Earlier today in Ishikawa fight fans saw a new Japanese female Featherweight champion being crowned, as Miki Mitsuda (5-5, 4) [満田美紀] scored a 5th round TKO win against Asami Jinnari (6-4-1, 3) [神成麻美].
The women, who had actually fought in August with Jinnari stopping Mitsuda in 3 rounds, were fighting for the title that Wakako Fujiwara had vacated and their desire to be the champion was clear from the opening moments.
Unfortunately for Jinnari the power of Mitsuda was obvious early, and she would Jinnari early in the bout. While Jinnari beat the count she was under pressure and it seemed like a matter of time before she would hit the canvas again.
To her credit Jinnari showed real grit but couldn't compete physically with Mitsuda who dropped her again in round and then had her in trouble in rounds 4 before finishing the bout in round 5.
After the bout Mitsuda stated she knew what to expect from Jinnari, whilst Jinnari described Mitsuda as being different from their first fight, showing the improvement in the new champion, who will be feeling on top of the world after today's win.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In Osaka earlier today fight fans had a chance to see the latest Ioka promoted card, and although it wasn't a high profile show, by any stretch of the imagination, it was an interesting card, with several notable names on it.
The most notable of those names was former world title challenger Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] who battled under-rated youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4-3, 3) [定常 育郎] in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight. On paper this looked like a mismatch in favour of Ishida however Sadatsune approached the bout with the feeling that he could win, and he certainly showed no respect to Ishida, in fact the youngster responded pretty much evenly with Ishida through the fight. When Ishida picked up the pace Sadatsune went with him, forcing Ishida to to stay sharp. It was technical from both, with jabs being the order of the day, but it was very hotly contested with a brilliant back and forth.
A late point deduction for a clash of heads turned out to be meaningless to the scores, with all 3 judges having Ishida the winner, 76-75, 77-75 and 77-74, though it was clear that he got a much bigger test than he, or anyone in his team, were expecting. Sadly for Sadatsune this is a second straight close loss, but the 21 year old again showed that he belongs in the ring with this level of fighter and we're really looking forward to seeing him again shortly. He is an incredibly talented young man who will go far if he doesn't let these close losses kill his desire to fight.
Also on this card was 2014 Rookie of the Year Masayoshi Hashizume (17-0-2, 10) [橋詰将義], who was also given a surprisingly tough test as Japanese based Filipino Jayar Estremos (11-15-1, 4) put in a solid effort. Hashizume, a real talent but someone who has come across as a touch inconsistent, was always being forced to fight hard against Estremos, who was targeting the body. Hashizume proved to be too sharp and too quick, but never looked relaxed en route to a unanimous decision, with scores of 77-75, 79-75 and 79-75.
The one man from the Ioka gym who did shine was the unbeaten 22 year old Joe Shiraishi (8-0-1, 4). The 2017 Rookie of the Year winner defeated Filipino Prince Andrew Laurio (10-2-1, 7) with a 5th round KO, coming from a big straight right hand. The shot sent the Filipino visitor down for the 10 count, giving him his second straigth loss. Shiraishi looked good won he won the Flyweight Rookie crown but with only 1 fight in 2018 his rise had slowed massively, so today's win will certainly give his career a good shot in the arm.
The latest Senrima Kobe show took place earlier today at the Tokiwa Arena in Kobe, and although it wasn't a big show it was a pretty interesting one, with three notable fighters on the card.
The first of those in action was 2017 Rookie of the Year runner up Hiroki Tokuyama (8-1-1, 2) [徳山洋輝], was scored his third win since losing to Fumiya Fuse in the Rookie of the Year competition. The talented Tokuyama was up against the often under-rated Tatsuya Terada (7-5-2, 1) [寺田達弥], and it was clear that Terada was up for this one. Tokuyama looked to world the body but was caught by right hands from Terada, who seemed to feel confident that he could stop his man. The bout wasn't the tidiest but was exciting, with big shots and thrilling exchanges through out the contest. Tokuyama was under pressure early, following a cut caused by a head clash, and had to pass several doctors inspections during the bout. He'll be glad he did pass those inspections as it saw him taking an 8 round split decision.
Another man who picked up a decision was #3 ranked JBC Minimumweight Ryoki Hirai (11-6-1, 4) [平井亮輝], who over-came Takayuki Teraji (9-18-1, 4) [寺次孝有希] over 8 rounds, and ended a 2 fight losing run. The talented Hirai looked sharp in the early stages, with his speed, accuracy and timing all on point. Teraji however proved that he knew his role, and didn't just allow Hirai to have things all his own way, instead moving through the gears to take a few of the later rounds from Hirai, who was cut from a head clash in round 7.
Despite the wins for Tokuyama and Hirai it wasn't all good for the Senrima Kobe gym, as their stablemate Giraffe Kirin Kanda (14-3, 8) [神田亮] was surprisingly stopped by Fumisuke Kimura (9-4, 6) [木村文祐]. Kanda, fighting for the first time since his up and down thriller with Takuya Matsusaka last December, rocked his man with a right hand early on and had him in trouble in round 3 as well. Sadly for Kanda he then began to look tired and Kimura sensed something, taking the fight to Kanda who was put firmly in survival mode. Kanda held, spoiled and did everything he could to survive, but in round 7 he was cornered and the referee came in to save him. This ends an 8 fight winning run for Kanda, who's previous loss came in the 2015 All Japan Rookie of the Year final to Yuki Nagano. As for Kimura this is easily his biggest win to date, and should see him put into the JBC rankings.
The main event of "Crash Boxing 17" at the EDION Arena Osaka earlier today saw a title change, as Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (18-5, 15) [矢田良太] was stopped by mandatory challenger Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12) [永野祐樹].
The bout looked like an intriguing shoot out on paper. Both were flawed, but big punchers in great form. Coming in Yada had won 6 in a row, including his title win last April over Toshio Arikawa and 2 successful defenses. Nagano on the other hand had been riding a 13 fight unbeaten run, which had included a triumph at the 2015 Rookie of the Year and recent wins over Riku Hagahama and Yuki Beppu.
Sadly it appeated that Nagano was in a class of his own early on. Yada pressed but struggle to be effective with his pressure, instead eating straight left hands and hard right hooks from the challenger, who soaked up the pressure brilliantly.
The power of Yada was expected to be a key factor, he had stopped 6 of his previous 7 an was seen as solid puncher at this level. Instead however it was Nagano's power that proved to be a different maker in round 3, when he dropped Yada with a straight left hand, just moments before the bell.
Yada recovered from the knockdown, and managed to have success in round 4, as he intensified his work, and got Nagano on the ropes. The local Osakan fans cheers on their man, but it was short lived success with Nagano getting back into his groove in round 5, despite being forced to take a huge left hook from the champion.
After 5 rounds the scores were split, with 2 judges having the bout 48-45 to the challenger, a score that seemed about right, whilst one judge some how had Yada in the lead, 47-46.
Yada, likely realising he wasn't totally out of it, came out with an increased pace in round 6, which continued into round 7. Sadly for the champion he was unable to avoid the straight left of Nagano which staggered him, and forced the referee to call a halt to the bout.
After the win Nagano revealed he didn't remember much about the bout, though Teiken representative Tsuyoshi Hamada spoke highly of Nagano's performance, and seems to see more growth in Nagano, who has now won 14 in a row.
Yada seemed unconvinced about where he was heading next, and we suspect he'll take something of a break before deciding on his next move. This is a big loss, but he has bounced back from losses before, and he could see this defeat as another learning experience, as his defeat to Jayar Inson in 2016 turned out to be.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fans were able to see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (22-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] narrowly retain his title, with a majority decision win over mandatory challenger Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太].
The fight saw Matsuo press the action early on, bringing the heat to the champion who tried to use his footwork and jab to gain control of the action. It was a nice boxing from Okumoto but it did little to force Matsuo to back off, and instead Matsuo tightened his guard and pressed with more intensity, looking to get inside and get his hooks into play. Okumoto realised he had to up his work and did well, putting more snap on his shots.
A headclash in round 5 saw blood being introduced into the bout, but it played little into the overall fight, which was really finely balanced when the scores were announced the following round. The opening scoring was 48-47 to Okumoto, twice, and 48-47 to Matsuo, giving us a wonderfully balanced bout as we entered the second half.
The second half of the fight saw Matsuo again look to be the man pressuring but Okumoto handled it well, forcing the challenger to back off, using his speed to land and get away. It was what Matsuo was needing to break away but Matsuo refused to roll over an lose, picking up his own pace in round 9.
It felt like Okumoto had perhaps just done enough to gain the lead as we entered the final round, but neither seemed confident and they both went for it in a thrilling final 3 minutes. It was the best round of the fight, and was chaotic action with neither confident of the win and wanting to land shots that could secure their victory.
With neither man having been down and the action being very much tit for tat it was clear the scores were going to be close and could have gone either way. One judge scored it 95-95, a draw, the second 96-94 to Okumoto whilst the third had it 97-93 to Okumoto, who successfully made his second defense of the belt.
Matsuo will come again, and we suspect he'll get another shot sooner rather than later. This experience will do him the world of good, despite losing. As for Okumoto we don't imagine his reign will last long, and these close bouts he's been having, this is the third successive ultra-close bout he's had, will catch up with him sooner or later.
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