By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas: The "Upset Kid" - Japan's junior middleweight Nobuhiro Ishida (23-6-2, 8KOs) - became an instant sensation with his first round stoppage of previously undefeated James Kirkland (27-1, 24KOs). The fight took place on Saturday night on the Erik Morales-Marcos Maidana pay-per-view undercard. After scoring three knockdowns, the referee stopped the fight and Ishida pulled off the upset of the year.
After the fight was over, Kirkland expressed his feelings on the loss. He disagreed with with referee's ruling to stop the fight - because in Kirkland's opinion the knockdowns were nothing to worry about.
"I don't know why they stopped the fight. There is not a three knockdown rule in Vegas. I'm really upset right now. That was a messed up call. I was telling him I wanted to keep fighting. He [Ishida] wasn't anything. He had no power. This was messed up," Kirkland said.
Trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., who watched from ringside, said Ishida was easily on his way to knocking Kirkland out. He doesn't blame Kirkland's chin, but rather his lack of defense in the fight.
"Those were three real knockdowns. If the referee didn't stop it, his ass was about to be knocked out. Then what would have he said then? No defense. That's why man, your career can last longer if you have defense. All of these guys who fight like that with no defense and just jump in [with punches], that's what happens," Mayweather Sr.