By Joe Koizumi
WBA interim 154-pound champ Nobuhiro Ishida (21-5-2, 7 KOs) will make his initial defense against WBA#15 Colombian Oney Valdez (19-9-1, 14 KOs) today (Tuesday) in Osaka, Japan. The elongated 6’2” Japanese jabber Ishida acquired the vacant interim belt by outjabbing and outlegging Venezuelan Marco Antonio Avendano here last August, while Daniel Santos had been inactive for more than a year prior to his unsuccessful defense with Yuri Foreman. The Ishida-Valdez title bout has been least publicized despite being a world title go, and isn’t a main event but a supporting bout to a good competitive encounter of unbeaten ex-amateur champ Kazuto Ioka and world-rated veteran 108-pounder Takashi Kunishige, which has been much more talked about than Ishida’s. Usually before world title bouts, we know through media about foreign champs or challengers. But, this time, there have been no information from Osaka on how good Valdez is. This reporter is on his way to Osaka from Tokyo. Christmas is to western countries, what New Year Day is to Japan. We, in Japan, work until the last day of this year to take three holidays from January 1. But today’s show is the very last card to be held in Japan with our boxing people taking a short vacation hereafter.