In June we reported that Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] and Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] would be battling for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title on September 16th in Sakai City. It's now been revealed however that that bout will be one of 2 title bouts on a surprisingly interesting looking card.
The other title bout, which was actually announced today, will see a new Japanese female Bantamweight champion being crowned. The title, which was recent vacated by Miyo Yoshida, will end up in the hands of Kanako Taniyama (2-0, 1) [谷山 佳菜子] or Tomoko Okuda (5-2-1, 1) [奥田朋子], who will face off in a fantastic match up.
Taniyama is a former top class kick boxer, who turned to boxing due to a knee injury and has picked up two decent wins over Thai visitors since making her debut in December. Aged 32 Taniyama is old for a fighter in just her third bout, but given her kick boxing pedigree she is certainly able to be fast tracked. Okuda on the other hand is a 36 year old who has gone 1-1-1 in her last 3, but did run Yoshie Wakasa razor close in a loss last year and will know that this could, potentially, be her only chance at title glory.
The card will also include a Japanese Youth Featherweight title eliminator bout among other contests.
One other thing to note about this card is the rumour that Sun TV, may be showing portions of it. Sadly Sun TV isn't widely available, though it is good to see a channel from JAITS airing boxing on the local scene, and hopefully more JAITS channels will join in in the future.
*JAITS is the Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations, a group of independent channels not affiliated with the major networks, and have no connection to a major national news network. They are very much local TV channels, who work on an ad hoc basis with each other and do have more flexibility. Sun TV are a JAITS channel based in Kobe, similar to Television Kanagawa in Kanagawa, who recently aired Masayuki Kuroda's bout with Moruti Mthalane.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Sources in Japan have informed early today that on September 16th Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] and Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] will clash in Sakai City to crown a new WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion. Whilst the bout might not cause a lot of noise in the Western World the fight looks, on paper, to be something really worth noting, and a really intriguing match up for two men who will see this bout as a huge chance to take a step towards a potential world title fight.
The talented 21 year old Tomita came to the attention of Japanese fans in 2016 when he won the All Japan Rookie of the Year at Minimumweight. In 2017 he built on his reputation before challenging OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubada Koura and losing a clear decision, in what was a massive step up. He recently moved up in when and scored a 3rd round KO win over former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero, and appears to be filling out his young frame hence the move up in weight.
Yamaguchi on the other hand is a 29 year old who debuted way back in 2008. He lost 2 of his first 3 before rebuilding and winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2010 as a Light Flyweight. A loss in 2011 to the then Japanese national champion Masayuki Kuroda was followed up by another loss, to Cris Paulino, before he rebuilt again and earned another couple of title fights, including one with the then Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura in 2015.
After a loss to Tetsuya Hisada in 2016 Yamaguchi would disappear from the ring for well over 2 years, before returning this past March and scoring a notable win over Kenji Ono, a win that has essentially netted him this title fight with Tomita.
At the moment little else is known about the overall show, though bouts are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The title was last held by Reiya Konishi, who vacated to pursue his recent world title fight with IBF king Felix Alvarado.
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.
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