Russia’s best pound-for-pound boxer, Dmitry Pirog, has continued his unbeaten run as Moscow fans witnessed him defending his WBO middleweight belt against Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan.
Even with the pre-match drama, where Nobuhiro Ishida nearly failed the weigh in; confident middleweight champ Dmitry Pirog, spent a lot of time talking up his chances of a 20th successive victory.
Ishida, on the other hand, was for the large part very quiet, not least because he could neither speak Russian or English.
Instead, he let his fists do the talking as round one began. Pirog said he expected the bout to go to the wire and his early cautious approach meant he was sticking to his game plan.
Ishida, who was hoping to revive his career with this fight was also focused and determined. Although he was caught by many of Pirog's jabs, he continued to stubbornly defy the odds.
But with the rounds passing without serious incident, the home crowd began baying for blood.
By round eight it was obvious Ishida was not going to win by the judges' score. Pirog kept at him and finally forced the Japanese boxer to the floor. But Ishida still looked like he believed he could get an unlikely knock-out.
Pirog weathered Ishida's increasingly desperate lunges and almost looked as if he himself would get the killer knock out.
In the end, Russian's prediction of a tough, 12 round bout came true. By a unanimous decision, he registered his 20th victory, remaining undefeated and looking hungry for his next opponent.
“A lot of work was put into preparing for this fight and I'm very pleased to have successfully defended my title,” Pirog said. “I was prepared for Ishida, but to his credit, he surprised me a lot and I've learned a great deal from fighting him. Now I'm already looking forward to meeting my next opponent.”
Ishida was gallant in defeat, praising his victor, but saw no shame in its manner.
“This is a champion,” he said. “I've never been really hurt by my previous opponents, but Dmitry is truly a worthy champion, because he did manage to hurt me during this fight. But I am very proud to have been in the same ring as him.”
There really was no doubt that Dmitry Pirog would successively defend his WBO Middleweight title against Nobuhiro Ishida with the Japanes boxer never really getting into the fight.
Pirog's next bout will be against IBF Middleweight champion Daniel Geale. That test will be far tougher.
By posting your comment, you agree to abide by our Posting rules