Back in January Japanese fighter Daisuke Sugita (1-0) [杉田ダイスケ] took part in his professional test bout, shining as he "faced" Hayato Kimura in a rare public pro-test. The "bout" saw Sugita do enough to gain a B class license and raise interest of domestic fans who may have been aware of his 110-31 (47) amateur record.
Today sugita took part in his first professional bout, and looked a class act as he out pointed the always dangerous Jun Blazo (7-7-3, 6).
Sugita, a police officer away from the ring, looked solid from the opening round and showed no fear of Blazo and his big punching reputation. Instead it was Sugita who looked the stronger fighter and even pushed Blazo down, as if to send a sign to the Filipino's desire and confidence never waned as he looked to land his powerful left hook, but Sugita's smart movement and counter shots proved to be too good for the visitor.
Although Blazo did have some moments they were few and far between, with Sugita securing a 6 round shut out. The win was a very impressive debut for the Japanese fighter who seemed to hint that he was now interested in furthering his dream as a professional boxer, and even go on to win some form of title down the line.
For Blazo the loss sees him fall to 0-5 in Japan, though those losses have come to very good fighters, in the form of Koki Eto, Daisuke Watanabe, Hayate Kaji, Ryuto Owan and, now, Sugita. His performances in all 5 losses hav been very credible and we'd expect to see him back in the country down the line to test other local prospects.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans in Okinawa saw WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-0, 15) [比嘉 大吾] record his second defense of the world title as he stopped Mexican challenger Moises Fuentes (25-5-1, 14) inside a round. The card did also feature a number of other Okinawan prospects, several of which are tipped for big things in the near future.
One of those rpsoects was Tatsuro Nakashima (7-0-1, 5) [仲島辰郎], wh retained his unbeaten record by blowing away Kittikon Oangkuradet (0-2) in the second round of their scheduled 6 rounder. The bout was a mismatch with Nakashima forcing the referee in after just over a minute of round 2.
Another prospect was the exceptionally talented Ryuto Owan (4-0, 2) [大湾硫斗], who stepped up massively and out pointed heavy handed Filipino puncher Jun Blazo (7-5-3, 6), with scores of 59-55 from all 3 judges. Owan managed to win by using his skills, though did admit he entered the bout with a fever and wasn't happy with his over-all performance. Given it was just his 4th professional boyut this was an impressive win and shows just how talented he is.
The other was Shawn Oda (7-0, 7), the 2016 Lightweight Rookie of the Year, who disposed of Filipino Warren Mambuanag (11-9-2, 3) inside a round. The heavy handed Oda broke down the Filipino with brutal body shots and the visitor was in agony on the canvas well after the 10 count.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Way back in 1981 fight fans in Okinawa saw Yoko Gushiken lose the WBA Light Flyweight title to Pedro Flores. That was the last time fight fans in Okinawa had the chance to see one of their own fighters defending a world title in their back yard.
The long wait ends on February 4th when Daigo Higa (14-0, 14) [比嘉 大吾] defends his WBC Flyweight title against former WBO Minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes (25-4-1, 14), and seeks a 15th straight knockout as he looks to put himself firmly at the center of Japanese boxing going forward.
Whilst we're known about the main event for a while details on the under-card weren't readily available until today, when several fighters were officially announced for the card.
The chief support bout was confirmed as being an 8 rounder featuring 2016 Lightweight Rookie of the Year Shawn Oda (6-0, 6) [小田翔夢], who returns to the ring for the first time since his April 2017 win over Thai visitor Tienchai Sor Kanitson. At the moment Oda's opponent hasn't been named but the 19 year old is likely to be wanting to shake some ring rust here and will probably face bigger tests down the line.
In another of the main supporting bouts we'll see 23 year old Tatsuro Nakashima (6-0-1, 4) [仲島辰郎] look to extend his unbeaten record. This will be his irst bout since a 5 round split deciison draw with Yuga Inoue in the later stages of the 2017 Rookie of the Year at Minimumweight. As with Oda his opponent hasn't been named.
There will also be an outing for Ryuto Owan (3-0, 2) [大湾硫斗], who will be in the danger zone as he takes on the big punching Jun Blazo (7-4-3, 6) in a really stiff test. On paper Blazo doesn't look much but he dropped Koiki Eto hard in 2016 and gave the touted Hayate Kaji hell in December, and this is a very tough outing for the 19 year old Owan
Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw talented local Daisuke Watanabe (6-2, 3) [渡部 大介] continue his rise towards title level, as he over-came OPBF ranked Filipino puncher Jun Blazo (7-3-3, 6), with a one sided decision.
The talented Watanabe, who suffered set backs in his third and fourth bout entered the bout on a 3 fight winning streak, but seemed to be well aware that this was a dangerous step up, against a man with serious power. In fact on his last visit to Japan Blazo heavily dropped Koki Eto, and had Eto in all sorts of problems early.
The knowledge of Blazo's power saw Watanabe fight to an intelligent gameplan, boxing and moving, and leaving Blazo unable to unload his dynamite shots with any regularity. The Filipino did have his moments, but for the most part they were fleeting with Watanabe having his man scouted well.
It wasn't until the final round that Watanabe really managed to shake Blazo, who was showing signs of tiredness, but he was unable to close the show, needing to take the decision with scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-75.
Despite the clear win, Watanabe was disappointed in his performance. Saying that though, he did talk about fighting for a title in the near future, with the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles both being targets for the talented Watanabe.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Japanese warrior Koki Eto (19-4-1, 14) [江藤 光喜] has long been a fighter that we suggest to any fight fan who likes to watch exciting wars between battling fighters rather than enjoy the sweet science side of the sport. That warrior mentality that we love about Eto was seen again today when he over-came Filipino puncher Jun Blazo (5-2-3, 5), but had real problems getting the win.
From the off Blazo came out with mean intent and let his heavy hands go from the opening moments. That power quickly took an effect on Eto who was dropped after around a minute and rocked several other times in nightmarish opening round for the local favourite. It was a clear 10-8 round and left some questioning whether Eto would fare any better in the second round.
Blazo, still with plenty of wind in his sails, came out for round 2 as he had for the opener and hurt Eto again during another good round for the visitor, though one that all 3 judges scored against him surprisingly. It seemed however that Eto was beginning to get going and round 3 was a much better one for Eto, who was also helped by Blazo suffering a nasty cut from a clash of heads. Although it was a good round form Eto he was rocked himself in a round of real 2-way excitement that had the round picked as being the best round on the card.
Sadly for Blazo he seemed to have shot his loud somewhat by round 4 and Eto begin to use his skills in a more intelligent manner, winning the round with relative ease whilst Blazo began to slow. The Filipino continued to slow in rounds 5 and 6 before having a more competitive effort in the 7th, a round that one judge gave him.
Sadly for Blazo he was unable to finish strong and Eto could sense things, dropping Blazo with a body shot early in the round. Blazo was never able to recover and was dropped twice more in the round before the referee waved off the action giving Eto an 8th round stoppage win,
Although Eto took the spoils of victory we were genuinely impressed by Blazo and would love to see more of him and maybe with a full time team behind him he could go places. His power is nasty and at 112lbs with more work on his stamina he could be a real nightmare at Oriental level. For Eto the idea might be to move towards a world title bout, but this performance was poor and he'll need to sort out a lot of things before facing quality opponents again, it was however a better performance than his narrow win over Michael Escobia back in May.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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