Having been really impressed by Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] on his debut, when he stopped Antonio Siesmundo, we have really tried to follow his career as closely as possible. It was with great excitement that we previewed his his bout with Japanese ranked Lightweight Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡 康輔] as the first in our "Hidden Gems" series, and that we also covered Suzuki in our "Introducing" series.
Today fans at Korakuen Hall saw and Arioka battle, in what turned out to be a genuinely thrilling contest, that showed how exciting Suzuki can be and just how quickly the World Sports Boxing gym can fast track him.
Thge first was a step up on paper for Suzuki, against a hard hitting domestic opponent and over 8 rounds. Those 8 rounds however were never going to be needed with the style of fight the two men engaged in. It was clear neither man was interested in winning a decision, and both wanted to finish this off as quickly as they could.
After just 40 seconds Arioka was on the canvas, from a brilliant counter right hand from Suzuki. Arioka got up and began to try and take the play away from Suzuki, pressing on the inside but took heavy fire in return, with Suzuki landing some incredibly clean shots. To his credit Arioka had belief in his power, and seemed to believe that, sooner or later, he was going to get to Suzuki.
After making his way into round 2 Arioka managed to get inside and work the body of Suzuki, and then find some room for his short left hook up top, catching Suzuki with some solid clean shots. The work from Arioka was good, but came at a risk and a left hand to the body from Suzuki dropped Arioka for the 10 count.
With this win Suzuki will likely be rewarded with a Japanese ranking. After the bout Suzuki admitted that Arioka was strong and that he was left hazy himself, but was happy to have won and it seems obvious that his team will look to push him to total contention sooner rather than later.
Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] would make his second defense of the title in August, with the veteran set to fight against Ryuto Oho (12-5-1, 4) [大保 龍斗] on August 8th.
The bout will be Horikawa's third of the year following title win in February against Satoru Todaka and his first defense this past May. The 39 year old champion has more wins than any other active Japanese born fighter and is still reeling off victories at his advanced age.
As for Oho, aged 24, the bout will be his the bout will be his first Japanese title bout, but follows a Japanese Youth title win for the youngster. It's worth noting that he was stopped last time out, but that loss had come at Flyweight, to Masamichi Yabuki who actually damaged his hand in the win.
The bout, which will serve as the chief support bout to the highly anticipated OPBF Super Bantamweight bout between Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] and Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平] and rounds off an interesting card which will also see the very promising Masahiro Suzuki (2-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] face off with Japanese ranked Lightweight Kosuke Arioka (9-3-1, 8) [有岡 康輔].
Earlier today Korean fans had a special Korea Vs Japan card. The first 3 bouts ended in decisions, with a couple of draws. In the final bout of the Korea Vs Japan series we had punchers colliding as Oh Gon Kwon (7-2-3, 5) [권오곤] and Kosuke Arioka (8-3-1, 7) [有岡康輔] faced off. On paper this was the least likely of the bouts to go to the judges, and after the first round it seemed very unlikely that we'd hear the final bell.
The bout was an action packed affair from the off, with Kwon striking early and dropping his man with a straight right hand after about 25 seconds. He was however dropped himself at the end of an action packed opening round.
After the dramatic opening round we didn't see either man dropped the following round, but the intention to score a stoppage was there from both men, with Arioka seemingly getting the better of it. It was the Japanese fighter who against took the initiative in round 3, regularly backing Kwon up and pounding him on the ropes.
Kwon tried to start round 4 with some ambition but by aggressive he was leaving himself more open, and Arioka managed to find holes in his defense. To his credit Kwon was taking the shots well, and landing enough of his own, but it seemed like Arioka was always just a single clean shot away from putting the local man down again.
Round 5 was a brilliant round of action, with Kwon dominating the early portion of the round before Arioka came back into the round late, with a huge flurry of big shots. The big shots continued to fly in round 6 as both men looked to land a fight ending blow. Despite both throwing with nasty intention, and landing, neither could drop the other as we went the distance, again.
Amazingly,for the third bout in a row, we ended up up with a draw, and like the previous 2, it was a genuinely fair result, though one that Arioka will have begrudged more than Kwon.
(Image courtesy of boxingm)
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