Back in late May Irish born Australian fighter TJ Doheny (19-0, 14) revealed that he would be getting his mandatory title shot at IBF Super Bantamwaight Ryosuke Iwasa (25-2, 16) [岩佐 亮佑] on August 16th in Tokyo. There had however been a sense of silence form Japan, other than to state the bout was in the works, with Iwasa's promoter, Celes Kobayashi, stating that he was surprised by Dodeny announcoing the bout and that he wouldn't be announcing anything until Teiken gave the green light.
That light must have been turned green today as Iwasa and Kobayashi held a press conference confirm the contest, as with Doheny's comment it will indeed take place onm August 16th in Tokyo. Though now we have a few more details, including the speciic venue, the television and some of the under-card details.
We now know the bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall, Iwasa's first bout at the venue since a 2016 win over Patomsith Pathompothong. Despite being away from the arena for 2 years Iwasa has gone 19-1 in the "holy ground" of Japanese boxing. Whilst this will be Doheny's first bout in Japan.
The bout will be shown on NTV in Kanto, though specifics aren't yet clear in regards to delay or live broadcast, or the broadcast outside of the Kanto region.
The under-card will be a pretty decent one, with bouts featuring Koki Eto (22-4-1, 17) [江藤光喜] and Shawn Oda (8-0, 7) [小田翔夢].
(Image courtesy of daiy.co.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got thelatest in the Dynamic Glove series of shows, which was aired across Japan on G+.
On that card was a number of notable fighters, including former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (13-2-1, 9) [戸部洋平], who put on a fantastic performance to remind everyone why he was so touted early in his career. The Misako gym fighter, who entered ranked #7 by the JBC, was battling #10 ranked Hajime Nagai (15-10-2, 5) [長井一] and really dominated the bout.
Nagai was dropped in the opening round, and despite putting on a gusty effort never looked like he could get into the bout against the sharop Tobe, who would drop him again in rounds 4 and 5, before the referee saved him. For Tobe this was the type of performance he needed to make a statement, and he has got the talent to collect more silverware before his career is over. Sadly at the age of 30 and with injuries mounting it could well be now or never for the very talented Tobe.
Another notable name on the card was former WBA interim Flyweight champion Koki Eto (22-4-1, 17) [江藤光喜] took on Filipino foe Marzon Cabilla (16-16-1, 5). The all action Eto looked ring rusty at times, but managed to drop Cabilla in round 2 with a body shot, before seeing his man off in round 3, a round that saw Cabilla being dropped twice. The bout was a thrilling action bout with a lot of leather traded, and Eto even bleeding, from a head clash. It was exciting, but always seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Eto seems like a fighter on the downside, but may well have one more big performance in him, and strangely a bout between Eto and Tobe would certainly be an interesting one, even if it's an unlikely bout with both men expected to look for big fights away from each other.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On October 22nd we'll see WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (13-0, 13) [比嘉 大吾] and making his first defense, as he takes on French challenger Thomas Masson (17-3-1, 5), in what looks like an interesting test for the exciting champion.
Today, ahead of that bout, Higa took part in a public work work out and looked every bit the champion that he is.
The champion had clearly been working on his physical strength between this fight and his last, with his legs and shoulders looking bigger and more powerful than they had back in May, when he stopped Juan Hernandez for the title.
In regards to the actual work out Higa showed a slightly adapted style. He was still maintaining his trademark pressure, but appeared to be faster on his feet, more willing to weave and bob and looked like his right hand, especially to the body, had improved in terms of it's smoothness. With that all being on show in a 2 round spar with stablemate Koki Eto (21-4-1, 16) [江藤 光喜]
It wasn't just Higa's style and body that appeared to be improved but also his preparation and he's currently only around 2KG's over the limit, much better than he was in his title winning effort where there was worries about him missing weight.
With just over a week left to the bout it's clear that Higa still has some work to do, but he really did look ready to make a statement and continue to prove his destructive ways, whilst hunting a 14th straight stoppage win.
(Image courtes of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today saw many fans, from around the globe, turn their attention to Osaka for a world title double header. There was however another show in Japan, held at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event of that card saw the popular and exciting Koki Eto (21-4-1, 16) [江藤 光喜] fight in his second bout of the year, as he took on the over-matched Damrongsak Suwannakam (0-7)* .
The exciting Eto was never expected to struggle with the Thai however he was forced to earn it with Damrongsak coming to fight and taking the fight forward with some great aggression. Sadly for the visitor when Eto stepped up through the gears the Thai simply couldn't match him, with Eto brekaing him down in round 3 and eventually stopping him.
After the fight Eto stated he would become a world champion, and it's clear that he's looking to follow stablemate Daigo Higa to the top of the proverbial boxing mountain. He is however some way froma title fight, and hopefully next time out we'll see him in there with someone more testing, and more recognisable.
For those interested the bout will be included on the Boxingraise service for subscribers to watch at any time.
*Please note - Damrongsak's record is also reported as being - (13-5-2, 2)
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Japanese warrior Koki Eto (19-4-1, 14) [江藤 光喜] has long been a fighter that we suggest to any fight fan who likes to watch exciting wars between battling fighters rather than enjoy the sweet science side of the sport. That warrior mentality that we love about Eto was seen again today when he over-came Filipino puncher Jun Blazo (5-2-3, 5), but had real problems getting the win.
From the off Blazo came out with mean intent and let his heavy hands go from the opening moments. That power quickly took an effect on Eto who was dropped after around a minute and rocked several other times in nightmarish opening round for the local favourite. It was a clear 10-8 round and left some questioning whether Eto would fare any better in the second round.
Blazo, still with plenty of wind in his sails, came out for round 2 as he had for the opener and hurt Eto again during another good round for the visitor, though one that all 3 judges scored against him surprisingly. It seemed however that Eto was beginning to get going and round 3 was a much better one for Eto, who was also helped by Blazo suffering a nasty cut from a clash of heads. Although it was a good round form Eto he was rocked himself in a round of real 2-way excitement that had the round picked as being the best round on the card.
Sadly for Blazo he seemed to have shot his loud somewhat by round 4 and Eto begin to use his skills in a more intelligent manner, winning the round with relative ease whilst Blazo began to slow. The Filipino continued to slow in rounds 5 and 6 before having a more competitive effort in the 7th, a round that one judge gave him.
Sadly for Blazo he was unable to finish strong and Eto could sense things, dropping Blazo with a body shot early in the round. Blazo was never able to recover and was dropped twice more in the round before the referee waved off the action giving Eto an 8th round stoppage win,
Although Eto took the spoils of victory we were genuinely impressed by Blazo and would love to see more of him and maybe with a full time team behind him he could go places. His power is nasty and at 112lbs with more work on his stamina he could be a real nightmare at Oriental level. For Eto the idea might be to move towards a world title bout, but this performance was poor and he'll need to sort out a lot of things before facing quality opponents again, it was however a better performance than his narrow win over Michael Escobia back in May.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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