Nobuhiro Ishida’s trainer admits that his boxer will be facing the toughest middleweight in the world in Gennady Golovkin, but he has every intention of winning when they fight in Monaco on March 30. The pair headline the “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” tournament with Golovkin, the WBA and IBO middleweight champion, a favourite against the Japanese. “He’s the toughest middleweight out there, the best in the world, but we intend to go there and win,” says Rudy Hernandez, one of boxing’s finest trainers and cutman. He has had Ishida (24-8-2, 9 KOs) in camp at the Maywood Boxing Club in California and says that preparations are on song. “Ishida brings great height and reach and very good skills. He’s not that easy to hit. He’ll be very competitive.”
But Hernandez, brother of the late world champion Genaro and trainer to the likes of Marcos Maidana, Mike Alvarado and WBC junior-flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez, is under no illusions about the challenge. “Golovkin (25-0, 22 KOs) sits down on his punches and he’s very strong. He’s the best puncher in the division right now. The little things he does make him better than everyone. And he rarely misses.”
Having failed in his last fight to lift the WBO title, Ishida knows that such a big opportunity to win a championship belt is unlikely to come around quickly again. “It may be the last time,” admits Hernandez. “He understands that. He’s in tremendous shape, he’s motivated and ready to go.”
Ishida will doubtless be seeking to rekindle the form of two years ago when he upset unbeaten James Kirkland on his way to a shock first round stoppage win that remains the high point of his career.
Ishida and Golovkin will come face to face for the first time at a media conference in Los Angeles next weekend. Ishida and Hernandez expect to travel to Europe in the week leading up to the fight.