Right now there are so many fantastic young Japanese fighters making a name for themselves in the lower weights that it can be easy to over-look some of them.
One fighter who was perhaps getting over-looked a little was Daiki Tomita (14-1, 5) [冨田 大樹], who hadn't received much attention since losing in an OPBF title fight to Tsubasa Koura last year. Today however Tomita reminded people what a talent he was, as he became the new WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion, beating Hayato Yamaguchi (15-8-1, 2) [山口 隼人] in Sakai City.
The talented Tomita took control of the bout early on, using a sharp jab to control the bout at range. Yamaguchi tried to apply pressure, fighting behind his own jab, but he struggled to have any sustained success due to Tomita's educated lead hand. Even when Yamaguchi did get close, with the intention of landing body shots, his success was quickly neutralised, with Tomita landing solid shots to Yamaguchi's mid-section.
As the bout went on the head shots of Tomita began to take their toll on the face of Yamaguchi, who was swollen and cut in the middle rounds. Yamguchi showed no quit, despite the marking on his face getting worse, and he actually had his best success in the middle rounds as the bout began more of a gruelling inside battle. It was however a draining effort for the veteran who became desperate, but also slowed from the body shots he'd taken through the bout.
After 12 rounds there was no doubting the result with Tomita taking the unanimous decision, via scores of 118-110, 117-112 and 115-113.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Sakai City will see a new WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion being crowned, as Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] and Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] battle for the vacant title, which was last held by Reiya Konishi who dropped the title due to getting a second world title fight earlier this year..
Today, ahead of tomorrow's fight, Tomita and Yamaguchi took part in their weigh in, and both made 108lb limit with no issues at all.
On the scales Tomita was 107.6lbs, making the Light Flyweight limit with room to play with. He seemed confident and was in great condition, and almost like a man who has grown into the Light Flyweight division after starting his career at Minimumweight. For Tomita this will be his second title bout, with his sole loss coming to Tsubasa Koura in an OPBF Minimumweight title fight a year ago.
Yamaguchi on the other hand came in on the 108lb limit and seemed to suggest his game plan was to come on strong in the second half of the fight. Of the two men it is Yamaguchi who has a clear edge in experience. Not only does he have more fights than Tomita, but he has also fought at a higher level, including 2 Japanese title bouts against Masayuki Kuorda and Yu Kimura, and was also stopped 2 fights ago by Tetsuya Hisada.
Related-Tomita and Yamaguchi face off for WBO Asia Pacific title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In June we reported that Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] and Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] would be battling for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title on September 16th in Sakai City. It's now been revealed however that that bout will be one of 2 title bouts on a surprisingly interesting looking card.
The other title bout, which was actually announced today, will see a new Japanese female Bantamweight champion being crowned. The title, which was recent vacated by Miyo Yoshida, will end up in the hands of Kanako Taniyama (2-0, 1) [谷山 佳菜子] or Tomoko Okuda (5-2-1, 1) [奥田朋子], who will face off in a fantastic match up.
Taniyama is a former top class kick boxer, who turned to boxing due to a knee injury and has picked up two decent wins over Thai visitors since making her debut in December. Aged 32 Taniyama is old for a fighter in just her third bout, but given her kick boxing pedigree she is certainly able to be fast tracked. Okuda on the other hand is a 36 year old who has gone 1-1-1 in her last 3, but did run Yoshie Wakasa razor close in a loss last year and will know that this could, potentially, be her only chance at title glory.
The card will also include a Japanese Youth Featherweight title eliminator bout among other contests.
One other thing to note about this card is the rumour that Sun TV, may be showing portions of it. Sadly Sun TV isn't widely available, though it is good to see a channel from JAITS airing boxing on the local scene, and hopefully more JAITS channels will join in in the future.
*JAITS is the Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations, a group of independent channels not affiliated with the major networks, and have no connection to a major national news network. They are very much local TV channels, who work on an ad hoc basis with each other and do have more flexibility. Sun TV are a JAITS channel based in Kobe, similar to Television Kanagawa in Kanagawa, who recently aired Masayuki Kuroda's bout with Moruti Mthalane.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Sources in Japan have informed early today that on September 16th Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] and Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] will clash in Sakai City to crown a new WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion. Whilst the bout might not cause a lot of noise in the Western World the fight looks, on paper, to be something really worth noting, and a really intriguing match up for two men who will see this bout as a huge chance to take a step towards a potential world title fight.
The talented 21 year old Tomita came to the attention of Japanese fans in 2016 when he won the All Japan Rookie of the Year at Minimumweight. In 2017 he built on his reputation before challenging OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubada Koura and losing a clear decision, in what was a massive step up. He recently moved up in when and scored a 3rd round KO win over former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero, and appears to be filling out his young frame hence the move up in weight.
Yamaguchi on the other hand is a 29 year old who debuted way back in 2008. He lost 2 of his first 3 before rebuilding and winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2010 as a Light Flyweight. A loss in 2011 to the then Japanese national champion Masayuki Kuroda was followed up by another loss, to Cris Paulino, before he rebuilt again and earned another couple of title fights, including one with the then Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura in 2015.
After a loss to Tetsuya Hisada in 2016 Yamaguchi would disappear from the ring for well over 2 years, before returning this past March and scoring a notable win over Kenji Ono, a win that has essentially netted him this title fight with Tomita.
At the moment little else is known about the overall show, though bouts are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The title was last held by Reiya Konishi, who vacated to pursue his recent world title fight with IBF king Felix Alvarado.
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