Earlier today at the Kagoshima Arena, Kagoshima fight fans had the latest show in the Kagoshima Soul Boxing. Sadly it lead to mixed success for locally born fighters.
In the main event fans saw Naoya Haruguchi (15-10, 6) [春口直也] suffer an upset loss to the often-overlooked Filipino Lito Dante (15-10-4, 7).
Dante, applied pressure from early on and really attacked the body of Haruguchi, who tried to box and move in the early going. As the fight went on Haruguchi began to fight back with body shots of his own before starting to wilt late on.
Amazingly one judge gave Haruguchi the bout, scoring it 97-95 in his favour, though they were over ruled by the other two judges who scored the contest 96-94 to Dante. Even those cards to the Filipino visitor seemed like they had been influenced by the home town crowd cheering on Haruguchi, who was second best through much of the fight.
The co-feature was better for locals fans as Kagoshima born Tokyo based fighter Miyo Yoshida (11-1) [吉田 実代] made her first defense of the OPBF female Bantamweight title. The talented Yoshida, who holds both the OPBF and Japanese females titles, scored a clear decision win over Thai challenger Phannaluk Kongsang (4-7-1, 2).
Yoshida, who had only won the title in August, out worked and out fought Phannaluk, though credit to the Thai who showed no quit and always looked to try and fight back against the talented, but light punching, champion.
On August 20th we saw Miyo Yoshida (10-1) [吉田 実代] become a double champion, as she unified the Japanese female Bantamweight title with the OPBF female title. Despite that bout only taking place a few days ago Yoshida's first OPBF defense is already set, and will take place on September 30th in her birth place of Kagoshima.
Although boxrec doesn't list her opponent for the bout, which will take place on Kagoshima Soul Box Vol 8, we've been informed that it will Thai fighter Phannaluk Kongsang (4-6-1, 2).
The Thai is 0-2 in Japan, having lost to Yuko Henzan and Tamao Ozawa, and will clearly be seen as a safe opponent for Yoshida, which may explain why she has had such a quick turn around following her title win. Notably this will be the Thai's third shot at a world title, having twice fought Henzan for the OPBF Bantamweight title fighting to a loss and a draw.
Notably the bout between Yoshida and Phannaluk will only be the card's chief support bout, with the main event being a 10 round non-title contest, between Naoya Haruguchi (15-9, 6) [春口直也] and Filipino Lito Dante (14-10-4, 7). This will be Haruguchi's first bout since he lost a 10 round decision in July against Tatsuya Fukuhara, though he did notably defeat Filipino Jeffrey Galero back in March, in his only bout against a Filipino.
Dante on the other hand will be fighting in Japan for the second time, having previously had a technical draw with Takumi Sakae. Although his record doesn't look amazing he has mixed with very good company, including the likes of Vic Saludar, twice, Simphiwe Khonco, Tibo Monabesa and Jesse Espinas.
One other bout on this card that's worth noting is an all Japanese bout between between Wolf Nakano (4-7-4) [中野玄悠] and Mako Matsuyama (8-13-2, 3) [松山真], in what should be a fun contest between exciting but limited fighters.
Back in May we learned that Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (14-2-1, 10) [久我 勇作] would be making his first defense of the title on July 29th against the under-rated Ryoichi Tamura (8-2-1, 5) [田村 亮一], in what looks like a really good match up against two under-rated and really hungry young fighters looking to prove a point. Today it was revealed that that bout won't be the only title bout on the show.
The other title bout will see the really promising and fast rising Tsubasa Koura (10-0, 7) [小浦 翼] face off with Filipino foe Lito Dante (13-8-4, 7) for the OPBF Minimumweight title, which has been vacated by future world title challenger Hiroto Kyoguchi (7-0, 6) [京口 紘人].
For Koura the bout will be his first title bout, of any kind, as he looks to build on being the 2015 Minimumweight Rookie of the Year, and subsequent stoppage run which has included a 2nd round TKO over former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero. Although he's on a 4 fight stoppage run this is a step up in class in some ways with Dante being much better than his record suggests, and much tougher than fan may suspect. Given that Koura has fought just 31 rounds in his career, and just 10 rounds since the start of 2016, he'll likely be getting a genuine stamina test here.
Dante isn't the greatest fighter but he has never been stopped and has faced the likes of Siyabonga Siyo, Vic Saludar, Takumi Sakae, Jessie Espinas and Simphiwe Khonco. He is a handful at Oriental level and certainly won't be getting in the ring with Koura to fall over. In fact he'll travel seeing this bout as a chance to win the Oriental title and move towards a potential world title fight down the line.
The two bouts will be the headline bouts at Dangan 189 and will be shown on Boxingraise, giving subscribers another treat in what looks set to be a great month for Japanese fight fans.
Earlier today fight fans at the Kyushu Kyoritsu University, in Kitakyushu saw a small but notable card being promoted by Orio Boxing.
The headline bout of the card saw former Japanese Minimumweight title challenger Takumi Sakae (13-1-1, 8) [栄 拓海] facing off against upset minded Filipino Lito Dante (11-6-4, 6) in what looked like a mismatch on paper, though was regarded as a good match by those in the know.
The bout started in an exciting fashion and the fight looked like it could become a a genuine treat for the fans with both biting down hard on their gum shields in round 2. Sadly as they exchanged punches their heads came together giving Sakae a nasty cut above the left eye.
Despite the cut the two men continued to wage war on each other, though unfortunately the cur began to worsen and in round 4 the cut had got to the point where the bout had to be called off, forcing a technical draw.
Given the action and the competitive nature we wouldn't be surprised by a rematch, however for Sakae the result is a second successive set back following a loss earlier this year to Japanese champion Tatsuya Fukuhara [福原 辰弥]. For Dante the bout is his first draw since he began his career with a strange 3-0-3 record.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!