Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (25-7-3, 12) [細川繁] put in an impressive cameo of a performance, as he stopped Kosuke Arioka (9-5-1, 8) [有岡康輔] inside a round, in a bout made at Lightweight.
The bout was Hosokawa's first since losing the Japanese title to Koki Inoue, and he made an immediate impression, dropping Arioki with a right hook after just a few seconds. Arioka showed plenty of fighting heart as he tried to get to his feet but was counted out whilst standing, after just 45 seconds.
Despite now being 39 years old Hosokawa showed there was a lot more life left in his legs, and the fighter himself admitted that he was still learning and evolving as a fighter. Interestingly his trainer seemed to suggest he could move down to Featherweight or even Super Bantamweight, though seemed to be doing so tongue in cheek.
Despite the jokey comments from his trainer Hosokawa himself seems likely to drop more weight and look to make an impact at Super Featherweight, where he could be a genuine force on the regional scene, with his eyes on title fighters at 130lbs.
As for Arioka this was a second straight loss inside the distance and it's hard to know where his career goes from here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall fans will be able to see former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川繁] battle against the limited but heavy handed Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡康輔] in a Lightweight bout.
Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in their weight in, and both came in dead on the 135lb Lightweight limit.
For Hosokawa this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title, 5lbs north, to Koki Inoue earlier this year. Despite dropping down in weight Hosokawa seemed strong and very comfortable at the weight. He didn't look like a man who had drained hard to make 135lbs but more like a man fighting at his natural weight. Surprisingly however it seems the original plan was for him to come down to 130lbs for his return!
As for Arioka this will be his first bout since being stopped by Masahiro Suzuki this past August. He sounded confident and hungry coming into this fight, stating that he was aiming to fight for a title next year. He was also significantly bigger than Hosokawa.
For fans outside of Tokyo wanting to watch this, it will be made available, in the coming days, on Boxing Raise.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Boxing Raise service, which we love despite it's sometimes awkward scheduling, have announced that in November they will be picking up 4 cards, including 2 very exciting live tournament shows and 2 tape delay recorded shows.
The first of the shows will be this Saturday's God's Left Bantamweight tournament show, featuring the God's Left semi final bouts between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], and Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁]. The card also includes a Japanese title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也], and the ring return of former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼].
The service will also live stream November 19th Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament on November 19th. This show will feature quarter final bouts for a Featherweight tournament as Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [이재우] takes on Japan's Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) [溜田剛士], Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) [草野慎悟] meets Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [马强] and we get an excellent all Japanese bout between Koshin Takeshima (4-0, 3) [竹嶋宏心] and Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-1, 6) [渡部大介]. This card will also feature Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] against Hokuto Matsumoto (5-2, 1) [松本北斗].
As for the delay cards, Boxing Raise will be showing the November 17th and November 22nd cards.
The first of those two cards will see Eruka Hiromoto (5-0) [廣本江留香], defending her OPBF female Minimumweight title against Sana Hazuki (7-4-1, 2) [葉月さな], whilst the second will feature former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川繁] battling against Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡康輔]
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].
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