Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw the fast rising, and really exciting, Shuichiro Yoshino (3-0, 2) [吉野 修一郎] score his latest win as he secured a 3rd round victory over the once touted Kenta Onjo (6-3, 3) [恩庄 健太].
Coming in to the bout Yoshino was ranked #6 by the OPBF and Onjo #12 by the JBC but the reality was the two men were on totally different levels to each other. Onjo looked to be aggressive from the off but the skills of Yoshino saw him fighting carefully as the counter puncher and landing some vicious counter shots.
In the second round Onjo was dropped, suffering his first knockdown of the fight and was almost stopped before the round was over. Knowing his man was still hurt at the start of round 3 Yoshino started fast and dropped Onjo for the second time, before forcing the referee to save Onjo.
For Yoshino the win moves him towards a title fight, possibly in early 2017 and sees him showing his power and physicality. Sadly for Onjo the lose, his 3rd stoppages loss in 5 bouts and likely ends his career as a hopeful, a real shame given his early match making saw him claim wins against Ryuji Ikeda and Kazuya Soma.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last month we reported that OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (14-3-1, 8) [竹中 良] would be defending his title on October 13th at the Korakuen Hall against Filipino Randy Braga (19-1-1, 5). It now seems that that card is being put together with officially announcements of two other, really interesting, bouts for the card. Confirming one we already knew about and announcing another for the show.
The main event between Takenaka and Braga sees the champion returning to the ring after surgery on his right hand and it will be his second defense of the title that he won last year, stopping Vinvin Rufino in eye catching fashion. For Braga the bout is his first OPBF title fight and sees him fighting outside of the Philippines for just the second time.
The bout we knew about is a contest between Dexter Alimento (11-0, 7) and the fast rising Masataka Taniguchi (4-0, 4) [谷口 将隆]. These two had their bout announced last week by Alimento's team, though at the time there was very few details actually revealed about the contest. We now know the bout will be an 8 round fought at 107lbs and the winner will find themselves highly ranked by the IBF.
Alimento will be looking to build on his big win earlier this year against Chanachai CP Freshmart and will also be fighting to protect his IBF world ranking, however Taniguchi has looked fantastic so far and has been fast tracked by Watanabe who are seemingly looking for their next generation of stars. This is a brilliant match up and the type of thing we want to see more often in boxing.
The fight that we saw announced saw announced this morning will see novice Shuichiro Yoshino (2-0, 1) [吉野 修一郎] face off against the once touted Kenta Onjo (6-2, 3) [恩庄 健太]. Onjo caught our eye early in his career scoring 4 wins in 16 months and showed real potential during that start. Things then went down hill in 2015 with stoppage losses to Jonathan Baat and Tomoya Yamada, though he did bounce back earlier this year with a notable win over Akihiko Katagiri. Yoshino only turned professional last December but has impressed with his win last time out against Thai veteran Chaiyong Sithsaithong being particularly notable.
At the moment it's unclear if the card will be aired by anyone, though given the quality on offer it would be a real shame if boxingraise or a-sign didn't get the card to show in full.
Dexter Alimento set to face Masataka Taniguchi on October 13th
Ryo Takenaka to defend OPBF crown against Randy Braga on October 13th!
At the beginning of 2015 we tipped Kenta Onjo (6-2, 3) [恩庄 健太], then 4-0 (3) as one to watch. Sadly for Onjo he would go on to have a nightmare 2015 suffering 2 stoppage defeats in a really disappointing year. Today he began his 2016 and managed to record arguably his best win to date.
The talented, but flawed, Tokashiki gym fighter was up against the experienced Akihiko Katagiri (17-9-2, 8) [片桐秋彦] and made sure that he got things off to a good start, putting the pressure on from the opening bell. That pressure had Katagiri on the back foot and although Katagirio did have some success with his counters he was regularly forced to the ropes with Onjo proving too strong and too youthful. That youth and strength went on to help Onjo score a knockdown in round 4 and and come close to scoring a stoppage in round 5.
To his credit Katagiri did show a lot of heart, and seemed to worry Onjo late, but it was too little too late for the Kawasaki Nitta fighter, who was unable to turn around the bout.
At the end of the 6 round contest Onjo was rightly judged to be the winner, with scores of 58-55, 58-54 and 59-55. It now seems likely he'll spend the year rebuilding to try and get back some career momentum. For Katagiri however this loss is a genuine set back and will see him pushed down the queue for a Japanese title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
At the start of 2015 we were really excited to see where Lightweight hopeful Kenta Onjo (5-2, 3) would end the year. Coming in to 2015 he was 4-0 (3), rising through the Japanese ranks at an excellent pace and looking like he was on to watch with power, speed and skills. Today however he finds himself looking down the barrel of his career and in fact some may suggest he has gone from "one to watch" to "one who flopped".
Onjo's year didn't get off to a great start, he was stopped in 5 rounds back in March by Jonathan Baat. That loss was put down to the fact Baat isn't a bad fighter, and in fact Baat could be viewed as a very good gatekeeper.
On Wednesday he suffered another loss, being stopped in 4 rounds by the relatively unknown Tomoya Yamada (13-6, 4), who came in to the bout as a man who had lost 2 of his last 3, though did score a notable win over Akihiro Kondo. It was supposed to be a notable win for Onjo but instead he was battered and beaten by Yamada who may well have ended Onjo's career, less than a year after we had begun to get very excited about him
In March fans at the Korakuen Hall saw the touted Kenta Onjo (4-1, 3) suffer a shock defeat against Filipino veteran Jonathan Baat. Onjo was supposed to be too big, too young and too fresh for Baat but instead Baat was too smart, too tough and too aggressive for the 25 year old Japanese fighter.
Instead of cowering away and rebuilding his confidence at a low level it's been announced that Onjo will instead return to the ring on June 10th and face former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Allan Tanada (13-4-3, 5) in what appears to be an excellent addition to an already strong looking Kyoei promoted card.
Tanada will be best remembered by Japanese fans for either his huge upset win over Rikiya Fukuhara back in September 2009, when Tanada stopped the heavy handed Japanese fighter to claim the OPBF belt, or his bout with Masao Nakamura just 3 months later, that bout saw Nakamura being dropped in the 2nd round before stopping Tanada in the 5th.
Whilst Tanada has lost his last 2 bouts he is still an under-rated fighter and may well pose a lot of questions of Onjo if the Japanese fighter is still suffering any lingering effects of his bout with Baat, On paper the Japanese fighter is the bigger puncher but his lack of experience may against cost him here.
For those wondering about the rest of the card it will be headlined by Shingo Wake's IBF Super Bantamweight title eliminator with Mike Tawatchi whilst the chief support bout will see Hisashi Amagasa take on Patomsith Pathompothong in what will be Amagasa's first bout since his December 31st loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux.
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