Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] pull himself off the canvas to successfully retain his title and defeat Akinori Hoshino (13-8-2, 9) [星野晃規].
Kuroda got off to a good start, winning rounds 1 and 2 with his sharp jab, but in round 3 he dropped hard from a 1-2 by Hoshino just moments before the bell. It was the perfect turn around for Hoshino, but unfortunately it was only a fleeting moment of success for the challenger who was put on the back foot again in round 4. To his credit however Hoshino gritted his teeth and fought back hard to be level on two scorecards, 47-47, when the scores were announced. The third card had Kuroda narrowly in the lead, 48-47, but it seemed like everything was to play for in the second half of the fight.
For Hoshino the open scoring seemed to kick Kuroda into gear and the champion cut the distance and forced Hoshino backwards, with the challengers work rate dropping as he was pushed backwards by the jab and accuracy of Kuroda. It wasn't until round 10 that Hoshino really managed to get anything off, but by then it was too little too late.
After the fight Kuroda stated that he hadn't felt well coming into the bout, though felt he recovered well from the knockdown. His promoter hinted at a possible world title fight for Kuroda, but admitted that he wasn't fussy which title his man challenged for, or even that a deal was likely to be made.
Hoshino wounded a lot more down about the result, admitted that he had found his level, and made it seem as if he was set to retire. He stated that he could understand why he can't be a champion and that this bout with Kuroda showed him his limits.
Interestingly Hoshino's stablemate Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] was ringside for the bout and made it clear he wanted to face Kuroda for the title, whilst giving props to Hoshino and his performance. Whilst Nakatani will almost certainly get a shot it's unclear whether Kuroda will be the man he will be fighting for the title, especially with Kuroda having his eyes on a world title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will be able to see Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] take on the under-rated Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規] in what will be Kuroda's 3rd defense of the regular title.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters managed to make weight for the Flyweight contest.
On the scales Kuroda was the lighter man, coming in at around 111.75lbs. This is interesting as Kuroda has been 112lbs, or above, in every fight he's had since his February 2013 world title bout against the then WBA Flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco . This is notable as at the weigh Kuroda spoke about moving on to a second world title fight, if he wins here.
As for Hoshino he was bang on the 112lb limit and seemed to be very respectful of Kuroda, calling him a strong fighter, but seemed to feel like fight had fatefully fallen on his 30th birthday. He seemed confident of picking up the win and the title.
The fight has interested parties outside of the winners, including Hoshino's stablemate Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人], who seems like he wants to fight for the title, but would be unable to face Hoshino for the belt, if Hoshino wins due to Japanese rules not allowing stablemates to fight each other.
Related-Kuroda takes on Hoshino in Japanese Flyweight title bout!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the chance to see fast rising Flyweight hopeful Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] continue his impressive unbeaten run, as he dismantled Filipino foe Dexter Alimento (13-4, 9) in 3 rounds.
At the weigh in yesterday the two men looked like they belonged in different divisions, and that looked to be the case again today. Nakatani looked bigger, stronger, more powerful and naturally a better fighter. He managed to show his power in round 2, landing a brutal body shot that left Alimento in clear agony. To his credit Alimento refused to just give in, but it was clear he was out matched.
In round 3 Nakatani landed a brutal straight left hand that dropped Alimento, who took the 10 count to give Nakatani his 12th stoppage win and move him a step closer to a big fight.
After the win Nakatani stated that he would like to fight for the Japanese title, and is expected to compete in a title eliminator later this year. However that depends on the result of the July 23rd bout between Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] and Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規], with Nakatani and Hoshino both fighting out of the same gym and the two wouldn't be able to face off, if Hoshino was to come out omn top against Kuroda.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in April fight fans in Osaka saw Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (31-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] record his third defense, and over-come mandatory challenger Koji Itagaki [板垣幸司] as he continued to move towards a world title fight. The 33 year old Hisada suffered a pretty nasty looking facial injury in that bout, but his recovery appears to have been a success and today his team confirmed that he would be returning to the ring on July 16th to make his next defense of the title.
The world ranked Hisada will be not only risking his Japanese title but also world rankings with all 4 world title bodies on his July return, but will feel confident of over-coming his challenger, 27 year old Koki Ono (12-4, 5) [小野晃輝].
Hisada, who has won his last 10 bouts including wins over Kenichi Horikawa and Atsushi Kakutani, will be feeling full of confidence here, but will know that he has everything to lose. That include a WBA #1 world ranking, along with 3 other top 10 positions and an almost assured world title fight. Given his urrent run of form a loss won't be on his mind, but suffering another injury, like he had against Itagaki, would likely push any potential world title fight back to 2019 at the earliest.
Ono on the other hand actually lost to Itagaki last time out, in a Japanese title challenger bout, with that loss ending a 5 fight winning run. Although a talented domestic level fighter we don't expect him to be too much of a challenge for someone of Hisada's ability.
Also in Japanese title news it's been confirmed that Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] will be defending his title against Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規] on July 23rd in what will be Kuroda's third defense of the title and Hoshino's first title bout.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a number of Japanese title eliminator bouts, with the winners being set for title bouts in 2018.
The first of those bouts took place at Flyweight and saw Katsunori Nagamine (14-1-1, 10) [長嶺克則] battle with Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規] in what was a really interesting match up on paper, especially given Hoshino's recent wins. Sadly whilst it looked good on paper the bout really never caught fire and was a frustrating affair overall, resulting in a split decision draw that really left everyone feeling under-whelmed. The score-cards at the end of the bout were 78-75, 75-77 and 76-76, giving Nagamine the mandatory status on the "dominant point" rule and he will meet Masayuki Kuroda or Mako Matsuyama next year.
The second eliminator was at Bantamweight and saw the under-rated Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介] score a 7th round stoppage win over the experienced Eita Kikuchi (21-5-4, 8) [菊地永太]. Kikuchi was dropped 4 times by Suzuki who proved to be too strong, too powerful and too good for the veteran, who was finally saved in round 7. The win sets Suuki up for a shot at Ryo Akaho in 2018, and it's to not get very excited about that potential war, which will take place early next year.
At Featherweight we got a thriller as Dai Iwai (21-5-1, 7) [岩井大] went up against the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) [源大輝]. The bout pitted the top two contenders at 126lb against each other and fans really got a treat. The fight started well with Minamoto generally having the better off it, befoe busting Iwai open. With bloody oozing from Iwai's face it was clear he had toup the pace and this resulted in a really exciting contest. Sadly for Iwai he lacked the power to hurt Miniamoto and instead it was the Minamoto who controlled the bout the bout to take a decision, with scores of 77-76, 77-75 and 78-75 and move his way to a title fight.
The final eliminator to take place today was a Welterweight contest which saw Moon Hyun Yun (18-5-3, 3) [尹文鉉] battle against the heavy handed Ryota Yada (14-4, 11) [矢田良太]. Yada started well, and seemed to hurt Yun in round 2, before Yun upped the anti and took the fight to Yada, squeezing him for space. This resulted in an all-action contest that really was thrilling through the contest. Sadly for Yun however his aggression and work-rate wasn't to be enough to impress the judges, with Yada winnign 77-75, twice, and the third card was 76-76.
(Images courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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