Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans were given an interesting card, with a very notable under-card, featuring a former world title challenger and two talented youngsters expected to make a lot of noise in 2020.
One of the youngsters was Japanese ranked Flyweight Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], who impressed once again. The unbeaten fighter, dubbed "Ioka II" in some circles of the Japanese press, did everything but stop Filipino visitor Ricardo Sueno (10-4-4, 3), in a very 1 sided contest.
From the opening bell Kuwahara was too sharp, too crisp and too skilled for the visitor, who struggled to ever get going. Kuwahara fought like a man who wanted a KO win, and wanted to earn it with his boxing, however Sueno's toughness kept him fighting back, even after being dropped. This wasn't competitive, and was a 1-sided beating, but credit to Sueno for lasting the 8 rounds en route to a very clear loss.
Another bout on the card saw former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] get the stoppage against the game, but out matched, Jinya Ito (8-6-1, 3) [伊藤 仁也]. This was a a lot more entertaining than the records would suggest and Ito came for the upset, fighting tooth and nail with Matsumoto at times. Sadly for Ito he was unable to hurt Matsumoto who's power, and crisper punching proved to be the difference, and in round 4 the referee saved a bloodied and shaken Ito from further punishment.
In a much less competitive bout, the well touted Katsuya Yasuda (6-0, 4) [保田 克也] battered Indonesian visitor Rengga Rengga (8-5, 2) in 2 rounds. This was a mismatch from the moment it was signed and Rengga was downed twice as the local picked up his latest win.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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 Korakuen Hall played host to a show promoted by Hideyuki Ohashi, and featured several interesting match ups.
Among those on the card was hard hitting Japanese hopeful Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) [溜田剛士] who scored his latest win by stopping Filipino Joe Tejones (13-7, 7). On paper this looks like a straight forward win for Tameda but in reality we had expected to see Tameda being tested, with Tejones being better than his record suggests. Instead however the power of Tameda was too much and he took out Tejones in the 5th round, dropping the Filipino who took the count on his backside.
Tameda's Ohashi stablemate Katsuya Yasuda (5-0, 3) [保田克也] also picked up a win, as he stopped Indonesian foe Jack Dolu (4-5, 4) in the second round. A right uppercut took out Dolu for the 10 count.
It wasn't all good news for Ohashi fighters however, as Toru Kiyota (9-4, 7) [清田亨] was beaten Kazuma Sanpei (18-5, 7) [三瓶数馬]. The Japanese ranked Sanpei took a split decision over 8 rounds, in what was the most competitive and interesting bout on the show, despite the limitations of both fighters.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the Ohashi Gym announced their next Phoenix Battle show, which we now know will take place on September 17th at Korakuen Hall.
The main event for the card was announced as a being a bout between the fast rising Taku Kuwahara (5-0, 4) [桑原拓] and world ranked Filipino Jonathan Refugio (21-6-5, 7), who is currently ranked #15 by the WBC at Minimumweight.
The talented Kuwahara, who has been dubbed "Ioka II", made his debut in May 2018 and and has been tipped for major success since announcing that he was heading to the professional ranks. In just his third bout he was fighting in 8 round bouts but this is a huge step up in class against a man who has over 230 rounds as a professional.
The 26 year old Refugio has been a professional since June 2010 and whilst he hasn't yet scored a world class win he has mixed with good company with losses to Wanheng Menayothin, Merlito Sabillo, Knockout CP Freshmart, Melvin Jerusalem and Hiroto Kyoguchi in recent years. He's no world beater, but a stoppage against him would be very, very impressive.
In the chief support we'll see Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Kazuma Sanpei (17-5, 7) [三瓶数馬] will take on Toru Kiyota (9-3, 7) [清田亨] in what should be a very competitive and interesting 8 round bout. Sanpei has the edge in experience and achievement but with 4 stoppages against him Kiyota will enter the bout with the belief that he has the power to stop his man.
Another good bout announced for this card will see JBC and WBO Asia Pacific ranked fighter Tsuyoshi Tameda (20-4-2, 18) [溜田剛士] take on Filipino Joe Tejones (13-6, 7), who fights in Japan for the third time, following losses to Hinata Maruta and Tenta Kiyose in previous Japanese bouts. Coming into this bout Tameda is riding high following a really good win over Tae Il Atsumi whilst Tejones recently took the unbeaten record of KJ Natuplag.
One other talented hopeful booked for this is Katsuya Yasuda (4-0, 2) [保田克也], though he is yet to have his opponent for the card announced. Given he took a step up in class in July, when he beat Jerry Castroverde, we would hope for another step up for the 27 year old, however it does seem more likely to be a tick over for the Lightweight hopeful.
Introducing... Taku Kuwahara
Introducing... Katsuya Yasuda
Over the last 24 hours or so we saw Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (13-0, 10) [浩樹井上] reveal his first defense.
The unbeaten Ohashi gym fighter, the cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue, revealed he would be defending his title on July 1st at Korakuen Hall against Ryuji Ikeda (14-5-3, 9) [池田竜司]. The bout will see Inoue look to build on his impressive title win against Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] back in April and he has suggest that this will be a more exciting fight than that one, where he seemed happy to box and move.
For Ikeda this will be his first Japanese title fight, though he did fight for a regional title in 2017, losing to Darragh Foley in Australia. Although he enters as the #8 ranked Japanese challenger it should be noted that he hasn't really shined on the domestic stage, going 1-1-1 in his last 3 bouts in Japan.
The card has had a number of notable fighters pencilled in for it. These include former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (22-3, 20) [松本亮], Japanese Youth title holder Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ], the very highly regarded Taku Kuwahara (4-0, 3) [桑原拓], the exciting Tsuyoshi Tameda (19-4-2, 17) [溜田剛士] and unbeaten prospect Katsuya Yasuda (3-0, 2) [保田克也]. At the time of writing none of these fighters have had their opponents announced.
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