Today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese fans got a key show, that helped decide several Japanese mandatory title challengers.
One of those was at Light Flyweight where veteran Tetsuya Hisada (27-9-2, 17) [久田 哲也] scored a career best win as he stopped Hayato Yamaguchi (14-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] in 7 rounds, to secure himself a shot at the Japanese title next year.
The two men were involved in a bloody battle that swung one way, the the other with both taking heavy and damaging shots. Just sadly for Yamaguchi his face really told form those shots with several cuts opening up around his face and his team being forced to throw in the towel in the 7th round, saving their man from more punishment.
Although Yamaguchi had been competitive for the most part it did seem like Hisada was becoming too much, and landing too many powerful blows for Yamaguchi who was wilting as well as bleeding before the towel came in.
In theory the win puts Hisada in line for a shot at Ken Shiro, the current Japanese, OPBF and WBC Youth Light Flyweight champion, but it is possible that Ken Shiro will vacate to chase a world title rather than spend more time facing domestic foes. If that happens Hisada will fight for the vacant title in 2017.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall will see a number of mandatory domestic title challengers being established. One of those will come at Light Flyweight where veteran Tetsuya Hisada (26-9-2, 16) [久田 哲也] battles Hayato Yamaguchi (14-6-1, 2) [山口 隼人], with the winner possibly facing Ken Shiro in 2017, in what could be a potentially career changing bout.
Today Yamaguchi and Hisada took part in their weigh in and both came in at the divisional limit of 108lbs, and both looked in tremendous shape for the bout.
For the 31 year old Hisada a win here will see him getting his first Japanese title fight, giving real relavence to a career that began around 13 years ago and has yet to see him actually getting a shot at the top of the domestic table.
As for Yamaguchi the 27 year old is looking to get himself a third Japanese title fight, following defeats to Masayuki Kuroda and Yu Kimura, he is however looking like a fighter who is struggling with consistency and has lost 2 of his last 4, with both of his wins before close decisions.
It's fair to say Ken Shiro won't fear either of these men, and there is talk that may decide to vacate in search of a world title bout than stay around to face the mandatory in 2017, with both Hisada and Yamaguchi being a step backwards for the talented BMB gym fighter, who has unified the JBC, OPBF and Youth titles.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we were informed of the 4 bouts that will make up the 2016 Strongest Korakuen show on October 22nd, with the winners of the 4 bouts becoming the mandatory title challengers for the Japanese national title.
At light Flyweight the bout will see the #1 Japanese ranked fighter Tetsuya Hisada (26-9-2, 16) [久田 哲也] face off with Hayato Yamaguchi (14-6-1, 2) [山口 隼人(]. For Yamaguchi the bout will see him being given an opportunity to earn a third shot at the Japanese title, following losses to Masayuki Kuroda and Yu Kimura whilst Hisada will be looking at this bout as an opportunity to earn his first title bout. Interestingly Hisada enters this bout on a run of 5 straight stoppages!
At Super Bantamweight we again get a #1 Vs #2 scenario as veteran Jonathan Baat (31-7-5, 14) takes on Yusaku Kuga (12-2-1, 8) [久我 勇作] in a really mouth watering bout. Baat is a true veteran and appeares to have been getting better in the last few years with recent wins over Kenta Ono, Takahiro Shigee and Takafumi Nakajima, whilst holding Hikaru Maugame and Rey Megrino to draws. On the other Kuga is one of the division's most under-rated fighters and ran Yasutaka Ishimoto incredibly close at the end of last year, unfortunately however he has only fought once since that draw with the current Japanese champion.
At Super Featherweight we will see the #4 ranked Satoru Sugita (11-3-4, 7) [杉田 聖] battle against the #5 ranked Tsuyoshi Tojo (13-13-5, 2) [東上 剛司]. For Sugita it's a chance to get back on the horse so to speak following this year's loss to Kenichi Ogawa in a title fight, a fight in which he actually impressed before being stopped. As for Tojo it's a chance to earn his first title shot, at the age of 36. It's clear that Sugita will be favoured here but Tojo will certainly be looking to make the most of this opportunity.
The fourth bout will be at Light Welterweight where we again see the #1 and #2 facing off. This bout will see 2-time title challenger Koichi Aso (20-7-1, 13) battle against impressive novice Noriaki Sato (4-1-1) in what looks like a really, really promising bout. Aso will obviouwlt be favoured, and with good reason given his experience and power. However Sato has impressed so far into his career with a draw against Yuya Okazaki and wins against Valentine Hosokawa and Kazuya Ito.
This will be a brilliant show and we wouldn't be surprised to see the card become one of the most exciting domestic Japanese of the year.
Earlier today Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (16-2-1, 3) successfully defended his title, for the third time, and made a statement by stopping Hayato Yamaguchi (12-6-1, 2).
Kimura won the title last year by narrowly out pointing Kenichi Horikawa. In his title win he had looked a little bit fortunate though since then he has improved and shown world class traits in his last two bouts. Despite the improvements he had made no one would have expected him to stop Yamaguchi, after all Kimura hadn't scored a stoppage win since taking out Takuro Habu back in January 2013.
Despite not being viewed as a puncher Kimura knew he had to make a statement. He had openly spoken about getting a WBA world title fight later in the year with Ryoichi Taguchi and knew that he needed to look good here. Looking good is exactly what he did.
From the off Kimura looked sharp and hitting home with his 1-2's almost at will. Those shots took their toll on Yamaguchi who was swollen and bloodied in the first 5 rounds. The success of the champion wasn't just damaging the face of the challenger but also the challengers hopes and after 5 rounds the open scoring was all in favour of Kimura, with all 3 judges having the bout 49-46 to the champion.
In round 6 Yamaguchi's hopes took another hit as he suffered another cut. That was the start of the end and in round 8 a Kimura attack finally forced the referee to save the challenger who was beginning to take a beating from the accurate and skillful Kimura.
Although Yamguchi wasn't the toughest challenger for Kimura that shouldn't take away from a sensational performance from the champion who now looks set to fight Taguchi, if Taguchi is successful on May 6th against Kwanthai Sithmorseng.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (15-2-1, 2) knows that his fight on Saturday is a major one for his career. The champion, who is defending his title for the 3rd time when he takes on Hayato Yamaguchi (12-5-1, 2) at the Korakuen Hall, seems to feel that a successful defense will see him being moved towards a WBA world title fight with compatriot Ryoichi Taguchi (21-2-1, 8) in his next bout.
Kimura, who is ranked by all 4 major organisations, enters his bout as the #14 WBA ranked contender but has made his intentions clear and seems to feel that a bout with Taguchi could be made if he's success tomorrow and if Taguchi is successful in his first defense in May, against #15 ranked challenger Kwanthai Sithmorseng (49-3-1, 26).
If the fight does get made it'll be a hugely interesting one with several sub-plots, including the fact it will be a rematch of a 2011 contest that saw Taguchi scoring a 6th round TKO over Kimura and giving Kimura his first, and so far only, stoppage defeat. It's clear Kimura would like revenge for that loss though it's also obvious that Taguchi has improved drastically since that bout and wins over Yuki Chinen, Florante Condes and Alberto Rossel all show how far he's come.
Although the fight isn't a done deal, even if both men win their up coming bouts, it is a bout that both teams have shown an interest in and would make for a very interesting summer bout.
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