To begin the global streaming of Kosei Tanaka's (13-0, 7) [田中恒成] world title bout against Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13) international fans had the chance to see Tanaka's stablemate Kento Hatanaka (10-0, 9) [畑中 建人] take on world ranked Filipino southpaw Jaysever Abcede (19-9, 12).
The bout, which was only available to an international audience and not actually available live in Japan, was a huge step up in class for Hatanaka and he seemed to realise it immediately. The youngster, who is usually a super aggressive fighter, showed a lot of early respect to Abcede, who's record is very misleading. Rather than his usual style Hatanaka applied good intelligence to his work, looked for holes and kept his combinations to basic stuff.
Abcede, for the most part, applied the pressure, coming forward behind a tight guard and tried to counter when Tanaka opened up. This was a level of defensive ring smarts that Tanaka had never had to solve before, and not only was Abcede smart but he also had Hatanaka's respect with his power.
After 2 interesting rounds to begin with Hatanaka managed to get a big break through in round 3, when he dropped Abcede with a combination. Abcede easily beat the count, and didn't look badly hurt, with the knockdown appearing more like a balance issue when Abcede over-comited, but Hatanaka seemed grow from the knockdown and later in the round landed some gorgeous uppercuts.
The Filipino managed to even up the knockdown count the following round as he turned the heat up and dragged Hatanaka into a fire fight, hurting the youngster and following up with a series of power shots to send Hatanaka. Hatanaka was shaken before going down, for the first time as a professional, and Abcede seemed to smell the upset. The Filipino continued pressing through round 4 before the bell came, giving Hatanaka a minutes respite. The round was sensational, though it seemed to sum up the inexperience of Hatanaka, who was too willing to exchange.
In round 5 Hatanaka managed to show signs of recovering, not just physically but also mentally, as he started to create distance and counter more. It was the countering that was really eye catching and saw him rock Abcede, who looked hurt for a moment. Later in the round Hatanaka again seemed to shake Abcede, and he launched a huge combination in the final seconds, but the bell came, this time to give Abcede some respite.
After 3 really brilliant rounds, from round 3 to round 5, we saw the pace slow somewhat in round 6 with Hatanaka again getting on his toes and and using his speed and movement to out box Abcede. He seemed to want to do the same in round 7, as he looked to keep some gas in reserve, though Abcede began to press more, causing an accidental clash of heads which left Hatanaka cut on his left eye.
With the cut, as well as tiredness Hatanaka began to falter again and Abcede tried to intensify his pressure, relying on his experience to try and turn the fight back in his favour. Thankfully for the youngster Abcede seemed too tired himself to turn the heat up in round 8, allowing Hatanaka to control more of the tempo through the 3 minutes, despite Abcede certainly having moments in the round.
In the penultimate round Hatanaka, who had never been beyond 8 beforre, was dragged back into a war again, landing body shots up close and pushing Abcede around. This lead to Abcede landing some good shots off the ropes as tiredness again seemed to effect Hatanaka mid-way through the round. This was the point where the experience of the Filipino began to show again whilst Hatanaka went to his corner stumbling and looking like someone who was really feeling the pace.
Round 10 again saw Abcede relying on his experience, bouncing on his toes, making it look like he was busy, even when neither man was really doing much. Both spent much of the round posturing, looking, searching, but not throwing, yet to eye it was Abcede who looked the fresher man and the one with something in the tank. After around 2 minutes of nothing a fighter began to break out, with both landing solid shots in the final minute, as the pace turned up for an excellent finish.
After 10 rounds we went to the judges who had the bout scored 95-93, 96-93, 96-92 all in favour of Hatanaka who retains his unbeaten record, but had to work incredibly hard for it. The cards felt a bit wide, but it's hard to argue with the winner.
For Hatanaka, the son of former world champion and now gym Kiyoshi Hatanaka, this was a real gut check. This was the test he needed and although it ends his KO streak he'll have learned so much from this bout. A really, really good test.
Fo Abcede he, again, showed that he's the type of fighter who will give prospects a tough, tough, ask, and following recent wins over the likes of Stamp Kiatniwat and Seigo Yuri Akui, and a very credible performance against Ivan Soriano back in late 2012. This performance will almost certainly see him being invited back to Japan to test another Japanese prospect in the near future.
According to reliable Japanese sources former world title challenger Genesis Servania (32-2, 15) has been added to the August 24th card at the Takeda Teva Ocean Arena, in Nagoya. Not only has he been added to the card, but we also know his opponent for the show.
The talented, though flawed, Servania was last seen in action back in February, when he was almost shut out by the talented, but light hitting, Carlos Castro in Fresno California. That bout showed how limited Servania was when a fighter moved, and used speed and movement, rather than stood and traded with him, as Oscar Valdez did in their thrilling 2017 WBO world title fight. Sadly the loss to Castro killed all the momentum that Servania had and has left his career in need of a real rebuild from the Kashimi Gym which now manage him.
The first step of that rebuilding process will see Servania take on limited Indonesian journeyman Erick Deztroyer (12-5-1, 3) in an 8 round bout being fought at a contracted 57.6KG's, or just under 127lbs.
As mentioned this will be Servania's first bout since losing to Castro in February. For Deztroyer however it will be his first bout since being dominated in April by Mark Magsayo, who stopped him in 4 rounds. That was Deztroyer's first bout in over a year, and he really took a hammering before being stopped, in what was his second stoppage loss. Interestingly this will be the second time Deztroyer has fought in Japan, and the second time he'll have fought a former world title challenger, having lost to Hiroshige Osawa in November 2017 in Sanda, Hyogo.
The bout has been added as a swing bout on the card which will be headlined by Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) defending his WBO Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13) of Puerto Rico. That card will also feature Kento Hatanaka (9-0, 9) [畑中 建人]taking on world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12).
It appears that the next few weeks could be busy ones for the unbeaten Japanese fighter Kento Hatanaka (8-0, 8) [畑中 建人], who is now pencilled in for fights in both July and August.
His July bout, which has been known about for quite some time, is a stay busy bout on July 20th, pencilled in to take place at the Aioi Hall in Kariya against limited Indonesian foe Thomas Tope Hurek (3-3-1, 1).
It's now been revealed however that just over a month later Hatanaka will take on his most notable foe to date, world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12), as part of the under-card for Kosei Tanaka's (13-0, 7) [田中恒成] world title defense against Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13).
Hatanaka was on the poster for the event, and although his opponent wasn't immediately known Japanese sources have stated it will be Abcede.
The Filipino fighter has a limited looking record, but is currently in good form having won his last 4, including stoppages over Stamp Kiatniwat in May 2018 and Seigo Yuri Akui last October. Originally it seemed like he would be returning to Japan for a rematch with Akui but that has yet to materialise, leaving us with Hatanaka's biggest test instead.
We've got our fingers crossed that this bout will be made available to an international audience, and we've reached out to CBC in the hope of continuing our working relationship with the Chukyo broadcaster, which allowed us to bring Tanaka's last 2 world title fights to a Western audience live, and for free!
Earlier today in Okayama fight fans saw world ranked Filipino Flyweight Jaysever Abcede (17-8, 12) score an upset win over local favourite Seigo Yuri Akui (12-2-1, 8) [ユーリ阿久井 政悟].
Coming in to the bout Abcede was looking to build on a 2 fight winning streak, including a previous upset win over Stamp Kiatniwat. Akui on the other hand was looking to break into the world rankings and take a huge step towards getting himself a shot at a regional title. Sadly for the local it wasn't to be his day.
Akui started brilliantly, putting Abecede under pressure and looking razor sharp. Sadly however he would injure his right arm early on and struggled to use it through much of the contest, becoming a 1-handed fighter. Abcede began to have more and more success, likely sensing that something was amiss with the hard hitting Japanese youngster. The pressure became more and more intense from Abcede as Akui began to tire in the second half of the fight.
With Akui struggling to fight back, create space or get himself off the ropes it left a huge opening for Abcede to hunt a finish, and he did just that in the final round, hammering Akui on the ropes until the referee stepped in and stopped the contest.
After the bout both men seemed happy to organise a rematch. Akui wanting revenge for the loss and Abcede wanting to beat Akui without an injury.
Not only did both fighters want a rematch but both were really respectful of the other. Akui stated that Abcede was a good fighter who punched hard and he was glad to have faced him, whilst Abcede complimented Akui by saying he was very strong and gave him one of his most difficult fights so far.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today our Japanese sources informed us that world ranked Filipino Flyweight Jaysever Abcede (16-8, 11) would be facing off with Japanese youngster Seigo Yuri Akui (12-1-1, 8) [ユーリ阿久井 政悟] in what looks like a genuinely fantastic match up.
The Filipino has fought a relative who's who of the Asian scene, facing the likes of Dexter Alimento, Panya Pradabsri, Tsubasa Koura and Ivan Soriano. Not only has faced the aforementioned names but he has also notched notable wins against the likes of Orlie Silvestre, Pigmy Kokietgym and Stamp Kiatniwat, with the wins over Pigmy and Stamp coming on the road in Thailand.
Although best known in Japan for losing to Tsubasa Koura in an OPBF title fight Abcede has rebuilt well and his recent win over Stamp in Thailand has helped him earn a WBA world ranking and the WBA Asia Flyweight Title. He won't be defending the title here, but will be risking his WBA rankings.
As for Akui he came on to the Japanese scene back in 2015, when he won the Light Flyweight Rookie of th eYear crown. Since then he has had relatively impressive results, with notable stoppage wins over Kenji Ono, Ryuto Oho and Masamichi Yabuki. The only loss on his record came last year in a Japanese Youth Flyweight title fight, against Junto Nakatani.
In the ring Akui is a thrilling fighter to watch, pressing the action and letting his hands go from the off with power shots. He's one of the many must watch fighters making their name in Japan, and will know that a win here could push him in to the WBA world rankings.
The bout between there two men will take in Okayama on October 28th and looks likely to be the main event of the card, with no under-card bouts for the show yet to be announced.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!