Despite the fact we've still got more than 3 weeks of the year left we're already seeing more and more bouts being put on the schedule for 2020. The latest of those to be confirmed is a Japanese Youth Lightweight title bout, set to take place on January 28th at Korakuen Hall.
Overall the details of the show are scarce, though what we do know is that second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (6-0-2, 4) [湯場海樹] will be facing off with Kanta Takenaka (7-4-1, 2) [竹中関汰] for the belt.
This bout shouldn't come as much of a shock given that Yuba's win in October against Mikado Konishi had essentially set the bout up, with that Yuba bout acting as an eliminator of sorts to face Takenaka for the vacant title.
Yuba is a highly touted member of the Watanabe Gym and despite having his record marred by two draws both were technical draws and he has, generally, been very impressive since his debut in 2017. On the other hand Takenaka has had an up and down career, but has managed to win 4 of his last 5 after a 3-3-1 start to his career, including a very notable win over a then debuting Aso Ishiwaki in 2017.
We expect full details of the card this is on to be revealed in the next week or two, with at least 1 other notable bout being put along side this one, which we expect to be the event's chief support bout.
We've known for a while that WBA "super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0, 9) [京口 紘人] would be back in the ring on October 1st to defense his titles against Tetsuya Hisada (34-9-2, 20) [久田 哲也] in Osaka.
What wasn't known until much more recently was who would be featuring on the supporting card, which we can now report!
The chief support bout will see former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (35-5-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] fighting in what looks like a stay busy bout. The WBA #1 ranked Featherweight will be up against Indonesian Jason Butar Butar (29-26-1, 19), in an 8 round bout being fought at a contracted 58KG's, just a touch over the Featherweight limit.
Whilst the chief support is a mismatch there is some decent bouts in supporting line up. Among those is a 6 rounder between Kaiki Yuba (5-0-2, 3) [湯場海樹] and Mikado Konishi (6-2, 4), with the two Lightweights expected to have a bit of a war given the styles of the men involved. Another 6 rounder will see Atsushi Matsui (4-3, 4) [松井敦史] and Ryuji Kanza (7-2-1, 5) [寛座隆司], in what again promises to be an explosive clash.
The other 3 bouts announced for the card are all 4 rounders featuring novices at the embryonic stage of their careers.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see 3 God's Left tournament quarter final bouts as well as some very interesting up and comers not involved in the tournament.
Among those up and comers was Kaiki Yuba (5-0-2, 3) [湯場海樹], who scored his latest win as he stopped Korean Jin Su Kim (3-3, 1) early in round 2. The visitor looked totally out of hi depth from early on and was dropped in the opening minute from a straight left of Yuba.
To his credit Kim managed to get back up and tried to continue the fight, making things messy, but was stopped again early in round 2 before doctor stopped the fight due to a bad cut above the Korean's left eye. For Yuba this was a welcome return to winning ways after a technical draw in March with He Lu, and despite the two draws on his record he really cannot be written off as he is a very promising young fighter who has boxing running through his blood thanks to his legendary father Tadashi Yuba.
The second of the notable prospects on this card was the once beaten Masanori Rikiishi (6-1, 4) [佐藤政法], who scored his 4th straight win as he defeated Shogo Yamaguchi (11-5-3, 6) [山口祥吾]. Rokiishi seemed far too good for Yamaguchi from the early going, and was being broken down in rounds 3 and 4 before a really bad 5th. With their man out of his depth and cut Yamaguchi's corner pulled him from the bout between rounds 5 and 6, rather than throwing him out for 1 more round in a bout that was well out of reach.
After his win Rikkiishi announced that his next bout was set and will see him take on WBA ranked Super Featherweight Freddy Fonseca (27-3-1, 18) from Nicaragua. The bout between Rikiishi and Fonseca will take place on September 15th in the Aioi Hall and will be a huge step up in class for Rikiishi, who has never been afraid of taking risks since turning professional just over 2 years ago.
(Jmage courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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.
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