By Joe Koizumi
Two-time world challenger, aggressive Mexican Israel Gonzalez (25-3, 11 KOs), 114.5, decked an important victory in the IBF junior bantam eliminator to decide the mandatory challenger as he defeated IBF#5 Sho Ishida (28-2, 15 KOs), 114.5, by a split but well-received decision (116-112, 115-113 for Gonzalez, 112-116 for Ishida) over twelve unanimous-like rounds on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.
Gonzalez previously failed to win the world belts, losing to IBF ruler Jerwin Ancajas in February 2018 and to Khalid Yafai in November 2018, while Ishida was also unsuccessful to win the WBA belt from Khalid Yafai in October 2017.
Gonzalez was an aggressor from the outset, battering the lanky Ishida with heavier and effective punches, steadily piling up points. Ishida, five years his senior at 28, attempted a late retaliation, but couldn’t overcome obvious deficits on points in earlier rounds. Gonzalez said, “I wish to avenge my previous defeat by Jerwin Ancajas. Ishida was a much better and stronger opponent than I had expected.”