Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (7-0, 6) [京口 紘人] record his first defense of the title as he over-came teak tough Filipino foe Jonathan Refugio (16-6-5, 4), taking a 12 round decision win of Refugio.
Prior to the bout Kyoguchi had steam rolled his first 6 opponents, in a combined 12 rounds. Although he had looked like a star in the making those 6 bouts had left us asking some questions in regards to his stamina and what he does when he simply can't blitz an opponent. Today however he answered those questions, and did so real style, against a man who had come to more than just survive.
From the off Kyoguchi began the bout fast, looking to replicate his success from other bouts, pressive the action and looking to take out his man very quickly. Refugio however was unwilling to go down and unwilling to just take the loss, instead choosing to fight back, and use his counter shots well to make Kyoguchi think twice about steaming in.
Due to the counters and Refugio's success he was doing more than just surviving but also winning some rounds, and when the scores were announced after the 4th round the scores were 40-36, 39-37 and 39-38, with all 3 favouring the champion.
Kyoguchi slightly changed his approach in the middle rounds, pressing the action more intelligently and lowering his output whilst making every shot count. That change saw him extending his lead after 8 rounds, with the score cards then reading 77-75, 78-75 and 79-73.
Although Kyoguchi could have relaxed, given his his lead going in tot he final found rounds, and almost picked his way to a win, he decided that he was wanting to try and continue his KO streak. In the final round he went for the finish but Refugio, using his feet really well, avoided the big blows Kyoguchi was sending his way, and managed to fiddle his way to the final bell.
Having put in a good effort early on Refugio really was forced to think differently in the later rounds, and failed to take even a share of the last 4 rounds with Kyoguchi taking a unanimous decision, with scores of 117-111, 118-111 and 119-109.
After the win sources in Japan have indicated that the bout was essentially a dummy run for Kyoguchi before a possible world title fight later in the year. Going 12 wasn't and out-and-out part of the plan, but will have done no harm at all for the youngster ahead of a title bout in a few months time. For Refugio the bout proved his toughness, and it's clear that he'll be invited back to Japan in the future given his effort, but against a fighter like Kyoguchi he really was up against it.
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans ta the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see OPBF Minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (6-0, 6) [京口 紘人] defending his title, for the first time, against 23 year old Filipino foe Jonathan Refugio (16-5-5, 4).
Today the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales the champion was bang on the limit, and looked in great shape. He looked like a man hungry to retain his title and perfect record, stating that he was hunting a KO, and that he had scouted Refugio, and is wellaware that the Filipino has lost to 3 world champions during his career. Although not yet a world champion himself it's clear Kyoguchi is lookign to compare himself to those world class fighters.
As for Refugio he was comfortably under the 105lb limit, in fact he was just 104lbs on the scales, and looked significnatly smaller than than Kyoguchi. Although the clear under-dog Refugio did sound confidence of using his skills to pick up a win in Japan, following a draw earlier this year with Seita Ogido, in a bout for the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title.
Kyoguchi looks to retain perfect record as he takes on Refugio!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We've long known that Hiroto Kyoguchi (6-0, 6) [京口 紘人] would be making his first defense of the OPBF Minimumweight title on April 25th, at Dangan 180. What we didn't know was who the destructive Watanabe Gym buzzsaw would be up against. Today however we saw sources begin to report that Kyoguchi would be up against 23 year old Filipino foe Jonathan Refugio (16-5-5, 4).
For Kyoguchi the bout sees him looking to build on a 3rd round KO of Filipino veteran Armando dela Cruz (25-15-3, 11), back in late February. He's looking to secure his 7th straigtht stoppage win and continue his quick rise through the ranks, towards a potential world title fight. Despite having only had 6 bouts he is seen as one of the countries top young talents and looks to be following in the footsteps of other young Japanese fighters, like Naoya Inoue, and Daigo Higa.
Although relatively unknown outside of Asia Refugio is a really good gate keeper. Although he has 5 draws and 5 losses it should be noted that 4 of those draws came in his first 10 bouts and losses have come against the likes of Wanheng Menayothin, Merlito Sabillo, Knockout CP Freshmart and Melvin Jerusalem. He holds a notable win over Richard Claveras, a draw with Seita Ogido and has only been stopped by Wanheng and Sabillo, who took 9 and 7 rounds respectively.
Kyoguchi will be the favourite coming in to this bout, but he will be facing arguably his best test to date and an impressive showing could well tempt Watanabe gym to throw him into a world title fight later this year.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans got their first taste of action for 2017, with a show in Okinawa that was live streamed on youtube by promoter Hiranaka Boxing School. The card wasn't a big one, as the live streaming figures showed, but it was one with several notable bouts on it.
The main draw of the show was a Japan Vs Philippines theme, a theme that resulted in 3 of the bouts. That included the main event, a bout between Seita Ogido (11-2-2, 3) [荻堂 盛太] and Jonthan Refugio (16-5-5, 4), who traded blows for the vacant WBC Youth Light Flyweight title. The two men proved to be very well matched over the 10 rounds with Ogido starting the better but fading whilst Refugio seemed to grow stronger. The competitive nature of the bout left the decision in the air before the cards were announced with a majority decision draw, leaving the title vacant, and leaving both men disappointed.
Another bout between Japan and the Philippines saw Japanese veteran Go Onaga (27-3-3, 18) [翁長 吾央] fight to a draw with late replacement Ryan Lumacad (12-0-3, 7), who was a fill in for Jake Bornea (11-1, 5). Onaga was in trouble early on, and was dropped in the openign round, but gritted his teeth and managed to do just enough to gain a draw, albeit one where he was fortunate. For Onaga it seems the end is nigh and this draw has followed a loss from last year to Rene Dacquel. For Lumacad the result sees him remain unbeaten, and this is his second notable draw following a technical draw with Ardin Diale from last September. Despite the draw Lumacad will feel he deserved the win here.
The first of the Japan Vs Philippines bouts saw Masatoshi Kotani (20-2, 13) claim a hard fought and competitive win over the experienced Rey Laspinas (21-15-6, 12) in what was a really fan friendly fight. The Filipino was competitive through out but came up short on all 3 cards.
On the under-card were a number of all-Japanese bouts.
(Image courtesy boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Okinawa get the chance to see the first Asian title fight of 2017, as Japanese youngster Seita Ogido (11-2-1, 3) [荻堂 盛太] battles against Filipino visitor Jonthan Refugio (16-5-4, 4) for the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title.
Today the two men weighed in for the bout and both made the title limit for the fight, which is set to put the winner on the road to bigger glories, and claim a title last held by the fantastic Ken Shiro.
This will be Ogido's first title bout, and his first bout scheduled for more than 8 rounds, but he has mixed with good company. He has fought to a draw with the touted Seigo Yuri Akui, lost a narrow decision to Kenji Ono and last year he defeated Jeffrey Galero. Despite that his competition does pale in comparison to Refugio.
Refugio has fought the likes of Wanheng Menayothin, Knockout CP Freshmart, Richard Claveras and Melvin Jerusalem, though he been beaten by 3 of those 4 men. For him this will be his 5th title bout, and could see him win his second title, following a previous victory for the WBC International Light Flyweight title.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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