This morning at 11:10 a.m. EDT on Russia's Rossiya 2 channel, WBO middleweight titlist Dmitry Pirog defends his title against Japan's Nobuhiro Ishida from Moscow's Sport Complex Krylatskoe. Bad Left Hook will be here with live round-by-round coverage.
Pirog (19-0, 15 KO) is still best-known for his 2010 win over American prospect Daniel Jacobs on the Marquez-Diaz II PPV show, a fight that was supposed to help the Golden Boy golden boy win his first major title. Instead, the unknown Russian scored a fifth round TKO in an exciting fight, claiming the belt.
Unfortunately, since then Pirog has fought just twice, and his wins over Argentina's Javier Maciel and Armenian-Russian Gennady Martirosyan drew little by way of acclaim. He's supposedly been in talks repeatedly to fight larger-scale opponents, but again faces an also-ran today in Ishida, with the hope that this will set up a fight this fall on HBO with IBF titleholder Daniel Geale.
Ishida (24-7-2, 9 KO) shocked the boxing world about a year ago when he stopped James Kirkland in the first round, but it wasn't really indicative of his talent level. After that, he supposedly looked so bad sparring Canelo Alvarez in the fall that he was put into a fight in Mexico with a guy making his pro debut, which is pathetic for a 36-year-old coming off of that type of win, and in February he was easily handled by a returning Paul Williams on Showtime.
Pirog is a huge favorite in this one at -1250, with Ishida at +680. This really does stack up as an easy defense for Pirog, despite the belief of a few that Ishida's win over Kirkland is evidence of his contender status and not just a fluke thing that happened.
Also featured on the show, I believe, will be a 10-round heavyweight bout between Vyacheslav Glazkov (11-0, 8 KO) and Nigeria's Gbenga Oloukun (19-7, 12 KO). It's a step fight for the 27-year-old Glazkov, as Oloukun has in the past lost to Kubrat Pulev, Manuel Charr, Robert Helenius, and others. He does hold a win over a faded Lamon Brewster, though, winning an eight-round decision over the ex-titlist in 2009 in Germany.
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