Earlier today fight fans from around the world got the chance to see the latest card under the Desafio banner of shows, Desafio 8 thanks to a legal live stream on the excellent Boxing Raise service. The card, held at the FujisanMesse at the foot of Mount Fuji, wasn't the strongest card but did feature several bouts of note, with a top prospect and two former title challenged involved.
The first of the 3 bouts of note saw unbeaten prospect Tsubasa Murachi (4-0, 3) [村地翼] take his first decision win, as he secured a wide 8 round victory over Filipino Raymond Tabugon (21-10-1, 11). The talented Murachi, who had fought a combined 7 rounds prior to today, looked sharp, composed and confident as he out boxed Tabugon, using his speed and combinations brilliantly to rack up the rounds. The most impressive thing from the Japanese youngster was his body though, and they really slowed Tabugon down in the later stages.
Although Murachi was unable to stop Tabugon this was a huge step up in class, and a very, very impressive performance for Murachi, who will find himself in the WBO Asia Pacific rankings when they are next up dated. It's worth noting that Murachi adds his name to 9 others that have beaten Tabugon, including Juan Hernandez Navarrete, Juan Francisco Estrada, Luis Nery and Andrew Moloney, not bad company at all for a man who only debuted a year ago! The scores for this were 80-72, twice, and 79-74 all in favour of the Japanese 22 year old.
A second bout of note on this show saw former Japanese Super Bantamweight Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔] score an 8th round TKO win over Yuta Horiike (15-7-3, 3) [堀池雄大]. This was a pretty fun fight, as most Furuhashi bouts are, but in the end the power and strength of Furuhashi proved to be too much, and he dropped Horiike in the final round. Although Horiike got to his feet a follow up attack forced the referee to to stop the contest, with just over half of the final round left.
The third and final bout of note saw former Japanese Super Featherweight title challenger Satoru Sugita (15-6-1, 10) [杉田聖] take a dominant victory over Daiki Ichikawa (11-6, 9) [市川大樹]. On paper this looked a pretty interesting match up, but Sugita was too good, too sharp and too intelligent for Ichikawa. Sugita would bust Ichikawa's face up with clean shots, leaving him bloodies and swollen. It wasn't the facial damage that would cause the end but instead the bout was stopped following a knockdown down. Sugita dropped Ichikawa hard in round 5, and the referee quickly waved the bout off, giving Sugita the stoppage win, and earning him the the KO prize for the show.
Sometimes fights exceed expectations, sometimes however they fail to reach the heights of excitement we had anticipated. One bout that failed to really deliver took place at the Korakuen Hall earlier today and saw world ranked Japanese Featherweight Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也] essentially go through the motions against former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-1, 3) [杉田大祐].
On paper this looked interesting. Abe had been in amazing form recently, reeling of notable wins on the domestic scene and earning a Japanese title fight, which he will get on May 1st against Taiki Minamoto. Sugita on the other hand had been a fantastic amateur, and is a full time police office who is fighting because of his love of boxing. Despite being a police office, Sugita was regarded as a real hopeful, and knew a win today would move him towards his own potential Japanese title fight.
It had the ingredients to be good. Sadly however it had a major issue. There was a huge gulf in class. From the opening round it was clear that Abe wasn't going to let Sugita have things his own way. He used his reach, movement and southpaw stance to make Sugita fall short, over-commit and generally look like a novice. It wasn't pretty or exciting, but it was what Abe had been doing to much more accomplished professionals before Sugita. Whilst making Sugita miss Abe would land the occasional stinging left hand, busting the nose of his opponent.
The nose would bleed for much of the bout and Sugita's issues weren't helped by the fact that Abe seemed so much quicker, sharper, smart and stronger. He was able to push Sugita around when he wanted, and able to just out think and out move him.
In round 5 the bout was essentially sealed for Abe who twice dropped Sugita. Sugita looked like he was being given a lesson in boxing by Abe who seemed happy to carry Sugita at times. Rounds 6 and 7 both saw Abe take things relatively easily on his man, as he looked to prove who the better boxer was. His mentality did however change in round 8, when he finally chose to prove who the better fighter was, and looked to stop Sugita, who was badly hurt in the final seconds of the bout.
Having managed to survive 8 rounds it was clear Sugita hadn't done enough to win, and all 3 judges had Abe winning wide, with scores of 79-71, 80-70, 80-70.
Next up for Abe is that aforementioned bout with Minamoto. Today's bout shouldn't see any delay for that contest as he looked almost untouched at the end of the bout. For Sugita the question of what's next is going to be an interesting one. He's tough, and can make for good fights, but a loss like this can cripple a mans confidence. He was being being played with at times.
Abe is fringe world class, at worst, and the performance today seemed to be him at about 50%, he really is a fantastic fighter, even if he's not putting on exciting performance, he is putting on clinics and we'd not be surprised if he embarrasses Minamoto later this year.
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall, and live on G+, we'll see future Japanese Featherweight title challenger Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who is scheduled to fight for the title on May 1st, take on boxing policemen, and former amateur stand out, Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐].
Today the two men took part in the weigh in for their bout, and both men made weight, for the contest which has an agreed limit of 57.8KG, or close to 127.5lbs, well above the Featherweight divisional limit.
On the scales Abe was 127.2lbs. He looked in good shape and looked significantly bigger than Sugita. This is, for all intents, his division and he really has been low key ripping up the domestic scene with a string of good wins against the likes of Hikaru Marugame, Satoshi Hosono and Tsuyoshi Tameda. He sounded confident at today's weigh in and hinted that Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Watanabe will be watching the bout, potentially scouting his next challenger. Incidentally Watanabe and Sugita are stablemate mates, and it's assume that the champion will be cheering on his gym mate.
As for Sugita he was bang on the agreed limit of 127.5lbs. He looked in tremendous shape and admitted that he didn't expect to be fighting in such a big bout after just 9 months of his professional career. He did have over 140 amateurs but this is still a tougher opponent than anyone would have anticipated for him. He appears to see himself as the under-dog here but it was clear that he felt like he was a very hungry under-dog for what will, by some margin, be the biggest fight of his career, so far.
Related - World ranked Abe takes on Policeman Sugita!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that the first live televised Japanese show of 2019 will be the January Dynamic Glove card, which will be shown on G+ on January 19th. We now have all the details of the broadcast.
The broadcast for the show will begin at 17:45 local time and is set to run until 22:00, with a tape delay reshowing the following Thursday, starting at 22:30 and eating at 1:30 on Friday morning.
For those unaware, the show will be headlined by world ranked Super Bantamweight Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] rematching Takafumi Nakajima (29-11-1, 13) [中嶋 孝文], the last Japanese fighter to beat Wake. A win for Wake is expected, as he continues his charge for a second world title fight.
In supporting bouts we'll see Ikuro Sadatsune (9-2-3, 3) [定常育郎] and Kenshin Oshima (4-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] battle in a brilliantly matched 8 round bout at Bantamweight whilst future Japanese Featherweight title challenger Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也] will be up against former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐].
Although it's the first Japanese card to be televised in 2019, it is worth noting that the January 12th show is expected to be shown live on Boxingraise, though this is yet to be confirmed with only days to go until the show.
Over the last few days we've seen details emerge, almost being drip fed in fact, for the January 19th "Dynamic Glove" show.
First we were informed that world ranked Super Bantamweight Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] would be facing Takafumi Nakajima (29-11-1, 13) [中嶋 孝文], in an attempt to avenge a loss from years ago. Then we were informed of a mouth watering clash between Ikuro Sadatsune (9-2-3, 3) [定常育郎] and Kenshin Oshima (4-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who will face off in a brilliantly matched 8 round bout at Bantamweight.
Today we saw another fantastic bout being confirmed for the card, with Japanese #1 ranked Featherweight contender Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也] battling former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐].
The bout is scheduled to be a 8 round bout at a contracted 57.8KG, around 127.4lbs, and should be a really special bout, with Abe taking on his most skilled opponent so far, and Sugita taking on his most accomplished foe by far.
From what we understand Abe's Japanese Featherweight title fight, during the Champion Carnival, will not be at risk if he losses, unless he suffers an injury which may rule him out. Regardless, it's a very risky fight for him to be taking so close to such a significant contest.
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