Ryosuke Nishida Emerges As Top IBF Title Contender

Who Will the IBF Call On to Vie for the Vacant Title?

Ryosuke Nishida likely next to challenge for the vacant IBF title
Ryosuke Nishida likely next to challenge for the vacant IBF title | credit: Sky Sports

Ryosuke Nishida Leads as a Candidate for Vacant IBF Title Fight

A fight to determine a new IBF bantamweight champion will emerge soon. As Ryosuke Nishida (8-0, 1KO), the top IBF contender, is poised to vie for the vacant title against possibly Reymart Gaballo or Sho Ishida.

After securing the IBF title for the second time with a victory over Melvin Lopez, Emmanuel Rodriguez announced his retirement just months later.


This development paves the way for the rising number one contender, Nishida, to enter the title fray. Some boxing enthusiasts may recall his remarkable upset victory over former world champion Diago Higa in April 2021. The feat was made all the more impressive by it being just his fourth professional fight.

When assessing the ranking system, we have a shortlist of potential opponents Nishida may fight. Before delving into the ranking breakdown, it’s important to note that the number two slot remains unassigned.

Gaballo (26-1, 21KO) is a former title challenger known for his game-changing power. Despite holding the third spot, the Filipino currently sits as the mandatory challenger for the WBO championship, potentially setting his sights on WBO champion Jason Moloney.

Ranked fourth by the IBF, Kurihara (17-8-1, 15KO) would be the next in line should Gaballo opt for a different path. Unfortunately, Kurihara recently suffered a disappointing loss to Froilan Saludar on October 12, which took him out of contention.

Ishida (33-3, 16KO) eagerly anticipates the opportunity to vie for the championship. He has been on a five-fight winning streak since his 2021 loss to Kosei Tanaka. To maintain his title aspirations, he must first overcome the relatively unknown challenger, James Pagaling, on December 10.

As of the time of writing this article, the IBF has not yet decided on the title bout. With so many moving parts it will be interesting to see how things play out.

Featured Article: Arslanbek Makhmudov Is Overdue On Challenging Jared Anderson

Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for 3kingsboxing.com as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."