Earlier today fight fans in Tokyo had the chance to see a number of notable Ohashi Gym fighters in action at Korakuen Hall. That included 3 bright youngsters, all looking to move forward with their career, two of whom had suffered recent set backs.
One of those looking to rebuild from a recent loss was Ryo Matsumoto (22-3, 20) [松本亮], who had actually lost his last 2 bouts. He made relatively light work of Indonesian visitor Carlos Obisuru (5-2-1, 1), scoring a stoppage in round 2.
Another man rebuilding from a loss was the once touted Sho Nakazawa (12-3, 6) [中澤奨], who scored a much needed win after losing 3 of his last 6. Nakazawa scored a 3rd round win over Jio Alfriando (5-8, 2), in what really was nothing more than a confidence building win for the Japanese fighter.
Arguably the most interesting of the youngsters on this card was Taku Kuwahara (4-0, 3) [桑原拓], who scored a 3rd round win over Aprilianto Rumahpasal (1-4, 1). Kuwahara is one of the many talented Japanese fighters breaking through the ranks at 108lbs and he looked incredibly sharp here, a real one to watch!
Sadly a planned bout between Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] and Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (12-0, 5) fell through when the Thai was arrested, though Hiraoka did participate in a spar with Kaiki Yuba (4-0-1, 2) [湯場海樹].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Just moments ago second generation Japanese fighter Kaiki Yuba (4-0-1, 2) [湯場海樹] scored the toughest win of his career, being pushed all the way by China's aggressive Po Sang So (2-1-1, 1) on a Japan Vs China card.
Yuba began the bout by relying on his speed, size and skills, but he couldn't stop So, the short but naturally thicker set and stronger looking man, from coming forward. So not only looked strong but also tough and made it clear that he had come to fight.
Sadly for So his eagerness to have a fight cost him in round 2, when he charged into a short left hand that dropped him. Yuba then rushed in, looking to close the show, but took a big counter shot in return as he was instantly reminded that So was still a danger.
So came out more aggressively in round 3, pressing Yuba hard and forcing the Japanese fighter to take some solid shots. He tried to do the same in round 4 but his technical flaws left him open to counter shots from Yuba when he opened up, and he was almost sent down for the second time. So managed to stay up right, despite being clearly hurt, but his counter earlier in the fight stopped Yuba form rushing in for the finish.
Having made sure he was up on the cards Yuba turned on the skills in rounds 5 and 6, boxing on his toes, controlling the pace and tempo and showing what he was capable of. The fact So had put so much into rounds 3 and 4 resulted in the Chinese fighter slowing, giving Yuba the chance to pick him off at range, even hurting him in round 6.
In the end the judges scored the bout 60-53 to Yuba, though there was a strong case for So to take at least a share of round 3 in a bout that was much tougher for Yuba than the score cards would suggest.
On November 28th Dangan will promote their next Japan Vs China card, which features local prospects Shu Utsuki (2-0, 1) [宇津木秀] and Kaiki Yuba (3-0-1, 2) [湯場海樹] taking on opponents from China.
One of the bouts from this card not to be part of the Japan Vs China theme is a female bout between local hopeful Erika Hanawa (9-3, 3) [塙英理加] and Filipino veteran Jujeath Nagaowa (13-18-1, 8), who will be fighting for the OPBF female Minimumweight title.
Hanawa is a former OPBF "interim" champion but has come up short in her most notable bouts, losing in a WBO world title fight to Kayoko Ebata and losing in a bout for the full version of the OPBF title earlier this year to Saemi Hanagata. Despite those losses the 28 year old has shown promise, and will be hungry to get back to winning ways after a loss in September to Shione Ogata.
Nagaowa on the other hand is a true veteran of the ring, having debuted as a professional boxer more than 12 years ago. Her career has seen her face a real who's who but sadly the stiff competition has seen her score just a single win since the start of 2013. It needs to be noited that she hasn't fought in a boxing ring since June 2017, but she has remained active as a fighter with bouts in MMA, where she holds an impressive 4-0 record.
We're expecting more details of this card to be announced very shortly, with a poster image expected in the coming weeks.
Last week fight fans in Japan saw Izuki Tomioka (5-0-1, 1) [富岡樹] record his second defense of the Japanese Youth Lightweight title, as he scored a technical draw against Kaiki Yuba [湯場 海樹]. Today it was revealed by Tomioka that he had vacated the title to move down in weight and pursue the Japanese Super Featherweight.
Originally it seems like the plan was to give Yuba a rematch however Tomioka appears now to be moving back down in weight and will chase a shot at the main title.
From what we understand he and his team have decided that he will take part in a title eliminator bout in October, to get a shot at the title next year. Whilst it's a long end game it's clear that Tomioka doesn't have the power to really compete at 135lbs going forward, and that, for now, 130lbs is better suited to his body. The long window between now and October seems to have been viewed as an advantage for Tomioka who will get time to work on his physical strength and game plans for for his eliminator, and potential title fight.
Although it's unclear for now whether Yuba will be fighting for the vacant title later in the year, it does seem likely but hasn't yet been confirmed from the second generation fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to see the latest Dangan card. The chief support bout of that show featured Japanese Youth Lightweight champion Izuki Tomioka (5-0-1, 1) [富岡樹] defending his title against fellow unbeaten Kaiki Yuba (3-0-1, 2) [湯場 海樹]. On paper the bout looked like a delicious match up between two super talented youngsters risking their perfect records. Sadly however it turned out to be a bit of a mess.
From the early moments it felt the styles of the two men weren't quite going to click. There was excitement as Yuba brought his pressure, but the slippery moves of Tomioka negated the southpaw well. Sadly whilst Tomioka was doing well at avoiding shots, he wasn't doing much in terms of returning anything and the fight was quickly looking like it could be a frustrating affair.
Round 2 saw things getting ugly as the two men fell into each other several times. There was an air that something big could happen, like Tomioka could get caught by a bomb, or could land a devastating counter, but the actual action felt disjointed and messy. That messiness eventually got worse when a clash of heads left Yuba with a nasty cut over his right eye. The referee immediately took Yuba to the ringside doctor who stopped the bout.
The result of the headclash was a technical draw after 2 rounds, and left no one feeling happy.
Yuba looked frustrated at the end, and he had looked during the fight, whilst Tomioka looked like a man who was disppointed with the outcome, despite retaining his title. None of the fans seemed particularly at the result, though few could argue with the early stoppage of the bout.
Onj one hand a rematch would make sense, but from the 298 second of the bout we had there is little to suggest that two twomen would ever manage to have a fun bout between them, and it may be best for all if they go their separate ways. This had the look of an horrific bout after the first round and in a way we're glad it didn't go the scheduled 8, as that would have been a real chore to watch. Both are very talented young fighters, but they didn't make for a good fight together.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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