Earlier today during Kadoebi's "Slugfest 12" show there was a number of fighters announcing their next bouts, set for Slugfest 13 on February 17th.
The main event will see Filipino power puncher Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) return to Japan to make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. In the opposite corner to Saludar will be fellow puncher Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4, 11) [福永亮次], in what looks likely to be a very explosive encounter.
Saludar made a splash in September when he won the title with a brutal KO win over Tsubasa Murachi, and extended his winning run to 3 bouts following a 2018 loss to Sho Kimura in a WBO Flyweight world title bout in China. It was an impressive performance from Saludar after many had written him due to the Kimura loss, ourselves included, and the win has genuinely kept his career alive.
Fukunaga on the other hand is a hard man to get a solid read on. He won the 2016 Rookie of the Year, but has gone 4-2 since then with his wins come against very poor opponents and his losses coming to solid, but unspectacular, foes. He can certainly bang but it's hard to know what he'll offer against a fighter of Saludar's ability and experience.
Also confirmed for this show, though currently opponent-less, Ryota Yamauchi (5-4, 1) [山内涼太], who looks to build on Augusts's win over Alphoe Dagayloan, and Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀], who competes in his first 8 rounder.
One other thing to note is that Japanese veteran Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也] is looking to make his return on the following "Slugfest" card, pencilled in for March. The details here are less fleshed out however and we suspect he'll be in a supporting bout against a limited visiting opponent.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we saw former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) become the new WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight champion, as he scored a huge KO win against Tsubasa Murachi (4-1, 3) [村地翼].
Following the bout Murachi was stretchered out and it lead to some genuine worry for the youngster. We can now update fans and reveal that Murachi is fine.
The youngster has been quoted in the Japanese sources as saying he "couldn't remember" much about the bout, though he did admit he had been nervous. When asked about the future he admitted he couldn't think of anything right now, but did seem to suggest that he wouldn't be retiring and would instead return and try to do his best in the sport.
Saludar told the Japanese press that Murachi was strong and then went on to talk about his own future. stating that he wanted to earn another world title fight. Some on Japan are now stating that he is wanting to put himself in the mix for a shot at WBO world champion Kazuto Ioka, though he's one of many pursing a fight with the Osakan, who is expected back in the ring on New Year's Eve.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The chief support bout of Dangan 227, which was shown live on Boxing Raise, was a contest for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title and saw Tsubasa Murachi (4-1, 3) [村地翼] and former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) fight for the vacant title.
On paper this promised to be something really entertaining, however the early stages of the bout weren't great as both seemed to be looking to fight at range and land single blows. For Murachi the opening round was about his jab, which speared into Saludar's face a number of times, but wasn't used regularly. For Saludar it was the right hand, that thudded against Murachi's head, but seemed to do little damage. The most notable single punch of the round was, however, a right hand from Murachi, that caught Saludar clean and sent him to the canvas. He wasn't hurt, but did secure Murachi a 10-8 opening round.
The pace remained slow in round 2, though appeared a little more action packed than the previous round with round 3 also feeling slightly better than the second, notably due to a huge 1-2 from Saludar than snapped back the head of Murachi. The real highlight early on however was round 4, a round that saw Saludar let loose, dropping Murachi and really going for him as he seemed to feel he had a big chance at an early win. Murachi seemed more embarrassed than hurt by the knockdown, but the follow up after the bout continued did seem to shake him as Saludar, for the first time, let his shots fly in a something more sustained than just a 2-punch combination.
The main talking point from round 5 was a low blow from Murachi which left Saludar in agony, it was a rare moment of Murachi landing something that had effect on Saludar, despite being an illegal punch.
Saludar stuck to his game plan of boxing and moving, keeping the tempo slow in round 6, as he did little but did more than Murachi. At the end of round 7 Saludar again let his hands go with bad intent and dropped Murachi for the second time in the bout, with just seconds of the round left. This time Murachi was hurt and wobbled to his corner, he looked like a man who needed more than a minute to recover.
Sadly for Murachi he wasn't to be so lucky, and early in round 8 Saludar landed 2 huge rights hands and sent him crashign hard to the canvas. This time the he stayed down, the referee quickly rushed, waving the bout off and Murachi's team, and medical personal, came to assist him, before he was stretchered out of the ring. It seemed more a precaution than a necessity, and it did seem like Murachi was conscious when removed from the ring.
The ending was dramatic, and with 4 total knockdowns the bout had highlights, though overall the bout will not be remembered fondly for much other than the frightening finish.
For Saludar this was a huge win, not only netting him the WBO Asia Pacific title but also keeping his career alive and putting him in the mix for another world title fight. For Murachi we really he has a swift recovery. He looked competitive at times, but was unable to avoid the right hands and took a lot of them clean through the fight. If we see Murachi in action again we really hope his defenses tightens up, or his career will be a very short one.
Tomorrow fight fans will get the chance to see a WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title title bout, as Japanese pro-novice Tsubasa Murachi (4-0, 3) [村地翼] takes on former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (30-3-1, 21).
The bout is a huge step up in class for Murachi, who fights in his first title fight, whilst Saludar can't afford another loss if he's to ever reach the heady heights once expected of him. In fact a loss for Saludar here would see him suffer a 4th loss in 15 bouts.
The Japanese fighter, who was the clearly taller man at the weigh in, was around 114.7lbs on the scales. He looked in good shape, but like a youngster who was perhaps still maturing into a man with a rather slim torso. Given the way he looked there's a good chance he will bulk up in the future and make a mark at higher weights down the line.
Saludar, who looked much more filled out, was around 114.4lbs and looked good on the scales. He seemed confident and looked like a man who had been in these types of fights before, after all he has fought at world level before and did take on Sho Kimura only a few fights ago.
For fans wanting to watch this the bout will be available live on subscription service Boxing Raise.
Related - Murachi goes for gold in 5th fight, takes on Saludar for WBO regional title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In August Boxing Raise, sadly, under-delivered. For September however it looks like they are looking to make up for that a poor month with 9 cards in total being added to their service, including 4 that are going to be made free to none member and 5 that are members only, with 1 card being live.
The first of the cards will be the September 12th Victoriva 5 show, featuring 2 female world title fights. The service will then get 5 of the cards from from September 15th and 16th. On paper those cards aren't amazing, but 2 of them are Rookie of the Year cards, which will be available for free, another is headlined by Masanori Rikiishi (6-1, 4) [佐藤政法] battling Freddy Fonseca (27-3-1, 18) and another will be headlined by WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-10-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending against South Korean puncher Yang Hyun Min (8-2, 7) [양현민].
Those shows are expected to be posted through the month, despite all taking place in such a limited amount of time.
We get the one live card for the month on September 21st and it's a cracker. It will feature a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout, pitting champion Yusaku Kuga (18-3-1, 11) [久我勇作] against Yosuke Fujihara (18-6, 5) [藤原陽介], a WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title fight between Tsubasa Murachi (4-0, 3) [村地翼] and former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (30-3-1, 21), and an excellent Japanese title eliminator between Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆]. This is a great card, and we're incredibly grateful for the fact it will be streamed live.
We then end the month with two more Rookie shows, that will be made free to view, likely in early October.
This is a great month to be a subscriber, and a great month even if your not, thanks to all the free content the service is making available!
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!