Earlier today fans were able to see the 88th All Japan National Championships, with 8 national champions being crowned in what was an incredible show of high level amateur boxing. For fans at the venue the show was brilliant, whilst those watching on TV, courtesy of NHKBS1 got guest analyst work from WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
The lowest weight on the show was the Light Flyweight division, which saw Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大], the older brother of touted professional prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka, take a 5-0 decisions over Daichi Hasebe [長谷部大地]. The bout was a high skilled, fast paced contest that really kicked the show off in an amazing fashion.
The Flyweight bout was another amazing contest, which saw Tosho Kashiwazaki [柏崎刀翔] taking a 4-1 decision over Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the older brother of 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka. This was was tightly fought, but Kashiwazaki always looked like the aggressor, and it seems like that extra offensive mentality was the difference between the two men.
At Bantamweight 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medal winner Subaru Murata [村田昴] over-come Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], the son of former world title challenger Koji Matsumoto. Murata was cut around both eyes but took the decision win, thanks in part to an amazing effort in the final round, where he really put Matsumoto on the back foot to claim a 3-0 win.
The Lightweight bout saw 2016 Olympian Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐] narrowly over-come Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] in a 3-2 decision. This was a messy bout at time, with the styles not quite gelling as the earlier bouts, but was very competitive and hard to take your eyes off as both men did all they could to try and take the win.
In the Light Welterweight final we saw the highly established Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] claim his latest title as he defeated Yuta Akiyama [秋山佑汰]. This was Narimatsu's 8th All Japanese title, and it seems like his intention is to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. If boxing is however removed from the Olympics we could imagine promoters scrambling over each other to become his professional promoter.
The Welterweight crown was won by Sewon Okazawa [岡澤セオン], who took a 5-0 decision over Kanjo Taiyo [金城大明], in what was an another entertaining contest with Okazawa making his claim to be pushed towards some notable international competitions, potentially including the Olympics.
At Middleweight Yuito Moriwaki [森脇唯人] continued his great run on the domestic scene, as he defeated Kyohei Hosono [細野恭兵] 5-0. This win saw Moriwaki retain the title he won last year, and claim the MVP award for the show, as he continues to thrive and really make his mark.
The heaviest weight class on the show as the Light Heavyweight division, which saw Takuro Kurita [栗田琢郎] take a 3-2 win over Takahito Nitta [新田隆人] to take the crown.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fans in Sofia saw the finals of the Youth World Championships. The competition, which has been going on for 10 days came to a conclusion in exciting fashion which may well have seen the emergence of some top prospects from around the world.
The first final was in the 49KG division where we had an all Asian final as Shalkar Aykynbay (Kazakhstan) faced Suleyman Latipov (Uzbekistan). The bout finished relatively one sided with the Kazakh winning a 3:0 decision over Latipov. Interestingly this was the third successive bout where Aykynbay defeated an Asian with victories over Subaru Murata (Japan) in the quarter final and Shyam Kumar Kakara (India) in his semi final.
At 52KG we had no direct interest but the final saw Shakur Stevenson (USA) defeat Muhammad Ali (England) 3:0. Both of the finalists had beaten Asian fighters in the semi finals so Asian's took both bronze medals though they'd have both loved the chance to have fought for gold here.
In the 56KG division we saw disappointment for an Asian fighter as the very talented Javier Ibanez (Cuba) defeated Sultan Zaurbek (Kazakhstan) with a score of 3:0. Perhaps surprisingly Ibanez was one of just two Cubans to reach the final.
At 60KG Abylaykhan Zhusupov (Kazakhstan) claimed his nation's second gold medal as he defeated Arsen Mustafa (Romania) with a 3:0 victory.
In the 64KG division we got the coming to forced of political opponents as Bibert Tumenov (Russian) fought Viktor Petrov (Ukraine). It was the Russian who took home gold courtesy of a 3:0 victory.
Up at 69KG's we saw Asia take another gold medal with Bektemir Melikuziyev (Uzbekistan) taking a 3:0 victory over Luka Prtenjaca (Croatia). This was Uzbekistan's only gold medal.
Croatia had it's second silver medal winner as Luka Plantic (Croatia) dropped a 3:0 decision to Dmitriy Nesterov (Russia) in the 75KG division.
In the 81KG division home hero Blagoy Naydenov (Bulgaria) claimed his nation's only gold medal as he defeated Vadim Kazakov (Kazakhstan) 3:0.
In the Heavyweight division, 91KG's, the gold medal went to Yordan Hernandez (Cuba) who, like many of the others who got to the final, took a 3:0 decision to clam his gold. Hernandez defeated Toni Filipi (Croatia) to claim his medal.
The highest division, the Super Heavyweight division, saw the most competitive bout as Darmani Rock (USA) took a 2:1 decision to claim the USA's second gold medal. Rock defeated Peter Kadiru (Germany) to claim his medal.
Today saw the semi-finals of the AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The semi finals had Asian fighters across a number of divisions and whilst some of them successfully fought their way to the final others will be happy to have taken home a very well earned bronze medal.
At the lowest weight class, the 49KG division, we knew we'd have 2 finalists from Asia after all the 4 semi finalists were all from Asia. These semi finals saw Suleyman Latipov (Uzbekistan) overcome Rufat Huseynov (Azerbaijan) 3:0 to reach the final. Latipov will be facing Shalkar Aykynbay (Kazakhstan) in the final with the Kazakh having over-come Shyam Kumar Kakara (India) 2:1.
At 51KG the final will see the very recognisable name of Muhammad Ali (England) facing off against Shakur Stevenson (USA). Ali defeated Masud Yusifzade (Azerbaijan) by a score of 3:0 whilst Stevenson beat Lu Ping (China), also 3:0, giving Asia 2 Bronze medal winners but unfortunately no finalist's.
In the 56KG division final we will have Sultan Zaurbek (Kazakhstan) going for gold after he defeated Peter McGrail (England). Zaurbek's opponent in the final will be Javier Ibanez (Cuba) who defeated Dushko Blagovestov (Bulgaria) 2:1.
We had 3 of the 4 semi finalists at 60KG, unfortunately however only 1 of them managed to progress. The man who did make his way to the final was Abylaykhan Zhusupov (Kazakhstan) who defeated fellow Asian fighter Ikboljon Kholdarov (Uzbekistan) 3:0. Zhusupov will be facing Arsen Mustafa (Romania) who sadly scored an opening round stoppage over Go Hosaka (Japan).
At 64KG we had 2 semi finalists and thankfully one of those progressed to the final. The man who moved on was Bibert Tumenov (Russia) who defeated Vincenzo Arecchia (Italy) 3:0 whilst the one who missed out was Toshihiro Suzuki (Japan) who was beaten by Vicktor Petrov (Ukraine) 2:1.
In the 69KG division we managed to have one finalist as Bektemir Melikuziyev (Uzbekistan) managed to take a 3rd round injury victory over Juan Ramon Solano (Dominican Republic). Melikuziyez will be battling against Luka Prtenjaca (Croatia) in the final after the Croatian took a 3rd round TKO over Ilyas Odinayev (Belarus).
Prtenjaca isn't the only Croat in the finals as his compatriot Luka Plantic (Croatia) defeated Ramil Gadzhiev (Ukraine) 3:0 to book his place in the 75KG final. Plantic will be fighting Dmitriy Nesterov (Russia) who beat Kozimbek Mardonov (Uzbekistan) 2:1 to book his place in the final.
Vadim Kazakov (Kazakhstan) was the only Asian in the 81KG division semi finals and thankfully he's managed to defeat Vegar Tregren (Norway) to take his place in the final. Going for gold against Kazakov will be home country favourite Blagoy Naydenov (Bulgaria) who scored his semi final victory with a 3:0 win over Narek Manasyan (Armenia).
Unfortunately in the 91KG Heavyweight division we had to wave goodbye to Kim Jin-Nyong (South Korea) who lost 3:0 to Toni Filipi (Croatia) who became the third Croat to book a place in the final. Filipi will be battling against the very talented Yordan Hernandez (Cuba) who scored a 3:0 victory over Robert Marton (Ukraine).
In the Super Heavyweight division Darmani Rock (USA) booked his place in the final with a 2nd round TKO over Laszlo Komor (Hungary). Rock will be fighting Peter Kadiru (Germany) in the final after Kadiru took a 3rd round Disqualification victory over Marat Kerimkhanov (Russia)..
In other good news from the tournament Jthe very promising 17 year old Subaru Murata (Japan) defeated Joel Finol (Venezuela) 3:0 in the box-off to get himself a place at the 2014 Juniour Olympics. Many said that the Japanese fighter stole the show in the box-off section of the tournament with a busy and exciting style that was simply too much for Finol to cope with
Yesterday boxing fans in Sofia got the chance to watch the 40 quarter finals at the AIBA Youth World Amateur Championships. The winners of those 40 bouts all guaranteed themselves at least a bronze medal and will be fighting for a place in the final over the come day or two.
At the 49KG division all 4 medals will be going to Asian fighters as all the semi finalists will coming from Asia. They will be Rufat Huseynov (Azerbaijan), Suleyman Latipov (Uzbekistan), Shalkar Aykynbay (Kazahkstan) and Shyam Kumar Kakara (India). Unfortunately we had 5 of the 8 quarter finalists and the man who misses out is Subaru Murata (Japan) who was out pointed by Aykynbay.
In the 52KG division we have Masud Yusifzade (Azerbaijan) and Lu Ping (China) though as with the 49KG division one Asian fighter missed out, that was Gaurav Solanki (India) who was beat 3:0 by Ping.
At 56KG we have just 1 semi finalist, Sultan Zaurbek (Kazahkstan) whilst Wang Long (China) was narrowly out pointed by Dushko Blagovestov (Bulgaria).
In the 60KG division we have 3 of the 4 semi finalists with Ikboljon Kholdarov (Uzbekistan), Abylaykhan Zhusupov (Kazahkstan) and Go Hosaka (Japan) all making it through. The pick of the wins was from Hosaka who upset the highly touted Alayn Limonta (Cuba).
Hosaka is joined in the semi finals by compatriot Toshihiro Suzuki (Japan) who made it through in the 64KG division alongside Bibert Tumenov (Russia) whilst Javid Guliyev (Azerbaijan) went out following a walk over loss to Vincenzo Arecchia (Italy).
At 69KG the only Asian semi finalist is Bektemir Melikuziyev (Uzbekistan) who defeated Olexiy Tokarchuk (Ukraine) with a 3:0 scoreline.
At 75KG we had to wave good bye to Bekzhan Bakirov (Kazahkstan) though we did see both Dmitriy Nesterov (Russia) and Kozimbek Mardonov (Uzbekistan) make their way in to the final 4.
At 81KG's it was the Vadim Kazakov (Kazahkstan) who managed to go through as Obidzhon Tokhirov (Uzbekistan) fell to the way side. Kazakov defeated a Turkish opponent whilst Tokhirov went out to a Bulgarian foe.
In the 91KG Heavyweight division we had to see Shukran Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan) lose to Toni Filipi (Croatia) though that blow was softened by the very unexpected Kim Jin-Nyong (South Korea) who has done amazingly well to make his way to the semi finals and has amazingly not come close to losing, having won every bout so far 3:0.
At Super Heavyweight Marat Kerimkhanov (Russia) made it to the final 4 at the expense of Muhamedali Tairov (Azerbaijan) with a 3:0 victory.
With the Youth World Amateur Champions now getting the serious part of the tournament we've decided to pick up the results and look at the Asian fighters who have managed to make it to the quarter finals.
In the 49KG division Asia has 5 of the 8 quarter finalists. These are Rufat Huseynov of Azerbaijan who out pointed Russian Svyatoslav Varankin, Suleyman Latipov of Uzbekistan who beat Moldova's Iulian Ivanov, Shalkar Aykynbay of Kazakhstan who over came Jonathan Lopez, Subara Murata of Japan who beat Scotland's Lee McGregor by decision and India's Shyam Kumar Kakara who stopped Ireland's Brendan Irvine.
Unfortunately Filipino Hipolito Banal Jr was beaten in his final 16 bout so misses out on the quarter finals.
At 52KG Asian's did't fare as well with just 3 of the 8 quarter finalists. These are Masud Yusifzade of Azerbaijan who over-came Abdulkay Sharakhmatov of Uzbekistan, India's Gaurav Solanki who beat Ireland's William Donoghue and China's Lu Ping who defeated Spain's Gabriel Excobar.
In the 56KG division we saw Wang Long qualify with a victory over Japan's Arashi Morisaka and Kazahstan's Sultan Zaurbek move into the quarters with a win over Russian Aytal Dyakonov.
We have 3 men that made it into the quarter finals at the 60KG weight class. These are Go Hosaka, who beat India's Sandeep Kumar in a narrow decision, Abylaykhan Zhusupov, who over came Moldovan Dorin Bucsa, and Uzbek Ikboljon Kholdarov, who out pointed Armenia's Zhora Hamazaryan.
The 64KG division sees Toshihiro Suzuki in the quarter final having beaten Finland's Muhammad Abdilrasoon, he is joined by Javid Guliyev of Azerbaijan who beat Uzbek Makhmud Gaipov and Russia's Bibert Tumenov who out pointed China's Liu Xiaoshuai.
Only one Asian fighter at 69KG's has managed to make his way in to the last 8 and that's Bektemir Melikuziyev of Uzbekistan who defeated Giorgi Kharabadze of Georgie.
At 75KG we've 3 of the last 8 with Bekzhan Bakirov of Kazahkstan, Dmitriy Nesterov of Russia and Kozimbek Mardonov of Uzbekistan. Two of those countries will also be represented at 81KG's with Uzbekistan's Obidzhon Tokhirov and Kazakhstan's Vadim Kazakov both making it to the last 8 in the 3rd highest weight class.
The Heavyweight division, 91KG, we have two of the last 8 with Azerbaijan's Shukran Mehdiyev and, rather unexpectedly, South Korea's Kim Jin-Nyong both making it to the finals. Unfortunate we only have one of the Super Heavyweight quarter finalists in the form of Muhamedali Tairov of Azerbaijan.
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