Former WBA interim-junior middleweight champion Nobuhiro Ishida (29-7-2, 9KOs) has issued a warning to WBO middleweight king Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs), advising the Russian star to expect a very difficult fight on May 1st at the Sport Complex Krylatskoe in Moscow, Russia. In his last bout, in February, Ishida lost a twelve round decision to former champion Paul Williams.

“I want to thank Dmitry Pirog and his promoters for the opportunity to compete for the world championship of the WBO. I know that Pirog is a very good boxer. He has good skills and punching power, but I’m going to Russia for the win. I am ready to fight, confident in my abilities, and I’m sure that I will win. I will train very hard. I believe in myself and my team. I guarantee that you will see a great fight on May 1,” Ishida said.


By Gregory Stangrit,

Russian boxer Dmitry Pirog will defend his WBO world middleweight title against Japanese contender Nobuhiro Ishida in Moscow next month, Pirog’s representative Nikolai Baklanov said Thursday.

The fight will be Pirog’s third title defense and will take place on May 1.

“The negotiations for this fight went on for quite some time and both fighters have been on an intensive training regime for long enough,” Baklanov said in an emailed statement

“Nobuhiro Ishida is one of the most experienced opponents in Dmitry Pirog’s professional career,” he added.

The Russian fighter is rumored to be lining up a unification bout in August with IBF champion Daniel Geale, an Australian with a 27-1 with record.

Pirog is undefeated in 19 fights, winning 15 of them by knockout, and won the WBO belt when he stopped Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas in July 2010.

Ishida held the WBA interim light middleweight title for 14 months before losing it to Rigoberto Alvarez in October 2010, and lost his last fight on points to U.S. fighter Paul Williams in February.

Date: May 1, 2012

WBO Middleweight Championship Title Bout

Location: Moscow, Russia

Result: Pirog wins by unanimous decision

Referee: Manuel Maritxalar

Judges: Fernando Laguna (119-109), John Madfis (120-108), Noel Monnet (117-111)

Supervisor: Igor Mazurov


Promoter: Banner Promotions

According to promoter Kirill Pchelnikov, Nobuhiro Ishida (24-7-2, 9KOs) is a candidate to face WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs) on May 1 in Moscow, Russia. There were rumors of an offer being made to Marco Antonio Rubio, but Rubio is ranked at number 12, while Ishida is ranked at number 9 in the WBO’s top ten. Pirog was close to a deal to face Darren Barker, how suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw. Team Pirog is waiting for the WBO to sanction the fight.

“In preparation for this fight, we negotiated with many of top middleweights boxers, among [Sergio] Martinez, Geale, Sturm, Murray, Bursak, Barker, Zbik, N’Jikam. All of the boxers were offered a substantial fee for coming to Russia. They were offered hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, as was the case with Martinez. Some of boxers have just ignored us [like Felix Sturm], others made their own plans in May, and someone got injured in the negotiations process [Barker]. In the end, it was only with Ishida that we could reach an agreement for May 1. As for Rubio, we are very interesting and we can not exclude meeting with him at a later date, but in order to stage a title defense we have to choose an opponent from the WBO’s top ten. At the moment, Rubio is ranked at twelve and Nobuhiro Ishida at nine,” Pchelnikov said.

If Pirog wins in May, then a possible unification with IBF champion Daniel Geale is being discussed for August, and HBO is interested in televising.

“The other day I received a letter from our American partners, in which I was told
that the channel HBO is interested in this fight. Right now, Pirog must successfully make a defense, and I hope that the WBO will sanction the fight and everything will be all right, and we believe that after the unification bout will take place at last…..most likely in Las Vegas,” Pchelnikov said.


By Ruslan Chikov