Yesterday we were informed that Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2, 4) [殿本恭平], the Japanese youth Featherweight champion would be defending his title on December 14th against Ryotaro Motohashi (9-1, 2) [本橋遼太郎].
For the 24 year old champion , who won the title in May with a majority decision over Hikaru Matsuoka, this will be his first defense of the title. He comes into this on the back of a 4 fight unbeaten run and hasn't lost since the 2014 Rookie of the Year final, where he lost a competitive decision to Reiya Abe.
The once beaten Motohashi lost in his third professional bout, suffering a decision loss to Koki Konoo, but has run up 7 straight wins since then including a good one against Noboru Osato back in April. This will be his first title bout but he is coming in with some form, and will be full of confidence thanks to his winning run.
This bout will take place at the Kishiwada City Gymnasium, in Osaka prefecture.
Earlier today in Sanda we saw a title change, as Japanese Youth Featherweight champion Hikaru Matsuoka (15-5-3, 2) [松岡輝] lost the belt to a determined Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2, 4) [殿本恭平], in a bloody and gruelling battle.
Matsuoka was looking for his first defense of the title and made a decent start, taking the first round, but from then on Tonomoto settled attacking the body well, and making the most of his jab. Matsuoka was competitive, but was coming off second best in the exchanges.
By the midway point Tonomoto was looking comfortable, but Matsuoka wasn't going to go down without a fight and put up a great effort in round 6, despite being dropped. Matsuoka also left Tonomoto cut in round 7, from a clash of heads. The face of the challenger was badly damaged during the final 2 rounds, with his left eye cut badly over the eye brow from the head clash and his right eye almost swollen shut from punches. Matsuoka tried to do all he could to pull the fight out of the bag and really went for it late, but it was too little too late.
In the end Tonomoto took the win with scores of 77-75, 76-75 and 75-75 to become the new champion.
After the win Tonomoto stated he was glad to score the win. Notably he wore the name of former gym mate Michitaka Muto [武藤道隆] on his shorts, in memory of Mutoh, who sadly committed suicide after a battle with mental illness in 2016.
Matsuoka stated that Tonomoto was strong, and seemed thoroughly disappointed in losing. Despite the loss it seems clear he will bounce back from this set back.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Sanda Hikaru Matsuoka (15-4-3, 2) [松岡輝] will make his first defense of the Japanese Youth Featherweight title. The talented and inform youngster from the Taisei gym will be up against will be up against 23 year old challenger Kyohei Tonomoto (8-2, 4) [殿本恭平] in what looks to be a brilliant match up on paper for a youth title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both made the 126lbs Featherweight limit for the bout.
On the scales the champion was around 125.75lbs, and looked in good shape, he showed no issues at all with the Featherweight limit and looked very comfortable. The challenger on the other hand was 126lbs dead on. He looked in solid shape himself and seemed really determined to make this most of this opportunity.
The champion won his title late last year, when he beat Noboru Osato, adding Osato to a list of victories that also includes wins over Richard Pumicpic and Yu Konomura. As for the challenger he will be looking to extend a 3 fight winning streak, that began in the wake a Rookie of the Year final loss in 2015 to Reiya Abe, a loss that has aged very well for Tonomoto.
Related - Matsuoka and Tonomoto battle for Featherweight crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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