Back in September we reported that Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (14-0, 11) [浩樹井上] would be back in the ring in December, when he faces hard hitting Filipino Jheritz Chavez (9-3-2, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. At the time no under-card bouts for the show were announced, and in fact no one was even announced for the under-card.
Today that changed and we saw a number of bouts for the card, set for December 4th at Korakuen Hall, being announced.
The chief support bout has been confirmed as being an 8 round Flyweight bout between Japanese ranked Flyweight Taku Kuwahara (6-0, 4) [桑原拓] and Filipino visitor Ricardo Sueno (10-3-4, 3). On paper this looks good, and another test for Kuwahara who scored a fantastic win earlier this year against Jonathan Refugio, however it does need ton be noted that Sueno was blasted out in a round last time he fought in Japan, being stopped by Thai teenager Thanongsak Simsri in just 66 seconds. We suspect this will be seen as little more than a stay busy fight for the excellent Kuwahara.
Another supporting bout will see former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (22-3, 20) [松本亮] take on Jinya Ito (8-5-1, 3) [伊藤 仁也] in an 8 round bout at Featherweight. For Matsumoto this will be his second bout since being stopped by Ryo Segawa in 2018, as he looks to rebuild from that loss and get his career back on track. For Ito the bout is almost a reward for an opening round win, in July, over Matsumoto's stablemate Sho Nakazawa. It should be noted however that Ito has lost 2 of his last 3 and is clearly being picked as someone Matsumoto can score a win against.
Also on the card in an 8 rounder is the touted Katsuya Yasuda (5-0, 3) [保田 克也], who will also be in an 8 rounder at Featherweight, though his opponent is yet to be confirmed.
It might not be a stacked under-card, but it does give fans a real reason to come in well before the main event, with the chance to see 3 very talented Ohashi gym fighters who are all going to be in mix for titles over the coming years.
Earlier today the Inoue clan, consisting of Bantamweight brothers Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真], along with their cousin Koki Inoue (14-0, 11) [浩樹井上], began a running camp in Karuizawa as they all prepare for big bouts later in the year.
The camp, which will see the trio working hard on their stamina with lengthy runs, is only a short one at a total of 3 days for the trio, but they expect to run around 100KM (around 62 miles) during it, working very intensively.
Following the camp the plan is for Naoya to focus his training on his WBSS final bout, against Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26), Takuma to work on preparing for his bout with WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (16-0, 12), both of which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena on November 7th. Both of the brothers will begin full scale training for their bouts.
Things relax a little for Koki, though he'll be back in the ring in December for his most significant bout to date. The 140lb hopeful will look to claim the WBO Asia Pacific title on December 2ndm, when he faces Filipino Jheritz Chavez (9-3-2, 7), at the Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (14-0, 11) [浩樹井上], along with promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, held a press conference to announce Inoue's next contest, which will take place in December.
The unbeaten Koki Inoue, the cousin of Naoya and Takuma, revealed that his next bout will take on December 2nd and will see Inoue battle for the WBO Asia Pacific title. In the opposite corner to the eldest of the Inoue fighting clan will be hard hitting Filipino Jheritz Chavez (9-3-2, 7), at Korakuen Hall.
The bout will see Inoue looking to add the WBO Asia Pacific title to the Japanese belt he claimed earlier this year, when he beat Valentine Hosokawa, and the plan is to use the WBO regional title to crack into the world rankings. The longer term plan is to then move towards a world title fight at the end of 2020.
As for Chavez this will be his third bout in Japan. His first came in 2017, when he lost to Hiroki Okada, and then he returned to Japan and came up just short against OPBF champion Rikki Naito, in an incredibly close bout that saw him twice dropping Naito.
At the moment no under-card bouts have been confirmed for this card, but it's expected to feature at least 1 other notable name from the Ohashi gym in what is likely to be the final Ohashi card of 2019.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow ESPN5 will be showing a stacked card with a number of really interesting fights. Thankfully everyone made weight for the show, though some fighters did struggle on the scales.
Thge main event will see unbeateen Filipino Dave Penalosa (14-0, 10) taking on Mexican foe Marcos Cardenas (19-6-1, 15), in a bout for the WBO Oriental Featherweight title. Both did make the 126lbs limit, though not on their first attempt. Originally Penalosa was 128lbs whilst Cardenas was 127lbs. Thankfully both did make the weight after being given time to lose the excess.
A second title bout will see GAB Light Welterweight champion Jheritz Chavez (8-3-2, 6) make his second defense, as he takes on Junar Adante (7-11-1, 4). Both of these men made 140lbs for the bout, coming in at the Light Welterweight limit.
The highly anticipated Bantamweight bout between the exciting Kenya Yamashita (13-4, 10) [山下賢哉] and 2-weight world champion John Riel Casimero (25-4, 16) saw both men hitting the scales at 118lbs, dead on for their really exciting looking 10 round bout.
Unbeaten teenage sensation Carl Jammes Martin (11-0, 10) weight in at 118lbs dead on for his contest with Thai visitor Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2, 8), who was 116lbs for the bout. This will be Martin's first televised bout and is a huge chance for him to wow an audience, who have only been able to see him fight through social media.
A 10 round bout between Carlo Caesar Penalosa (13-1, 6) and Yokthong KKP (18-5, 11) saw Penalosa come in at 113lbs whilst the visitor was 114lbs in what could be a pretty competitive match up, if Yokthong has prepared properly.
(Image courtesy of ESPN5)
Earlier today fight fans were able to see OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (20-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] make his first defense of the Oriental title as he over-came tough Filipino challenger Jheritz Chavez (8-3-2, 6) in a bout that turned into a real scare.
The first round was pretty clearly a Naito round before Chavez came back into the fight, helped by a cut suffered by Naito from an accidental headclash. Despite the cut Naito began to take control and seemed to sweep rounds 3 to 7 with his busy jab and constant movement. Chavez, a patient stalker, seemed to be happy in pressuring without too much of a pay off in the earlier stages. Although it appeared a bit like Chavez was giving away rounds, and was too slow for Naito, his game plan certainly looked like he was wanting to take Naito in to deep waters later on.
After 4 rounds Naito was leading 39-37, on two cards, and was 38-38 on the other when the scores were announced to the public. That lead was increased in the middle rounds, and by round 8, when the scores were announced for a second time, Naito was up 78-74 on all 3 cards.
With a 4 point leading entering the final 4 rounds all Naito had to do was stay up right to retian his title. That however turned out to be much, much harder than expected and Naito really would have wished the bout would have been a 10 rounder.
What made things tough in the later stages was that Naito's concentration was going, his legs were slowing and his reactions weren't what they had been earlier in the fight. Chavez on the other hand looked as solid as he had been earlier in the bout, and was making the most of Naiti's slowing feet, landing heavy body shots and managign to get a tiring Naito with more success than he had earlier in the bout. A tired looking Naito was pinned into the corner, forced to hold and put on the back foot more and more, rather than being able to use his movement aggressively it was becoming more and more defensive. In round 11 a big right hand, bang on the chin, from Chavez dropped Naito hard. The Japanese fighter looked hurt when he got to his feet and was lucky the bell came as Chavez began to pound on him just a few seconds later.
Knowing he had the power to hurt Naito we saw a more intense looking Chavez come out for round 12, and he would drop Naito early in the round before piling on the pressure and lookign for the finish. Naito went into survival mode from then on to the final bell with Chavez throwing everything he had at the champion. A lesser referee would have stopped the bout, but Naito did just enough to stop any intervention from the third man in the ring as he managed to survive ti the final bell, wobblign around the ring for much of the last round.
Despite having lead by 4 points after 8 rounds the knockdowns had made things incredibly interesting, and saw Naito narrowly retain his title with a majority decision, 114-112, tiwce, and 113-113.
Despite the loss Chavez will be welcomed back into Japan after this performance whilst Naito will certainly have to think about his future and about making changes to the way he fights. Chavez also needs to develop his style, having been far too patient at times, but he showed that he has the ability to claim a big win at this level, and really did come very close to scoring the upset win in the final round.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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