Despite the fact we've still got more than 3 weeks of the year left we're already seeing more and more bouts being put on the schedule for 2020. The latest of those to be confirmed is a Japanese Youth Lightweight title bout, set to take place on January 28th at Korakuen Hall.
Overall the details of the show are scarce, though what we do know is that second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (6-0-2, 4) [湯場海樹] will be facing off with Kanta Takenaka (7-4-1, 2) [竹中関汰] for the belt.
This bout shouldn't come as much of a shock given that Yuba's win in October against Mikado Konishi had essentially set the bout up, with that Yuba bout acting as an eliminator of sorts to face Takenaka for the vacant title.
Yuba is a highly touted member of the Watanabe Gym and despite having his record marred by two draws both were technical draws and he has, generally, been very impressive since his debut in 2017. On the other hand Takenaka has had an up and down career, but has managed to win 4 of his last 5 after a 3-3-1 start to his career, including a very notable win over a then debuting Aso Ishiwaki in 2017.
We expect full details of the card this is on to be revealed in the next week or two, with at least 1 other notable bout being put along side this one, which we expect to be the event's chief support bout.
Yesterday we were informed that Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2, 4) [殿本恭平], the Japanese youth Featherweight champion would be defending his title on December 14th against Ryotaro Motohashi (9-1, 2) [本橋遼太郎].
For the 24 year old champion , who won the title in May with a majority decision over Hikaru Matsuoka, this will be his first defense of the title. He comes into this on the back of a 4 fight unbeaten run and hasn't lost since the 2014 Rookie of the Year final, where he lost a competitive decision to Reiya Abe.
The once beaten Motohashi lost in his third professional bout, suffering a decision loss to Koki Konoo, but has run up 7 straight wins since then including a good one against Noboru Osato back in April. This will be his first title bout but he is coming in with some form, and will be full of confidence thanks to his winning run.
This bout will take place at the Kishiwada City Gymnasium, in Osaka prefecture.
Whilst much of the attention in Japanese boxing today was on Tokyo, and the Knock Out Dynamite tournament show, there was a second show taking place in Kobe, headlined by a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout.
The match up saw former amateur standout Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山涼深] take the title with an 8th round TKO win over the previously unbeaten Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) [大橋哲朗]. Prior to getting to the result however fans got a treat.
The opening round saw Takayama take the early advantage, dropping Ohashi with a right hook. The following round Ohashi got revenge, putting Takayama down with a solid counter left hand.
With both having gone down early they both quickly began to respect the other and looked to box behind their jabs. This lead to a very competitive back and forth, until Takayama dropped Ohashi early in round 8. Ohashi beat the count but was hurt and was quickly dropped again. At this point his team threw in the towel, taking the wise decision to save their man from any further punishment.
With the win Takayama takes his professional title and moves a step towards getting some big domestic fights. On the other hand Ohashi, a Rookie of the Year winner in 2018, suffers his first loss but this is certainly not the end for him, and we suspect with a few more fights under his belt he will fight again for this belt, and win it.
Tomorrow fight fans in Japan will get the chance to see a new Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion being crowned, as the unbeaten Tetsuro Ohashi (7-0-1, 2) [大橋哲朗] takes on former amateur stand out Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) [高山涼深] in Kobe.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men made the 115lb weight limit with no issues at all.
On the scales Ohashi was 114.2lbs and looked in great shape. The youngster, who had won the 2018 Rookie of the Year at Super Flyweight, seemed confident and stated that he will win the belt. Despite being confident he did admit that Takayama looked strong.
Takayama on the other hand was 114.9lbs. Despite his amateur pedigree he started that this was like a debut to him, almost explaining that professional and amateur boxing are completely different. Despite that he against came across as confident.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be made available on Boxing Raise on tape delay.
Related - Ohashi and Takayama battle for Japanese Youth title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today it was announced that Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] had vacated the title, rather than make a defence against Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) [小林孝彦].
Kobayashi had been pressing for a title shot, and whilst this could look like Hiraoka ducking a challenger it is worth noting that Hiraoka did beat Kobayashi in 2017 and has his eyes on much bigger fights, following an excellent win over Akihiro Kondo.
As a result of Hiraoka's decision Kobayashi will be getting a fight for the title next, though his opponent for that bout and that date of the bout are currently undecided.
Hiraoka on the other hand is rumoured to be set for a high profile bout later in the year, with talk of the youngster making his US debut before the end of 2019, showing he really does have other options than a rematch with Kobayashi.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!