Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw 4 men fighting in Japanese Youth title eliminators, with all of the fighters hoping to move one step closer to becoming the Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion.
The first of the two bouts saw an early finish as the hard hitting 19 year old Haruki Ishikawa (9-1, 7) [石川春樹] scored a 3rd round TKO win against Atsushi Takada (6-2-3, 3) [高田篤志].
Ishikawa, who had come runner up in the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year, scored 2 knockdowns with the referee stopping the bout after the second one. This saw Ishikawa advance to the title bout later in the year.
The second bout saw professional novice Toshiya Ishii (2-0, 1) [石井渡士也] take a wide technical decision over the previously unbeaten Fumiya Fuse (8-1, 1) , [富施郁哉]. The bout saw the brilliant Ishii drop Fuse in the early going with a brilliant left hand, Fuse wasn't hurt but from then on Ishii always seemed to have the tools control the bout. Ishii was quick, sharp, strong and accurate and showed off the skills that had seen his team be confident enough to put him in a bout like this. Fuse never looked like a man who was going to quit but in round 5 a nasty head clash left Fuse with a huge cut over his right eye, taking us to the score-cards.
The scores were 50-45, and 49-46, twice, all in favour of Ishii, when the bout was stopped 40 seconds into round 5.
We'll now see Ishii and Takada face off for the Japanese Youth title, and Ishii incredibly confident, predicting a KO win. The two have sparred together in the past and it seems that sparring has filled him with a lot of confidence for the Takada clash.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Bantamweight final at the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year saw the hard hitting Haruki Ishikawa (6-1, 5) [石川春樹] battle against southpaw Yusei Fujikawa (4-1, 1) [藤川祐誠] in a very entertaining 4 round contest..
The fight started with a typical pressure offense form Ishikawa, who looked to get inside and go to work. Fujikawa however used his feet brilliantly, moving well and using his southpaw stance well. It was a close round, but one we felt Ishikawa just nicked. The second round was a clearer one, with Ishikawa taking the round based on his work rate and aggression.
In round 3 Fujikawa decided to fight fire with fire and he stood toe-to-toe with Ishikawa. For Fujikawa the eye catching work on the inside was his body work, though Ishikawa mixed his shorts brilliantly, landing some excellent uppercuts. It was a tough round to score, with Fujikawa seemingly landing more blows, and pushing Ishikawa backwards, but taking the harder blows. The final round was much like round 3, except with the intensity, from both men, cranked up in a round that saw both men standing in front of the other and letting their hands go.
The choice to go toe to toe from Fujikawa turned out to be a pivotal one, as he took the majority decision, 39-37 twice and 38-38, to take the win and the Rookie crown. The body shots he landed really were the key to the win here.
Despite the result we're really looking forward to seeing more of Ishikawa in the coming year.
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