In the first of 3 major bouts on Boxing Raise today we saw a Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator, as the exciting youngster Kai Ishizawa (6-1, 6) [石澤開] battled former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口 将隆] in what turned out to be an incredibly, action packed war.
The first round saw both men have some notable success. Taniguchi looked to keep the bout at range, but was dragged inside and rocked as Ishizawa's power proved to be legitimate. To his credit Taniguchi stayed up-right, just, but was clearly hurt for a second. He then showed more respect to the youngster and began to fight at mid-range, and had real success with his straight land and 2-handed combinations that left Ishizawa unable to get inside.
Round 2 was a clear one for Taniguchi, who controlled it through out and he was even more dominant in a brilliant third round that saw him cutting Ishizawa's right eye and hammering him with straight left hands and keeping Ishizawa handcuffed as he set a high work rate. Not everything Taniguchi was thrown with intent, but it kept the youngster at range and prevented Ishizawa from getting inside, where he needed to be.
After really taking a lot of punishment Ishizawa managed to have some success in round 4, as Taniguchi began to get a little too close. Taniguchi was momentarily rocked, but came back, doing enough to win the round and learn his lesson, Ishizawa wasn't done. That lesson would be shown again in round 5, as Ishizawa began to come on strong, and Taniguchi seemed to begin to slow. Late in the round an Ishizawa combination sent Taniguchi down, securing a huge knockdown for the youngster and began a huge momentum shift.
The confidence that Ishizawa's knockdown had injected into his fighting showed up early in round 6 as he amped up the pressure, and began to find Taniguchi's head with clean, hard shots. Taniguchi fought back, bravely, but was now fighting Ishizawa's fight as the two traded on the inside, in what was a disgustingly brutal and beautifully violent round that saw both men being rocked! At one point it seemed Ishizawa was about done, but he roared back in the final moments. The brutality and all action nature of round 6 continued into the 7th, it was less a new round and instead a continuation of what the fight had become. Sadly for Ishizawa it seemed that his energy reserves were running low and Taniguchi took back control, relying on his experience to out box, out punch and out battle the younger man.
Knowing he was behind Ishizawa fought round 8 like a man who knew he had to score a KO. He was taking risks, bringing pressure and letting his hands go. He knew he had to see off Taniguchi to get the win, and he wasn't going to go down without trying. Taniguchi however wasn't going to roll over and instead he stood his ground and played his part in another thrilling round that saw him end the contest with a huge combination. Taniguchi could have ran, could have played safety, but instead he fought like he also wanted a knockout and gave the fans another brilliant round.
As we went to the bell Taniguchi celebrated, knowing he'd done enough whilst Ishizawa went back to his corner, accepting the defeat before it was official. The scores confirmed what we already knew, Taniguchi had won, and secured himself a Japanese title fight in 2020, at the Champion Carnival. The scores were 77-74, twice, and 78-74, all in his favour.
For Taniguchi the win keeps him in the title mix whilst Ishizawa will bounce back from this loss with a lot of questions answered. Sadly Ishizawa's lack of experience showed through, but few can his effort. For both fighters this was a painful war, but one that will have done them no harm at all with fans. A genuine fight of the year contender, and round 6 should be in the conversation as the best round of the year. A truly incredible fight.
Tomorrow subscribers to the Boxing Raise service will get the chance to see an excellent Japanese title eliminator, as the exciting Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] takes on former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆]. The winner of the bout will enter 2020 as the mandatory challenger, and will compete in the Champion Carnival next year.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both looked in amazing condition for the bout, with both looking genuinely shredded.
On the scales Ishizawa, the short of the two men, was bang on the 105lb limit whilst Taniguchi was a little bit lighter, coming in closer to 104.7lbs for the contest.
At the weigh in Taniguchi revealed his weight loss had gone better this time than it had earlier in the year, when he lost to Vic Saludar. He seemed to be driven by his loss to Saludar and was determined to get back to winning ways. Ishizawa described his condition as perfect and whilst he added he wasn't too bothered about the perfect KO record he's got, he was focus on having an exciting fight, and doesn't want to be involved in a boring contest just because it's at Minimumweight. Having watched Ishizawa's rise it's fair to say he's yet to have a boring fighter thank to his aggression, power and style, and we don't see that changing here.
Related - Taniguchi and Ishizawa meet in Japanese title eliminator
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans filled up the Korakuen Hall for the latest A-Sign Bee card, and it was a truly brilliant one, packed with great bouts.
Among those great bouts was a contest for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title, as Reiya Abe (19-3-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] and Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] battled for the belt.
On paper this looked like a great bout but it turned out be even better than expected, and just as competitive!
From the opening round it was hard the two men as both jostled for ring position. Abe was looking to create distance for his southpaw shots whilst Sagawa applied pressure, and the dynamic just worked from the off, with both having moments in the early going. From then on it was never really clear who was in control, with Abe landing his clean, accurate straights at range and Sagawa getting his work off up close. As soon as one man seemed to create some momentum the other took it away.
After 5 rounds the judges had really struggled to split them. The open scoring after 5 rounds had Sagawa leading 48-47, twice, whilst the third judge had Abe up 48-47.
Abe began to change tactics following the scoring, but that seemed to give Sagawa more chances to land his shots, and saw him build momentum, despite the increased effort from Abe. Although Sagawa seemed to be doing just a touch more clean work than Abe, there was little to split them, in what was a very evenly fought back and forth. That was until the final round, as Abe began to have some of his best success of the fight. The sustained attack from Abe seemed to suggest that even he felt he was down, but it was too little too late.
After 10 rounds the judges all had the bout to Sagawa, with scores of 96-94, twice, and 96-95.
For Sagawa this continues a sensational run of form, which has also included wins against Junki Sasaki, Ryo Matsumoto, Shingo Kawamura and Al Toyogon. As for Abe this was his second set back in a Japanese title fight, following a draw with Taiki Minamoto earlier in the year.
The champion is now expected to defend his title later this year, Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚], before the winner of that competes in the Champion Carnival, against either Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典].
Despite the set back Abe will remain in the title mix and will likely find himself getting another title fight, of some kind in 2020.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Every so often we get a bout that we just know will be something special, due to the men involved, their styles and their mentality.
Today we had one such bout, as former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-5-1, 6) [田村 亮一] battled against experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (26-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔] in a Japanese title eliminator.
On paper the bout wasn't anything special, but hardcore fans of the Japanese scene knew this would be something sensational, and that's exactly what we got, over 8 incredible rounds.
From the opening round this was just a violent war with both men standing their ground and letting their shots fly up close. Both men essentially ignored their jabs as they traded hooks and uppercuts up close. This was the style that suited Tamura.
Despite being the more physically imposing fighter Tamura seemed to falter in terms of variations, whilst Furuhashi managed to land some booming straight right hands on his way in, and as the fight went on Furuhashi started to move a little more, using his feet smartly to neutralise some of the pressure of Tamura and lure him onto shots.
Furuhashi would end up being dragged back into a toe-to-toe war again in the later stages as Tamura's pressure began to have the desired effect. By then however it was too little too late for Tamura in the eyes of the judges.
After 8 rounds the scorecards from all 3 judges favoured Furuhashi, with scores of 78-75, twice, and 77-76, as he secured his third Japanese title shot.
After the bout Furuhashi seemed incredibly excited about getting a third shot at the title. He will be the under-dog when he fights for the title, but he'll be a live under-dog. Tamura, on the other hand, stated that he thought he deserved the win and it's clear that despite the loss he will continue on and keep chasing his dreams of regaining the title that he lost to Yusaku Kuga earlier this year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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