Earlier today we were informed that Ohashi would be putting on their next show on April 8th at the Korakuen Hall. The full hasn't been announced, but plenty of details from the show have been revealed, including the names of many fighters from the card.
The headline attraction is former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (27-6, 15) [八重樫 東], who will be fighting for the first time since his 2018 war with Hirofumi Mukai. At the moment Yaegashi's opponent hasn't been announced for the contest, though it's not expected to be anyone too testing for the hugely popular warrior.
The most exciting bout that has been confirmed for the show will see Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] take on unbeaten Thai Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (12-0, 5), in a really fantastic bout. It's rare we see two unbeaten fighters fighting at this point in their careers, with both heading towards bigger fights, so to see both taking this type of risk is fantastic, and something to get really excited about.
Another bout confirmed for the show will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-6-1, 13) [岡田誠一] take on Nakagawa Kanehiro (6-6, 4) [中川兼玄]. Okada has won his last 4 bouts coming into this, and will be looking to continue his good run of form.
Looking to bounce back from recent defeats will be former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (21-3, 19) [松本亮] and the once touted Sho Nakazawa (11-3, 5) [中澤奨], who both suffered stoppage losses late last year. Neither man has had their opponent named, but neither is expected to be up against anyone too testing, given their recent stoppage losses.
One other fighter on this card is fast tracked prospect Taku Kuwahara (3-0, 2) [桑原拓], who will be in his second 8 round bout. He also lacks an opponent, though could end up against someone of some note given how Ohashi seem to view him as a very special talent.
Full bouts are expected to be announced by the middle of March, though it's nice to see that the card already has some notable names on it, and the excellent Hiraoka Vs Atchariya bout.
Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] made his first defense earlier today, as he scored his second stoppage win over fellow youngster Ukyo Yoshigai (6-3, 5) [吉開右京].
Last year the two men fought in a semi-final bout to crown the inaugural champion, with Yoshigai being stopped in 3 rounds as advance to the tournament final and eventually the title. Today we saw a repeat of that result with Hiraoka against stopping Yoshigai in 3 rounds.
The challenger looked to start fast but a left uppercut from Hiraoka cut the left eye of Yoshigai in the opening round, and made him pay for being aggressive. Hiraoka would manage to establish his range and tempo through round 3 until Yoshigai began to take risks, and become more determined with his attacks. Sadly for the challenger that would be a mistake with a right hook sending Yoshigai down, flat on his back.
With the challenger down and looking out of it the referee called a halt to proceedings, giving Hiraoka the TKO win after 2 minutes and 2 seconds of round 3.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (12-0, 8) [平岡アンディ] defending his belt against Ukyo Yoshigai (6-2, 5) [吉開右京].
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made weight whilst looking serious and determined for what both fighters view as a significant bout. Albeit for different reasons with Yoshigai looking for revenge and Hiraoka looking to retain his title against a hard hitting challenger.
Hiraoka stated that he was looking for a KO win and was full of confidence whilst talking about the contest. He told the press that he wanted to take a step forward with his career. The talented youngster is tipped for big things, though it's clear he needs more seasoning before thinking about the senior national or even bigger and better achievements.
Yoshigai stated that he was in better shape than for the first bout with Hiraoka and that he has no fear of losing, instead stating that he was pleased for the opportunity to gain revenge. He wasn't focused on winning the title, but instead making sure the fight was exciting.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in June we saw the official announcement of a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator between Takuma Inoue (11-0, 3) [井上 拓真], the younger brother of Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] and OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-12, 14). The announcement of the bout sadly gave us little detail about the under-card for the show though we've now had the Ohashi gym announce several bouts for the card, and release the poster for the show.
The poster is a pretty decent looking one, making Inoue look like the star, but also feature Yap in a prominent position with both in front of the WBC title.
The poster also features Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (12-0, 8) [平岡アンディ], who will be defending his title against Ukyo Yoshigai (6-2, 5) [吉開右京]. These two fought last August, with Hiraoka stopping Yoshigai in a qualifying bout for the Japanese Youth title, a title that Hiraoka would win 3 months later when he stopped Takahiko Kobayashi. Since their first bout Hiraoka has not only won the Japanese Youth crown but also scored an 8 round decision win over Fumisuke Kimura Yoshigai on the other hand has fought just once, stopping Takuya Matsusaka in 68 seconds.
Another fighter on the poster is recent world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto's (21-2, 19) [松本亮], who looks to bounce back from his February loss to Danny Roman in a WBA Super Bantamweight title fight. Matsumoto will be up against domestic foe Ryo Sagawa (4-1, 2) [佐川遼] in a bout at Featherweight, with Matsumoto stepping up in weight. This looks like a mismatch on paper, though Sagawa did really impress last time out, when he defeated Junki Sasaki and he was a very accomplished amateur before turning professional.
Also set to be on this show are former amateur stand outs Katsuya Yasuda (2-0, 1) [保田克也] and Taku Kuwahara (1-0, 1) [桑原拓] among others.
Earlier this month we reported the news of several under-card bouts set to take place on the February 28th show headlined by Ryo Matsumoto's (21-1, 19) [松本亮] world title challenge against WBA Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (23-2-1, 9). Those bouts included a 50-50 match up between Quaye Peter (10-9-2, 6) and Yuichi Ideta (13-10-1, 7) [出田裕一],apotentially explosive encounter between Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (11-0, 8) [平岡アンディ] and Fumisuke Kimura (6-2, 4) [木村文祐] as well as generational bout between novice Kazuaki Miyamoto (5-1, 4) [宮本知彰] and veteran Seiichi Okada (20-6-1, 11) [岡田誠一].
It's now been confirmed that Hiraoka won't be the only Japanese Youth champion on the show, with the heavy handed Tsuyoshi Tameda (15-3-2, 13) [溜田 剛士] also beign added to the show.
The Japanese Youth Featherweight champion will be fighting in his second bout as an Ohashi gym fighter and whilst he won't be defending his title he will be looking to keep his current stoppage run alive as he takes on a Thai foe in a scheduled 8 rounder.
The exciting Tameda is unlikely to be given much of a test here but it's great to see him in the ring again so soon after his last bout, which took place in November.
The 24 year old puncher was one of the final fighters of note at the legendary Yonekura gym and with Ohashi behind him he's expected to rebuild well following back to back losses in 2016 to Simpiwe Vetyeka and Reiya Abe, and could wellfind himself in the mix for senior titles before the end of 2018. His addittion to the card is certainly a welcome one and should provide some additional fireworks on the under-card
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