Earlier today Japanese fight fans in Osaka had the chance to see the debut of promising former amateur stand out Riku Kunimoto (1-0) [国本 陸], as he took on a Korean visitor, we believe to have been Kyung Wook Kwon (4-6-1).
The Japanese fighter had the perfect start to his professional career, as he dropped Kwon in the opening round. The Korean however showed his toughness to get back to his feet, but never really looked like he could get himself into the 6 round bout with Kunimoto being too sharp, too accurate and too good through out.
Kwon's chin served him well, but after 6 rounds Kunimoto had take a shut out over the visitor, winning with scores of 60-54 and 60-53, twice.
On the same card OPBF and JBC ranked Kota Fujimoto (8-2-2, 2) [藤本耕太] fought to a split decision draw with Tatsuya Terada (6-3-2, 1) [寺田達弥] over 8 rounds, Yosuke Taniguchi (7-5-1, 2) [谷口陽祐] scored a notable upset against OPBF ranked Shachihoko Dragons Keita (8-6-4, 1), stopping him inside the opening round.
The main event of the show saw WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion Masahiro Sakamoto (13-1, 9) [坂本真宏] score a 5th round TKO win over Korean visitor Ki Chang Go (6-3, 2) in a non-title bout. This was Sakamoto's 5th stoppage win since a 2016 decision loss to Sho Kimura and it's pretty clear that he's hunting a rematch with Kimura for the future.
(Image courtesy of bopxmob.jp)
Today at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center fight fans saw the promising Masahiro Sakamoto (12-1, 8) [坂本 真宏] record his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title, with a 6th round win against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24).
The 27 year old Osakan champion found a home for his left hook and jab from the opening moments and by the end of the opening round he was down, giving the champion the huge boost of knowing he could hurt the veteran.
Pigmy was again hurt, badly, in round 3 from a body shot and it was clear he fet the effects of the shot, well after the original blow as he fought like a man in retreat from then on. The body become a target for Sakamoto who scored a second knockdown in round 6 with a body shot. That knockdown forced Pigmy's corner to throw in the towel and stop the bout with their man a beaten fighter.
With the win Sakamoto records not only his first defense but also takes a huge step toward getting a world title fight, and potential rematch with WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura, the only man to have beaten Sakamoto so far. As for Pigmy this loss, his 10th, could well be the end and it's hard to see what the 36 year old can do to stay relevant in the sport now.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On April 1st will see Masahiro Sakamoto (11-1, 7) [坂本 真宏] make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title, as he takes on Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-9-2, 24) in Osaka.
Today, well ahead of that fight, he attended a special event held in his honour as celebration of his title win last last December, when he stopped another Thai veteran, Kwanthai Sithmorseng (50-5-1, 27) [ขวัญไทย ศิษย์หมอเส็ง].
The event saw the champion show his humble side as he spoke in front of fellow university graduates from the Osaka City University, as well as the head of the university. As part of his speech he thanked the 100 or so who were there to support him and his career.
The event saw Sakamoto's promoter, Takashi Edagawa of Mutoh promotions, ask for continued support for his man as he looks to move towards becoming a world champion, and from what we understand he would be the first from the university. With the fighter himself stating that he wanted to win both the Japanese and world titles in the future, to go along side his Asia Pacific belt.
(Image courtest of bioxmob.jp)
Yesterday the Mutoh gym announced two titles fights for April, both featuring their regional champions defending their titles.
The first of those bouts will take place on April 1st in Osaka and will see Masahiro Sakamoto (11-1, 7) [坂本 真宏] defending his WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title gainst Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-9-2, 24), a former 2-time world title challenger. The Thai veteran will 36 entering this bout and is likely to know that a loss will be the end of any dreams to win a world title. For Sakamoto the bout is expected to open the door to a rematch with WBO Flyweight world champion Sho Kimura, the only man to have beaten him.
The other will take place on April 4th in Tokyo, and will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (28-12, 14) defending his title against Takafumi Nakajima (26-9-1, 13) [中嶋 孝文], in a previously reported bout that wasn'tactually announced until yesterday. The hope for Yap is to move towards a world title fight in the near future whilst Nakajima will know that he needs a win to remain relevant at title level.
The first of the shows is expected to be on the Boxingraise website whilst the second will likely be put online via the Asign Boxing youtube account in days after the fight, for fans wanting to watch.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last November we saw Masahiro Sakamoto (11-1, 7) [坂本 真宏] suffer his first defeat, losing a close decision to Sho Kimura in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. Today he got his second shot at the belt, as he took on former world champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng (50-5-1, 27) [ขวัญไทย ศิษย์หมอเส็ง].
Today Samakoto claimed the title with a dominant performance and managed to stop the Thai in the 3rd round, giving Kwanthai his 4th stoppage defeat and potentially ending the Thai's long career.
Sakamoto got on the front foot early, using his jab well and seemed like a man fighting with a point to prove. The Thai looked to fight back, and threw some big looking hooks, but struggled to connect with anything meaningful as Sakamoto took the first two rounds.
In round 3 the Japanese fighter detonated a hook on Kwanthai which hurt the visitor and a follow up sent him down shortly afterwards. Kwanthai showed his championship spirit by rising up off the canvas, but was down again soon afterwards and counted out.
With the win Sakamoto will likely now begin a chase of WBO champion Kimura, seeking a rematch with the man who beat him last year. As for Kwanthai this is likely to be his last notable bout.
At 33 years old and fighting well above his best weight his career Kwanthai really doesn't have much left to offer the sport, and this was his 3 loss in 7 bouts, having previously been 45-2-1.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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