The chief support bout in today's Japanese card from the Sumida City Gymnasium saw the all action Koichi Aso (23-9-1, 15) [麻生興一] battle against Tatsuya Yanagi (16-5-2, 6) [柳達也] in what looked almost nailed on to be a really fun fight. And it delivered!
We've been treat to some amazing fights recently, and this was another with Yanagi fighting Aso's fight, and holding his own in an inside war where both men threw a huge number of shots. From the opening round to the final bell this was high tempo action and near none-stop punching, with one man, or the other, or both, throwing at any moment.
The inside stuff, of which we saw a lot of did, was expected to favour Aso, who has made his career out of banging away up close and fighting on an opponents chest, however it really didn't. Yanagi proved he could do that too, and more than held his own on the inside often forcing Aso on to the back foot. What Yanagi also managed to do was create some space when he needed to, and work at mid range and catch his breath before resuming the up-close battle of attrition. That versatility showed there was more to him than there was to Aso, who really only had one game plan, albeit a very fan friendly one.
The tempo seemed to take a toll on Yanagi in the middle rounds, as he seemed to begin getting out worked by Aso during some totally incredible exchanges. Despite that he gutted things out and refused to let Aso dominate any round. That determined doggedness paid off big time for Yanagi in round 7 when he badly hurt Aso, seemingly breaking his nose. A different referee would have waved it off as Aso took shots on the ropes and seemed unable to escape. The toughness of Aso however saw him battling back as the round closed in what was a real showing of heart from the popular Aso.
Given the damage Aso had taken in round 7 it was a surprise to see him out for 8 though he went out tried to bring the fight but it was another really strong round for Yanagi, who seemed to have managed to get his second wind in the final 2 rounds putting to bed any late charge for Aso.
After 8 rounds it seemed like Yanagi had done enough to get the win, and the judges agreed with scores of 79-73, twice, and 78-74.
We think the cards were a touch harsh on Aso, but completely agree with the winner in what was a truly tremendous war well worthy of a watch on Boxing Raise.
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koichi Aso (23-8-1, 15) [麻生 興一] battle against domestic rival Noriaki Sato (5-5-1) [佐藤 矩彰].
This bout had originally been organised more than 2 years ago, though Sato failed weight back then and both went their own way, until today's fight. In the interim Aso had won, and lost, the Japanese title whilst Sato's career had seen him going 1-3, with the losses coming in his last 3 bouts.
Sadly for Sato his form didn't change here, and instead Aso showed his desire and hunger as he took a technical decision win.
Sato started well, boxing on the move and and keeping up a high activity, it wasn't long however until Aso began to turn the action around and begin to bring intense pressure. That pressure forced Sato to continue fighting at a higher rate than he'd have wanted, with Aso continually getting in his face. In round 2 Aso's pressure really broke through, as he began to land frequently and Sato began to lose his stance, before being dropped from a crisp left hook.
As the fight went on the two men began to hold their ground and fight up close, with more and more shots being thrown and head clashes as they traded blows. The head clashes left Sato cut around the right eye, a cut that got progressively worse from the intense, phone booth action that Aso forcing into the fight.
In round 6 the referee took a bloodied Sato to the ringside doctor who stopped the bout, taking us to the scorecards, which all favoured Aso with scores of 59-54, twice, an 59-55.
Following the win Aso spoke about fighting for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title, and being honest we'd love to see Aso in another title fight. Sadly for Sato it's very hard to see where go now.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a Japanese Light Welterweight title fight, as the aggressive Koichi Aso (22-8-1, 15) [麻生興] looked to defend his title against the busy Valentine Hosokawa (22-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン], in a rematch 9 years in the making.
The two men had met in the Rookie of the Year way back in 2008, when they fought to a draw, since then both men have had long careers and their experience lead to today's bout, with both men looking to try and walk away the champion, and prove themselves.
The fight today saw Hosokawa starting really well, fighting beind a busy jab and preventing Aso from cutting inside and going to war. It was an almost perfect start for Hosokawa, who swept the first 4 rounds on one card, but was deducted a point in the 4th round for a headclash that cut Aso over the right eye. By round 4 however it seemed Aso was getting closer, and he swept round 5 on all 3 cards, taking the lead on one card when they were publically announced after round 5.
Aso's success looked set to grow in the middle rounds, but Hosokawa answered back, refusing to be intimidated and the two exchanged in some great back and forth. What seemed like Aso's fight really didn't become that as Hosokawa repeatedly landed some wild right hands to keep his nose in the lead, and continue to build his lead over the defending champion.
Aso finally managed to get on to the front foot and seemed to take the last two rounds, but in the end it was too little too late, with Hosokawa claiming the win thanks to scores of 95-94, twice and 96-95.
The bout, which was a thrilling clash, saw osokawa crowned as the new champion but unfortunaely for him will now see him make his first defense against Vladimir Baez (24-3-2-22) in the 2018 Champion Carnival.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will get the chance to see a Japanese Light Welterweight title bout, as defending champion Koichi Aso (22-7-1, 15) [麻生興] battles against Valentine Hosokawa (21-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン] in a boutexpectedto be very entertaining and action packed.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both fighters made the 140lb limit for the bout with some rome to spare.
The defending champion was 139.75lbs and looked in good shape whilst towering over his foe. He looked like a man who was very comfortable at the weight and whilst he wasn't mega ripped he certainly didn't look like a fighter killing himself to make weight or like a man who was draining down.
The challenger was lighter still, coming in around 139.6lbs, and looked in very good shape, in fact he looked better than the champion. Although in good shape it should be noted that Hosokawa did look like a man giving away significant natural size and is aged 36, 5 years older than the champion.
Aso seeks revenge as he defends against Hosokawa in pre-Christmas cracker!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a Japanese eliminator at 140lbs, as the Japanese based Dominican slugger Vladimir Baez (24-3-2-22), aka "Destino Japan, battled Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-5, 4) [岡本和泰] with the winner set to become the mandatory challenger for the Japanese Light Welterweight title.
The bout was pitting the top two challengers in Japan against each other, but the reality is that the two men really didn't look like they belonged in the same ring together. From the off Baez looked too strong, too powerful and too good. Those traits proved to be the difference, as Baez took the first 4 rounds with no issue, and had his nose clearly in front at the mid way point of the bout.
In round 5 Okamoto managed to return fire, and had some moments, but a counter left hand from Baez dropped the out matched but spirited man from Nara. Okamoto to his credit got up but never looked like getting back into the bout. Instead of trying to win it seemed more like a question of whether or not Okamoto could see out the distance.
Sadly for Nakamoto Baez wanted to do more than just win, and in round 8 finally forced Okamoto's corner to throw in the towel, and save their man, in what was the final minute of the bout.
Baez's win secures a shot at the Japanese title next year, and he will face the winner of the upcoming title show down between Koichi Aso (22-7-1, 15) [麻生興] and Valentine Hosokawa (21-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン].
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp
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