Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
James Kirkland was fighting for the third time in two months following a spell in prison but has perhaps paid the price of fighting too regularly and/or underestimating his live opponent as Nobuhiro Ishida stunned the Las Vegas crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena by knocking out the ‘Mandingo Warrior’ in just two minutes.
(Embedded video sourced from Youtube, Sport 2, Sw33tMMA).
Round By Round Summary
Round One: Ruthless headhunter Kirkland stalked Ishida from the opening bell yet it was the latter who troubled the former and had him on the canvas with a solid left that had been introduced by a right.
Ishida, with an obvious height advantage, stayed on the outside while Kirkland chose to adopt an aggressive reaction that ended up troubling him further as he was again on the deck due to an identical move that had him floored earlier: a one-two combination. Ishida didn’t even have to land the third as Kirkland’s legs had already given way.
Ishida looked to finish off the fight in the first round and tagged Kirkland with another one-two. Referee Joe Cortez waved the bout off when, for the third time in two minutes, Kirkland was dropped – this time by a cheeky right hand introduced by the left.
In what will surely go down as the shock of the evening, Kirkland was handed his first professional career loss by 35-year-old Nobuhiro Ishida who will make himself a celebrity overnight in the boxing world by knocking out the man who was supposed to knock him out.
“The referee gave to me what I call a bad call,” Kirkland said to HBO in an attempt to explain the loss. “He [Cortez] stopped the fight,” he added, to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
“It wasn’t really… it’s what we call a flash knockdown. It’s not like I was hurt. I’ve got to accept the decision, you know,” Kirkland, whose record slipped to 27-1-0 with 24 wins by way of knockout, concluded.
The victor, Ishida, sprung to 23-6-2 with eight wins by way of knockout.