Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall, and on Boxingraise, fans saw the talented and heavy handed Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] successfully defend the OPBF Minimumweight title for the third time, over-coming Daiki Tomita (12-1, 4) [冨田大樹].
On paper this was an excellent match up. Both were young talented and unbeaten fighters looking to make a statement. Sadly though the bout really wasn't as competitive as we'd have expected.
Early on Tomita fought well, using his sharp jab to control the range. That worked well in the first couple of rounds though it seemed like Koura was almost taking his time suss out what Tomita had in his arsenal.
From round 3 onwards the bout turned in favour of Koura who used excellent footwork, great punch variety and some lovely combinations to control and outbox Tomita.
After 4 rounds one judge, bizarrely, had the fight 40-36 to Koura, another had it 39-37 in the champions favour whilst the third had the bout even, the same as us. That was the last time the bout looked competitive however, as Koura figured out the challenger, who had little more than a jab at his disposal.
Koura really began moving through the gears in the middle rounds. He started to really punish Tomita for his weak defense and predictable offensive, landing some really punishing shots to the head and body. To his credit Tomita wasn't showing any quit, but was taking a bit of a beating at times, and was down 79-73 on two cards and 78-74 on the third when the scores were announced at the end of round 8.
Koura began to hunt a stoppage in the later rounds, hurting Tomita in round 10 and dropping him in round 11. The challenger however gutted things out and in the final round showed what he was really capable off, through body shots and uppercuts as well as his jab. It was as if he had really learned on the job and had developed in front of our eyes. By then however it was too little too late.
After the bell there no questioning the winner, with the judges scoring the bout 119-108, twice, and 117-110 to Koura who spoke about fighting for a world title in the near future.
For Tomita this bout has seen him lose his unbeaten record but prove that he is a tough fighter, who has a lot of room to improve, a real grittiness and the potential to win titles in the future. If his team develop him following this set back we genuinely believe he will go on to win titles in the coming years. Koura is on a different level, but this loss is not one to be ashamed by.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in at the Korakuen Hall as well as those who subscribe to the excellent Boxingraise service will get the chance to see a brilliant looking Dangan card.
The show has several notable contests on it, with arguably the best of them being an OPBF Minimumweight title bout.
That bout will see Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt for the third time, as he takes on talented and unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹], in what looks to be a genuinely mouth watering contest.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout.
On the scales Koura was in great shape, coming in at 104.7lbs and looked very relaxed. Despite being calm and collected at the weigh in he'll know that not only could he lose his regional title but also, potentially, his world rankings if he loses here. There's a lot on the line for the youngster, but a win will further establish him as one of the leading contenders and could help secure him a world title fight in 2019.
Tomita was slightly lighter, at 104.5lbs, and he also looked in terrific condition. This will be a huge step up in class for him, but a win immediately puts him in the mix for a world title, gives him his major silverware and acts as a big wake up call to the division.
As mentioned this bout will be on boxingraise, and is in fact part of a live stream from the service.
Related- Unbeaten men Koura and Tomita collide for OPBF honours!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Rangsit, Thailand, fans saw Panya Pradabsri (23-1, 12) [เพชรมณี ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] retain the OPBF Silver Minimumweight title, as he scored a stoppage win over Indonesian visitor Stevanus Nana Bau (8-10-2, 2).
The talented Thai looked the better fighter through out the bout. He regularly backed up the visitor and landed solid shots with Bau throwing mostly arm shots to try and create space.
It was a risky tactic from Bau who was often looking like a bullied fighter unable to get respect of the Thai and it seemed to become more and more negative in round 6. With Bau on the retreat through the round the referee stepped in and saved the Indonesian, who had thrown some shots in return just as the third man stepped in. It was a weird stoppage, but clearly a merciful one by a referee who had seen the visitor take an increasing amount of punishment.
In theory this win puts the Thai in the running to face the winner of the upcoming OPBF title fight between Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] and Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹] on September 29th.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com
Earlier today Boxingraise added a new slide to their homepage to reveal some rather exciting news...and that is that they will be live streaming Dangan 216 for their subscribers.
The card isn't a massive card stacked with world title fights, but it's an amazingly interesting one with a number of fantastic match ups that really does make it one worth tuning in for.
The card is a double championship show. The nominal main event is an IBF Atomweight title fight as Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] and Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] face off for the third time in their careers. These two ladies fought in June 2016, with Hanagata taking a decision win, then rematched in December that year, fighting to a draw. Since then both have established themselves as world class fighters. Kuroki had a 3 and a half year reign as the WBC female Minimumweight champion, recording 5 defenses before losing the title last December to Momo Koseki. Hanagata on the other hand would go 0-1-2 in her 3 world title bouts since that loss, twice drawing with Nao Ikeyama.
For us the real main event is the other part of the double championship banner, and will see OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹]. This is a truly mouth watering clash between two top young talents in a division that is often over-looked. For the heavy handed Koura the bout will serve as his third defense, and he has made it clear that he's wanting to fight in world title bouts sooner rather than later. For Tomita 20 year old Tomita the bout is a big step up from his recent competition, including Desierto Nagaike, but he was the 2016 All Japan Rookie of the Year, and has shown impressive talent. This could be something special.
It would be easy to just be excited about the two main events but the reality is that the card is deep. One of the under-card bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] battle against the always testing tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) whilst the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉] will face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5). These are two really solid match ups, given that Takenaka has been out of the ring since losing the OPBF title and that Yamashita is a never in a bad fight, even if that does come to his detriment at times.
Potentially the most attractive of the supporting bouts is the chief support bout, which is a mouth watering clash between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4). This will be a serious test of Yabuki's boxing ability and Matellon's chin. Neither of these are big names, even domestically, but that shouldn't take away from what looks an interesting contest, and allows Yabuki to build on his recent win over former world title challenger Gilberto Pedroza.
The remaining bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
Given that a lot of shows this month in Japan will be on tape delay this looks like an amazing way for Dangan to finish the month, and the card really is set to be something fantastic for subscribers of Boxingraise
It's fair to say we've been drip fed the match ups for Dangan 216, on September 29th. First came an interesting contest between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4), in what looked like a really good match up a solid test for the hard hitting Yabuki. A week or so after that announcement we saw two title bouts being added to the card, with Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] taking on Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] for the vacant IBF Atomweight title and OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹].
At the time of the title bout announcements we saw Dangan confirm that the under-card would also feature former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] and the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉]. Despite the confirmation neither man had their opponents announced.
Now however we have seen both of those men having their opponents named.
Takenaka, who will be fighting for the first time since suffering a gruesome facial injury in his title loss to Sa Myung Noh [노사명], will now be matched against the always tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8), who will be fighting in Japan for the third successive time, following a TKO loss to Masayuki Ito in March and an opening round technical draw to Shuma Nakazato in June. Despite his record Puton is always a good test and should give Takenaka a genuine fight here, especially given that Takenaka hasn't fought since June 2017.
As for Yamashita he will be stepping up in class to face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5), who the likes of Drian Francisco, Hernan Marquez, Roberto Vasquez and Koki Kameda. The experienced Filipino debuted back in December 2006 and is certainly experienced at a higher level than Yamashita, but will certainly be the under-dog against the incredibly aggressive and hard hitting Yamashita.
One other under-card bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
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