Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Flyweight Masamichi Yabuki (7-3, 7) [佐藤政道] will be returning to the ring on January 27th for his first bout on international soil.
The heavy handed Japanese fighter will be travelling to Korea for the bout, which will see him facing off with #1 ranked Korean contender Min Chul Bae (5-1-1, 4) in what looks like a fire fight in the making.
Yabuki has lost 2 of his last 3, being taken out in a round in April by Seigo Yuri Akui and losing a split decision to Cuban talent Daniel Matellon, but has proven his ability with early wins against the likes of Rysouke Nasu, Masashi Tada and Gilberto Pedroza. At the age of 26 he is regarded as a domestic prospect, and given his power he is a very exciting fighter worthy of more fan interest than he has had so far.
Bae is less well know than Yabuki but has impressed on the Korean domestic scene, scoring wins over fellow domestic novices, such as In Soo Jang and Joo Ho Lee. Despite being regarded as the #1 domestic contender this is a big step up in class for him, and he will go in as the under-dog, despite home advantage.
We're awaiting more details in regards to this card, but we are excited to see what 2019 gives fight in Korea, as the country slowly seems to be building a bit of momentum in it's boxing scene.
Earlier today fight fans saw heavy handed Japanese hopeful Masamichi Yabuki (7-3, 7) [佐藤政道] battle against world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (8-0-2, 4), a Cuban based in Panama. The bout was a big step up in terms of skills for Yabuki, and it showed from early on.
Matellon, a former Cuban amateur standout, applied intelligent pressure on Yabuki in the opening rounds, mentally out foxing and out smarting the Japanese fighter, who simply looked bewildered. The variety of shots Matellon was throwing wasn't amazing, but every shot was crisp, accurate and sharp. Yabuki, when he fired off his own shots, struggled to land, and was made to look silly and clumsy during the first first few rounds.
The Japanese fighter started to take more risks as the bout went on, and began to find a home for his own shots in round 4, though they never had the impact that his record suggested they would. Instead of being hurtful they seemed to do little more than make the Cuban reset, or land one back as if to say that he wasn't scared of Yabuki's vaunted power.
As the bout went on Matellon slowed, almost allowing Yabuki back into the bout. He however fought like a man who knew just went to up the tempo and push Yabuki backwards.
At the end of the fight the Cuban celebrated, feeling comfortable with his performance, whilst Matellon looked like he knew he'd been taught a few lessons. The judges however were split. One judge had it 78-75 to Matellon, and other had it 77-76 to Yabuki, a genuinely bizarre card, whilst another had it 78-74 to Matellon, who took the well deserved split decision win.
Tomorrow we'll get the chance to see Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] battle against the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4), an unbeaten and slippery Cuban fighting out of Panama.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, with both making weight for the contest, and it looked like they were both well prepared for what is set to be an excellent match up, as part of a brilliant card.
On the scales neither man had any issue, both coming in under the limit, and both sounded very confident of picking up their next win.
Yabuki, who has been beaten by Junto Naktani and Seigo Yuri Akui, has only been beyond 2 rounds once in his 9 fight career and is a nasty puncher. Although a little bit crude he does tend to hurt opponents when he lands and has been developing his boxing skills in recent contests. Matellon on the other was a solid amateur, with around 300 bouts in the unpaid ranks. Both suggested they would control the pace of the bout and it seems like both men are happy to fight a technical contest here, something that we feel strongly favours Matellon.
For fans unable to make their way to the Korakuen Hall to watch this, the bout will be streamed live on Boxingraise.
(Image courtesy of boxmobb.jp)
Earlier today Boxingraise added a new slide to their homepage to reveal some rather exciting news...and that is that they will be live streaming Dangan 216 for their subscribers.
The card isn't a massive card stacked with world title fights, but it's an amazingly interesting one with a number of fantastic match ups that really does make it one worth tuning in for.
The card is a double championship show. The nominal main event is an IBF Atomweight title fight as Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] and Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] face off for the third time in their careers. These two ladies fought in June 2016, with Hanagata taking a decision win, then rematched in December that year, fighting to a draw. Since then both have established themselves as world class fighters. Kuroki had a 3 and a half year reign as the WBC female Minimumweight champion, recording 5 defenses before losing the title last December to Momo Koseki. Hanagata on the other hand would go 0-1-2 in her 3 world title bouts since that loss, twice drawing with Nao Ikeyama.
For us the real main event is the other part of the double championship banner, and will see OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹]. This is a truly mouth watering clash between two top young talents in a division that is often over-looked. For the heavy handed Koura the bout will serve as his third defense, and he has made it clear that he's wanting to fight in world title bouts sooner rather than later. For Tomita 20 year old Tomita the bout is a big step up from his recent competition, including Desierto Nagaike, but he was the 2016 All Japan Rookie of the Year, and has shown impressive talent. This could be something special.
It would be easy to just be excited about the two main events but the reality is that the card is deep. One of the under-card bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] battle against the always testing tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) whilst the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉] will face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5). These are two really solid match ups, given that Takenaka has been out of the ring since losing the OPBF title and that Yamashita is a never in a bad fight, even if that does come to his detriment at times.
Potentially the most attractive of the supporting bouts is the chief support bout, which is a mouth watering clash between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4). This will be a serious test of Yabuki's boxing ability and Matellon's chin. Neither of these are big names, even domestically, but that shouldn't take away from what looks an interesting contest, and allows Yabuki to build on his recent win over former world title challenger Gilberto Pedroza.
The remaining bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
Given that a lot of shows this month in Japan will be on tape delay this looks like an amazing way for Dangan to finish the month, and the card really is set to be something fantastic for subscribers of Boxingraise
It's fair to say we've been drip fed the match ups for Dangan 216, on September 29th. First came an interesting contest between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4), in what looked like a really good match up a solid test for the hard hitting Yabuki. A week or so after that announcement we saw two title bouts being added to the card, with Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] taking on Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] for the vacant IBF Atomweight title and OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹].
At the time of the title bout announcements we saw Dangan confirm that the under-card would also feature former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] and the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉]. Despite the confirmation neither man had their opponents announced.
Now however we have seen both of those men having their opponents named.
Takenaka, who will be fighting for the first time since suffering a gruesome facial injury in his title loss to Sa Myung Noh [노사명], will now be matched against the always tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8), who will be fighting in Japan for the third successive time, following a TKO loss to Masayuki Ito in March and an opening round technical draw to Shuma Nakazato in June. Despite his record Puton is always a good test and should give Takenaka a genuine fight here, especially given that Takenaka hasn't fought since June 2017.
As for Yamashita he will be stepping up in class to face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5), who the likes of Drian Francisco, Hernan Marquez, Roberto Vasquez and Koki Kameda. The experienced Filipino debuted back in December 2006 and is certainly experienced at a higher level than Yamashita, but will certainly be the under-dog against the incredibly aggressive and hard hitting Yamashita.
One other under-card bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
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