s hard to favour Ishimoto against him. Wake is a tricky southpaw who fights as a sharp shooting counter puncher. A night to fight and almost impossible to look good against. If Ishimoto wants Wake, and it’s hard to under-stand why anyone would, he would have to wait until summer at the earliest with Wake aready booked up for his next fight.

Amagasa, who is freakishly tall for a Featherweight at 5’10”, may have impressed in his most recent contest, beating Ryol Li Lee, though he seems an easier proposition for Ishimoto. Whilst Wake is a guy who will make anyone look bad with his movement Amagasa is quite basic looking and fairly predictable. Rangey but predictable.

The biggest deciding factor for Ishimoto, if he is viewing these two titles, would be the fact that he could get a fight with Amagasa much earlier than one with Wake. Amagasa currently has a date set for March 24th with his title on the line, though he’s lacking a dnace partner. If Ishimoto asks the OPBF for the opportunity it’s hard to imagine the OPBF saying no given the short notice they have to get an opponent.

Whilst Japanese boxing might not get the love in the west that it deserves it’s hard to complain if Ishimoto fights either Wake or Amagasa in what should prove to be very interesting bouts.

Takahiro Onaga covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info