The main event of today's Dangan card at Korakuen Hall was a Japanese Super Featherweight title eliminator between former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] and the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (37-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. The two men looked well matched on paper and it seemed almost a given that we would be getting a special bout as the styles looked almost certain to gel. We assumed it would be Minamoto's power against Watanabe's toughness, and that we would get a thriller.
We assumed right!
In the opening round it looked like Minamoto's power was not actually his key to victory, instead it was his speed, and he looked much quicker than Watanabe. Watanabe however was pressuring, landing the effective shots and forcing Minamoto to give ground.
From then touch paper was lit and rounds 2,3 and 4 were incredibly wars, each progressively more exciting than the previous. Two them men seemed to try out man each other on the inside, firing off bombs, and mixing shots between head and body at close range. For 3 straight rounds we saw Minamoto fight Watanabe's fight, and although he held his own, he did lose all 3 rounds, and was left with a bloodied nose and the need to reassess his tactics.
Having fought the wrong fight for 3 rounds Minamoto changed up what he did in rounds 5 and 6 as he looked to get some control in the bout. Rather than warring on the inside he boxed on the outside, using his speed and movement to jab and move against the slower Watanabe. The tactic worked really well, and he seemed to actually hurt Watanabe a couple of times in round 5.
The movement was a good change from Minamoto, but not something he could keep up and by round 7 we were back on the inside, and back to trading back and forth. Sadly for Minamoto this round killed any momentum he had, and he was rocked hard late in the round as Watanabe began to land clean shots that stiffened the legs the legs of Minamoto.
Going into the final round it seemed like Watanabe had done enough to avoid defeat, but a win wasn't in the bag for him. Regardless he came out swinging, and gave Minamoto a real beating in the final 3 minutes. It seemed like Watanabe was determined to stop his man, though some how Minamoto remained on his feet, despite being legitimately battered through the round.
At the end of 8 rounds we though Watanabe had done enough, and so did the judges, scoring the bout 77-75, 78-76 and 79-73 in favour of Watanabe. The 79-73 card seemed unfair but the other two were a pretty accurate reflection on what had been an 8 round war.
With the win Watanabe secures a title shut during the 2020 Champion Carnival, and will face either Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] or Kosuke Saka (19-5, 16) [坂晃典], who face off in early December.
For those who don't subscribe to Boxing Raise this is the quality of bout you're missing out on, for those who do subscriber this was another instant classic on the service which is quickly becoming a must have for fight fans.
Earlier this year the plan was for Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] was to defend his belt against Kosuke Saka (19-5, 16) [坂晃典] in September. Sadly however Sueyoshi was injured before that bout could take place cancelling the originally planned date.
Today we have been informed that the bout now has a rescheduled date, and that will be December 7th at Korakuen Hall, as part of the previously announced Dynamic Glove card.
For Sueyoshi this will be his 5th defense of the title he won back in October 2017, when he stopped Ribo Takahata. Whilst Sakla will be looking to become a 2-weight Japanese champion, following a short reign as the Japanese Featherweight champion.
The bout will join another Super Featherweight title bout on the same show, as WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Joe Noynay (18-2-1, 7) defends his belt against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-0-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], making this a genuinely brilliant double header, especially for fans of the 130lb weight class.
Given the double header status of the card it's now assumed that the show will be aired live on G+, unlike recent shows which have been tape delay.
Earlier this month we reported that Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] was scheduled to defend his title in early September against Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (18-5, 15) [坂晃典].
Sadly that bout is now is now off, with Sueyoshi having suffered an injury to his left foot during training on Friday.
According to reports the bout isn't totally off but is likely to be postponed until Sueyoshi is fit.
Sueyoshi took to the Teiken website to stated "I am in a situation like this because of my injury during my practice, and I am really sorry for the inconvenience caused to many people. I'm really sorry for the inconvenience and I'm full of apologize. What I can do now is to cure my injury with all my strength, and to get back in a state of more than now. I will keep trying to get back,"
Despite Sueyoshi's injury the show on September 2nd will still go ahead with the rest of the card taking place as planned.
Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] would be returning to the ring on September 2nd to defend the belt against former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (18-5, 15) [坂晃典].
For the once beaten champion the bout will be his 5th defense, and will see him trying to reestablish himself after razor thin bouts with Hironori Mishiro and Ken Osato. He's been the champion since October 2017, but hasn't really looked like he has found a new gear since winning the title, and in many ways has sort of stagnated at the top of the domestic tree. Despite that stagnation it's hard to deny that he is a very talented fighter, and does have a rather awkward style. Interestingly, his only loss came early in his career to Masayuki Ito, and a rematch between the two would certainly be very interesting.
Whilst the champion has faltered he's been unbeaten since his loss to Ito, way back in 2012, and has gone 16-0-1 since then, proving himself to be a very hard man to beat.
Saka, who also suffered his first loss to Masayuki Ito in 2012, has had some mixed success. He went on a great run following a 2014 loss to Hiroshige Osawa, scoring wins against the likes of Ryuto Kyoguchi, Burning Ishii, Takafumi Nakajima and Shota Hayashi, with the win over Hayashi netting Saka the Japanese Featherweight title. Sadly though Saka's reign was a short one, and he was knocked out in bizarre fashion by Takenori Ohashi in his first defense, mishearing the clacker as the bell and taken clean out. A couple of bounce back wins, including one over Masanori Rikiishi, saw Saka begin to climb back up to where he was but an April loss to Joe Noynay, for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title.
On paper this will be Sueyoshi's first defense against a puncher, with Saka having very heavy hands, but the champion will still be strongly favoured, given his natural size advantage and his counter punching ability.
At the moment no other bouts for this card, which will be held at Korakuen Hall, have been announced.
Earlier today in Osaka fans saw Japanese-Filipino Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6) score one of his best wins to date, stopping former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (18-5, 15) [坂晃典] in the second round, to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title.
On paper the bout looked like it would be really competitive and really interesting. In fact if we're being honest it looked like one of the most intriguing match ups of the month to take place in Asia. Sadly though the bout it's self ended up being a bit of a mismatch.
Both men looked like they would try to establish their styles early on. A big left part way through the opening round dropped Saka, and it quickly became apparent that the visitor had the edge in skills, speed and had enough power to hurt Saka. More worryingly for Saka however was the fact he had no answer for Noynay's left. Despite getting up from the first knockdown Saka was down again before the opening round ended, and it was clear that he was out of his depth.
In round 2 Noynay would again land a big left hand. This time it didn't send Saka down, but did leave the Japanese punch wobbling around, and the referee jumped in to save him, rather than letting Noynay tag a defenseless Saka, who really couldn't handle the power of Noynay even when he had his defenses in tact.
After the bout Noynay spoke to the press and stated that Saka has powerful punch and was dangerous but grew in confidence after the first knockdown, before thanking Japan for the opportunity. Saka on the other looked incredibly disappointed with himself and his performance.
For fans wanting to watch this, it will be made available shortly on Boxing Raise.
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