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Ryosuke Nishida ponders his future after stealing the spotlight over the Cinco de Mayo weekend

Although much of the attention on the Cinco De Mayo holiday was focused on the two biggest boxing stars such as Canelo Alvarez and Naoya Inoue, there was action by Japan's Ryosuke Nishida, who stripped Emmanuel Rodriguez of the IBF bantamweight title.

The win saw Nishida move up from No. 9 and up to No. 2 at 118-pounds in the latest Ring rankings after dropping his opponent and taking him out to stop punishing the Puerto Rican at the EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, for the final time. On Saturday.

“In order to win, I analyzed my opponent's weaknesses and strengths, and I trained (accordingly),” Nishida (9-0, 1 knockout) told The Ring. “On the day of the match, I fought with a great desire to become world champion, and I was conscious of giving everything I had done in training.”

At the end of 12 grueling rounds, Nishida, who was the headliner of New Faces in the August 2022 issue of The Ring, fulfilled that promise and won on the scorecards 117-110 and 115-112 (twice) but had to leave. with fire to do so.

Although it looks like the 27-year-old suffered a serious facial injury, it seems they are on the mend.

“Swelling of the face can be caused by fists, but there was a head-to-head collision, it became swollen,” he explained.

“Although I haven't been examined at the hospital yet, I don't think anything is broken because the swelling has subsided and there is no pain when I touch it. It was really swollen, but a few days later, the swelling has subsided.”

Going into the fight, Nishida had tunnel vision and was focused solely on Rodriguez.

“I had a dream of defeating strong champions and becoming world champion,” he said. “I'm very happy that I won against a highly ranked champion and that I will be strong in the bantamweight division.

“All I was thinking about was beating Rodriguez, so I haven't thought about the future yet, but I feel like I want to take a little break and aim very high.”

And now he can enjoy the fruits of his labor with those closest to him.

“I didn't have time to spend with my family in the days before the game,” he said. “I want to go back to my wife's hometown and take a trip to South Korea, so I value the time I spend with my family.”

Meanwhile, well-known Australian Mike Altamura, a former collector and mentor of Muto Boxing Gym, will look at what opportunities there are for the new champion.

“Right now I'm thinking about a good rest and some time off to enjoy the success,” Altamura said. “Then I talked to his manager Takashi Edagawa to find out the next steps. It is an exciting and exciting season. All four of the 118 world champions are Japanese!”

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].


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