Top-ranked Japanese boxer Ryosuke Nishida will face champion Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico for the International Boxing Federation's bantamweight title on May 4, his gym announced Tuesday.

Ryosuke Nishida strikes a pose after holding a press conference in Osaka on Feb. 27, 2024. (Kyodo)

The 27-year-old southpaw Nishida will be making his world title debut at Edion Arena Osaka as he bids to extend his perfect record of eight straight wins, one of which came by knockout.

"This challenge has arrived at the best possible time," Nishida, who made his professional debut in 2019, told a press conference. "I'm determined to win and become the world champion."

Rodriguez, 31, has a 22-2 record with 13 KOs.

"He has speed, technique and is skillful," Nishida said of his opponent.

Nishida's trainer Kosuke Takeichi was bracing for a tough fight, describing Rodriguez as "a big wall" and saying that Nishida "will take a split-decision win."

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