Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans had the chance to see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] record his 4th title defense. The champion, who won the title last year, took on 27 year old challenger Koki Ono (12-5, 5) [小野晃輝] and was given a real fight by the determined Ono.
The first two rounds were wonderfully competitive, with not much to separate the two men as they both looked to find the range for their jabs. After the competitive start Ono got the first real break through as he landed a corking left hook on Hisada, which dropped the champion. To his credit Hisada recovered his feet, and showed no ill effects, but it did secure Ono a 10-8 round. Whilst it was a good break through for Ono it did seem to strengthen Hisada's determination as he took the two following rounds. The drive of Hisada had seen him secure the lead on one card, 48-47, and was even on the other two, at 47-47, when the scores were announced after 5 rounds.
Hisada took control of the bout in the middle rounds as he uppsed the pace, something that Ono couldn't match. Ono looked for the bigger shots, looking to land another left hook, but was unable to land cleanly enough to score a second knockdown and instead Hisada had taken control. That was until round 10 when Hisada started to back up, almost giving up the round.
Despite losing the final round Hisada had done more than enough, taking the decision with scores of 96-93, twice, and 96-94.
Following the win Harada mentioned that he felt he was still improving but did want a world title fight. Given how the world title situation is at 108lbs it's hard to see which champion Hisada would be favoured against, but he certainly has got the desire to figth the best.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka, in Osaka City, fight fans will be able to see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (31-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] return to the ring hunting his 4th defense, as he faces off with 27 year old challenger Koki Ono (12-4, 5) [小野晃輝] in what looks likely to be a very interesting match up.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men made weight by weighing bang on the limit in what was a very respectable weigh in with a lot of mutual respect and a very sporting handshake as both promised a good fight.
For the champion this is the 8th straight fight that he has been 108lbs on the scales, and the 9th time in 10 bouts. He comes into this bout as not only the Japanese champion but also as a fighter ranked in the top 10 by the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF as he continues to move towards a world title fight, potentially against Carlos Canizales or Ken Shiro. Those world rankings have been down to a 10 fight winning streak from Hisada who has the run of his career recently.
Ono on the other hand hweighed in heavier than he has been in recent bouts, with the challenger scaling 107.75lbs in his last 3 contests, Despite being a little bit heavier than typical he's no where near his his heaviest weight, which is 111.5lbs, or his lightest, which was 105lbs. Coming in to this he has nothing to lose and everything to gain, but will clearly be seen as the under-dog as as he takes on a very in form champion.
Related - Hisada takes on Ono in next defense!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in April fight fans in Osaka saw Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (31-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] record his third defense, and over-come mandatory challenger Koji Itagaki [板垣幸司] as he continued to move towards a world title fight. The 33 year old Hisada suffered a pretty nasty looking facial injury in that bout, but his recovery appears to have been a success and today his team confirmed that he would be returning to the ring on July 16th to make his next defense of the title.
The world ranked Hisada will be not only risking his Japanese title but also world rankings with all 4 world title bodies on his July return, but will feel confident of over-coming his challenger, 27 year old Koki Ono (12-4, 5) [小野晃輝].
Hisada, who has won his last 10 bouts including wins over Kenichi Horikawa and Atsushi Kakutani, will be feeling full of confidence here, but will know that he has everything to lose. That include a WBA #1 world ranking, along with 3 other top 10 positions and an almost assured world title fight. Given his urrent run of form a loss won't be on his mind, but suffering another injury, like he had against Itagaki, would likely push any potential world title fight back to 2019 at the earliest.
Ono on the other hand actually lost to Itagaki last time out, in a Japanese title challenger bout, with that loss ending a 5 fight winning run. Although a talented domestic level fighter we don't expect him to be too much of a challenge for someone of Hisada's ability.
Also in Japanese title news it's been confirmed that Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] will be defending his title against Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規] on July 23rd in what will be Kuroda's third defense of the title and Hoshino's first title bout.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans in NTT Cred Hall in Hiroshima saw a Japanese Light Flyweight title eliminator, with Koki Ono (12-4, 5) [小野晃輝] battling against veteran Koji Itagaki (18-11-3, 7) [板垣幸司] for a shot at the national title next year.
The bout pitted the #2 and #3 ranked contenders and proved to be a brilliantly competitive contest.
Itagaki started well, setting the tempo to begin with and used movement well to control the distance. Ono however refused to give up and showed his desire by continually pressing, and in the middle rounds he began to really break through and have his moments, especially in rounds 5 and 6 when he caught Itagaki with some really solid shots.
In the final round both men let it all go, and it was a thrilling finish that left the fans on the edge of their seat, and left both fighters wondering if they had done enough.
In the end the judges scored the bout 77-75, 75-77 and 76-77, giving Itagaki a razor thin split decision win and securing him a shot at the title in next years' Champion Carnival.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the JBC announced their replacement of the "Strongest Korakuen" and in all honesty we really like their decision, even if we were fans of the Strongest Korakuen.
For those unaware, the Strongest Korakuen, was a short tournament to decide the mandatory challenger for the Japanese titles the following year, at the Champion Carnival. At one point the tournament was pretty significant, with fighters genuinely vying for a place, but in recent years fighters have been less eager and what was once a tournament format has since dropped to being a straight final between two highly ranked JBC contenders in only a few divisions. A far cry from what the Strongest Korakuen once was.
The solution from the JBC was to have a "Japanese Champion Challenger Decision Battle", not a catchy name we'll admit, between two contenders to decide the mandatory challengers across a number of weight classes. And unlike the past these bouts aren't cramped on a single show but instead allowed to take place over a number of cards and dates. This has allowed the fighters more flexibility, and arguably set up a more interesting end to 2017 for Japanese fight fans, who have a number of big domestic clashes to look forward to on the national stage.
The first of the bouts will take place on August 20th and will come at Minimumweight as WBO world ranked fighter Ryoki Hirai (9-4-1, 4) [平井亮輝] take on Kenta Matsui (8-6, 1) [松井謙太]. On paper this doesn't look an amazing bout but the reality is that it's well matched on paper and give both men a rea reason to fight hard and go for the win, and could potentially see Hirai continue his remarkable career turn around which has seen him rebuild from a 3-3-1 (1) record to a potential title fight.
The second bout will take place on October 8th and will be the Light Flyweight bout, which will pit Koki Ono (12-3, 5) [小野晃輝] against veteran Koji Itagaki (17-11-3, 7) [板垣幸司] in what looks like another of those under-rated match ups that has made the Japanese scene as interesting as it is. On paper Ono will be strongly favoured, however Itagaki ios no joke and his record really doesn't tell the story of his good he is,
Interestingly we'll have 5 of the bouts take place on October 21st.
One of those will be at Flyweight as the always fun to watch Katsunori Nagamine (14-1, 10) [長嶺克則] takes on Akinori Hoshino (13-7-1, 9) [星野晃規]. Whilst this looks likely to be another predictable win, for Nagamine, it's hard to argue with him getting a title shot after the run he's been on since losing to Ken Shiro. Another bout on the same day Eita Kikuchi (21-4-4, 8) [菊地永太] will face off with Yusuke Suzuki (8-3, 5) [鈴木悠介] in a really good looking Bantamweight bout, which pits a veteran against a relative novice in what could be a real thriller.
On the same day we'll also get Featherweight bout which will pit Dai Iwai (21-4-1, 7) [岩井大] against Taiki Minimoto (13-5, 11) [源大輝], in a bout where we see former title challengers face off. We also get the Lightweight bout, which will pit fast rising prospect Shuichiro Yoshino (4-0, 2) [吉野修一郎] against Spicy Matsushita (17-9-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] in a another bout that pits a veteran against a novice, though it's fair to say the novice will be very strongly favoured here. The other bout taking place the same day is a Welterweight bout which will see former title challenger Moon Hyun Yun (18-4-3, 3) [尹文鉉] take on the heavy handed Ryota Yada (13-4, 11) [矢田良太] in a potentially explosive bout.
On November 4th we'll again get a number of bouts. One of those is a juicy looking Super Bantamweight bout between Yuta Nakagawa (21-4-1, 12) [中川勇太] and Yasutaka Ishimoto (30-9, 9) [石本康隆], in what could well be the pick of the bouts given the styles of the two men. Another bout on the same day will see Masaru Sueyoshi (15-1, 10) [末吉大] take on Ribo Takahata (13-7-1, 5) [高畑里望] in a Super Featherweight bout, with Sueyoshi looking ready to move on to title level. A third bout on the same day, and another real cracker on paper, will see Shoma Fukumoto (11-1, 9) [福本祥馬] trade blows with Kazuto Takesako (6-0, 6) [竹迫司登] for the chance to fight for a Middleweight title next year, and we suspect that one will be very explosive.
The Super Flyweight bout will take place on November 11th as Ohashi gym fighter Go Onaga (27-3-3, 18) [翁長吾央] battles against 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (25-16-1, 11) [久高寛之] in what will almost certainly be a gruelling battle between two veterans of the ring.
At some point in November, though yet to be confirmed, we'll see the Welterweight bout between Nobuyuki Shindo (18-4-1, 7) [新藤寛之] and Cobra Suwa (19-12-2, 11) [コブラ諏訪], in what is a real must for both, who are both struggling at the moment and cannot afford another loss.
The final bout, scheduled for December 8th, will be at 140lbs and see Dominican born Japanese based Vladimir Baez (22-3-21, 20), aka "Destino Japan, take on Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-4, 4) [岡本和泰] in what should be another explsoive match up.
The winners of all the bouts will earn themselves a shot at their respective divisional champion in 2018, meaning the bouts really do matter, not just to the men involved, but also to the Japanese champions and the top domestic contenders.
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