At the moment there's an on going Japanese card at the Korakuen Hall. Due to whatever reasons G+ have it won't be televised for a few days, though the show is a fairly notable one, with a trio of local prospects as well as two title fights.
Rather than looking at the double main event we want to focus this results piece on just the prospect trio, who are all expected to go onto title action in the coming years.
The first of the prospects in action was Celes Gym's new signing Issei Ochiai (1-0) [落合 壱星] who began his career with a 6 round decision win against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-3). On paper this looked straight forward, but Lerchai had twice been to Japan and given Ryoki Hirai and Seita Ogido good tests so for a debut opponent he was solid, and that was shown in the ring. Ochiai showed good patience early on, but slowly built momentum through the 6 round bout, avoiding the counters from the Thai, who looked dangerous with his wild shots. After 6 rounds there no doubting the winner, with Ochiai taking the win, 59-56, twice, and 59-55. A good debut, and a solid test for Celes Kobayashi's newest recruit.
The second of the prospects was the hard hitting, if somewhat technically flawed, Takuma Takahashi (4-0, 4) [高橋拓磨], who also faced a Thai foe. The unbeaten Takahashi was up against Sitthidet Banti (11-5, 5) in an 8 round Welterweight bout. Coming into the bout Takahashi had fought just 5 rounds and Banti had never been stopped, going rounds with the likes of Xiangxiang Sun in China and Atchariya Wirojanasunobol in Thailand. The bouts wasn't the tidiest, or the best, but in round 6 Takahashi finally got to his man, taking him down part-way through the round. The Thai would fail to beat the count, and be counted out at the 1:16 mark of round 6. This was the sort of test Takahashi needed, against an awkward foe who knew how to survive, and the fact he passed that test the way he did really is impressive. We feel Takahashi needs serious polishing, but this is still a very good win this early in his career.
The third of the prospects was Kenshin Oshima (6-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who notched his third straight win with a decision over Filipino Wilbert Berondo (14-4-2, 6). Although not a big name Berondo is always a good test at this level and it showed as he pushed Oshima hard in the early going. Oshima ended up taking a decision, with scores of 78-74 across the cards, but had to work hard for the win and it's clear that he's got work to do to reach the top. There's a lot to like about him, but a lot of work is needed. However it's worth noting that Oshima is now expected to get a Japanese title eliminator later in the year and that could be too much too soon. For Berondo he again showed he was as good test at this level, and should certainly get more Japanese pay days, though surprisingly this was only his second bout in the country, his first being his loss to Hinata Maruta in 2016. That Maruta is still the only stoppage loss on his record.
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