Earlier today Japanese fans got their final show of February with a card at the Korakuen Hall. The show went some what under-the-radar internationally but the show did get a good crowd and did feature some really interesting action.
The main event was the most exciting and saw Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-1-2, 11) [溜田 剛士] score a second round win against Thai visitor Nongbeer Sor Bangkru (1-7)*. Although a mismatch according to boxrec the bout was a high paced war with Tameda setting a high pace from the off. Early on Bangkru was down but landed a counter later in the opening round to score his own knockdown before being seen off in round 2, with Tameda simply being too much.
Following his win Tameda stated that he was after a title fight later this year, and that could prove to be very interesting given his aggressive style.
In the chief support bout fans saw former Japanese title challenger Takuya Watanabe (28-6-1, 14) [渡邉 卓也] score a 6th round win over Katsunori Imai (5-7-3) [今井 勝典]. Watanabe started fast with his jab but Imai happily fought back from he back foot and and made it clear that he was there to put up a fight, rather than just fall over. Unfortunately for Imai the fighting took it's toll and a cut over the left eye forced the conclusion to the bout just 67 seconds into round 6.
In a bout fought at a contracted 80KG's fans saw Shintaro Matsumoto (12-4, 9) [松本 晋太郎] score a 3rd round KO win against Thailand's out of shape Khundon Chaiyonggym (7-3, 7). From the off the two men looked very different physically, with Khundon scarcely looking like an "athlete" and it showed with Matsumoto targetting the soft midsection of the visitor. Although the body shots took their toll it was a shot up top that saw off Khundon part way through round 3.
In a Light Flyweight bout the promising Sho Kimura (10-1-2, 4) [木村 翔] scored a 3rd round stoppage win against Takayuki Teraji (6-10-1, 3) [寺次 孝有希]. This looked somewhat interesting on paper, with Kimura lacking notable wins, but turned out to be a very 1-sided bout with Kimura dominating almost every second of the bout. Kimura dominated with his 1-2's and dropped Teraji in round 3 before the referee waved off the action.
The only bout to actually go the distance was the opening bout of the card, which saw Shingo Kusano (11-4-1, 4) [草野 慎悟] take an 8 round decision win over Thai novice. Denyaso Sithkhrumak (1-1, 1). This bout started well but descended into a wrestling match as the action went on, with Denyaso being deducted a point for rabbit punching as both men began to get tired.
Later this week fans in Thailand will get the chance to see unbeaten local Wanheng Menayothin (40-0, 15) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] defend his WBA Minimumweight title against Japanese speedster Go Odaira (12-4-3, 1) [大平 剛]. Ahead of that bout the two men met face-to-face and Odaira took part in a public training session.
That training session took place today and saw Odaira work up a real sweat during a spar as he tried to use the opportunity to get used to the conditions in Thailand, including the humidity and heat, both real issues for visiting fighters. Although the bout isn't until this coming Thursday Odaira has been in Thailand preparing for the conditions for a few days now and appears to be relatively comfortable for his first fight outside of Japan.
At the training session the challenger admitted that he knew the champion was strong, and that Japanese fighters have a historically poor record in world title fights in Thailand, but he seemed confident and seems to have focussed on a gameplan that is based around his speed and movement. Of course using a gameplan like that in Thai conditions is incredibly draining and if it's a gameplan that will work, it will take a lot of energy and stamina from the challenger.
It's thought that if Wanheng over-comes Odaira then we are set to see the champion return to the ring in summer to face Saul Juarez in his next defense, however their are some thinking that Wanheng may be looking past Odaira with comments regarding Juarez and it may be that the challenger could make the most of this. Saying that Wanheng is the clear favourite and he seems to be just as confident of victory as the challenger.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
Last week we reported that WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (23-2-1, 10) [田口良一] was set to return to the ring on April 27th at the Ota City Gymnasium. At the time of that report there was no opponent named for Taguchi, though we have now learned that there is an opponent that has been linked to him, with the Japanese press mentioning Peruvian Alberto Rossel (34-9-0-1, 13) as a possibility.
The story, which was mentioned in this morning's Japanese press, is a really disappointing one with Taguchi having already easily beaten Rossel, in fact it was Rossel that Taguchi beat to claim the title at the end of 2014.
Since losing the title to Taguchi on December 31st 2014 Rossel has fought twice, picking up two low key wins in Peru. Despite scoring the low quality wins he has managed to get a #3 ranking in the WBA, sitting only behind "interim champion" Randy Petalcorin and Ryo Miyazaki, both of whom would make very credible threats for Taguchi.
Sadly this story sums up Taguchi's reign since he won the title. The Watanabe gym fighter has twice defended the title, though has failed to score a really good win. His first defense, last May, saw him defeat the experienced but limited Kwanthai Sithmorseng, who was bounced off the canvas numerous times, whilst his second defence saw a lacklustre Taguchi score a somewhat fortunate stoppage win over Luis de la Rosa, who retired in his corner. A rematch with the now 41 year old Rossel would be another very disappointing defense.
At the moment a deal hasn't been made with any opponent, but even the link to Rossel seems to suggest that Watanabe haven't inked a deal with a fighter, despite the bout now being about 8 weeks away.
Ryoichi Taguchi to defend title April 27th
(Image courtesy of Daily.co.jp)
According to a number of reports in the Japanese press there has been serious issues with negotiation for the WBA Super Featherweight "Super" title fight between Takashi Uchiyama's (24-0-1, 20) [内山 高志] and "regular" champion Javier Fortuna (29-0-1-1,21).
According to a number of reports there have been complaints from Hitoshi Watanabe, Uchiyama's promoter, in regards to money being offered for the bout and although the WBA have ordered the contest it seems neither team can come close to agreeing a financial package for the fight, which was being targeted for early May. As a result Watanabe has mentioned the name of interim champion Jezreel Corrales (19-1, 7) as a possible fill in.
This issue the latest in a number of problems which have surfaced in regards to Uchiyama's ring return. Originally he was in negotiations to face Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21) on the under-card of Manny Pacquiao Vs Timothy Bradley III before the WBA stepped in and demanded the Uchiyama Vs Fortuna bout. Walters would later sign to face Vasyl Lomachenko, in what is a great match up, whilst the Uchiyama Vs Fortuna bout went into negotiations.
It was hoped from Uchiyama's side that the bout would be set for the US in early May but given the financials of the bout it seems very unlikely that Uchiyama will be making his US debut against Fortuna afterall, with some suggesting that he would be taking a notable pay cut to face the Dominican.
From what we understand Watanabe will push the WBA to allow Uchiyama to face Corrales if a solid financial deal cannot be made before purse bids are called on the Uchiyama Vs Fortuna contest.
Earlier today it was announced that Hitoshi Watanabe would become the new Chairman of the East Japan Boxing Association (EJBA).
The head of Watanabe Gym has taken over the role from the popular Hideyuki Ohashi after winning a vote this morning.
The new chairman will take his position on April 1st and has promised some really promising moves forward.
He has promised to try and make all the district associations work better alongside the JBC, essentially making the entire Japanese professional system smoother. He has also promised to try and make the the amateurs and professionals work closer together and has in fact hinted at helping professional fighters move towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Mr Watanabe will have a 3 year term in charge of the EJBA.
(Image courtesy of boxingnewxs.jp)
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