In the first of 3 major bouts on Boxing Raise today we saw a Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator, as the exciting youngster Kai Ishizawa (6-1, 6) [石澤開] battled former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口 将隆] in what turned out to be an incredibly, action packed war.
The first round saw both men have some notable success. Taniguchi looked to keep the bout at range, but was dragged inside and rocked as Ishizawa's power proved to be legitimate. To his credit Taniguchi stayed up-right, just, but was clearly hurt for a second. He then showed more respect to the youngster and began to fight at mid-range, and had real success with his straight land and 2-handed combinations that left Ishizawa unable to get inside.
Round 2 was a clear one for Taniguchi, who controlled it through out and he was even more dominant in a brilliant third round that saw him cutting Ishizawa's right eye and hammering him with straight left hands and keeping Ishizawa handcuffed as he set a high work rate. Not everything Taniguchi was thrown with intent, but it kept the youngster at range and prevented Ishizawa from getting inside, where he needed to be.
After really taking a lot of punishment Ishizawa managed to have some success in round 4, as Taniguchi began to get a little too close. Taniguchi was momentarily rocked, but came back, doing enough to win the round and learn his lesson, Ishizawa wasn't done. That lesson would be shown again in round 5, as Ishizawa began to come on strong, and Taniguchi seemed to begin to slow. Late in the round an Ishizawa combination sent Taniguchi down, securing a huge knockdown for the youngster and began a huge momentum shift.
The confidence that Ishizawa's knockdown had injected into his fighting showed up early in round 6 as he amped up the pressure, and began to find Taniguchi's head with clean, hard shots. Taniguchi fought back, bravely, but was now fighting Ishizawa's fight as the two traded on the inside, in what was a disgustingly brutal and beautifully violent round that saw both men being rocked! At one point it seemed Ishizawa was about done, but he roared back in the final moments. The brutality and all action nature of round 6 continued into the 7th, it was less a new round and instead a continuation of what the fight had become. Sadly for Ishizawa it seemed that his energy reserves were running low and Taniguchi took back control, relying on his experience to out box, out punch and out battle the younger man.
Knowing he was behind Ishizawa fought round 8 like a man who knew he had to score a KO. He was taking risks, bringing pressure and letting his hands go. He knew he had to see off Taniguchi to get the win, and he wasn't going to go down without trying. Taniguchi however wasn't going to roll over and instead he stood his ground and played his part in another thrilling round that saw him end the contest with a huge combination. Taniguchi could have ran, could have played safety, but instead he fought like he also wanted a knockout and gave the fans another brilliant round.
As we went to the bell Taniguchi celebrated, knowing he'd done enough whilst Ishizawa went back to his corner, accepting the defeat before it was official. The scores confirmed what we already knew, Taniguchi had won, and secured himself a Japanese title fight in 2020, at the Champion Carnival. The scores were 77-74, twice, and 78-74, all in his favour.
For Taniguchi the win keeps him in the title mix whilst Ishizawa will bounce back from this loss with a lot of questions answered. Sadly Ishizawa's lack of experience showed through, but few can his effort. For both fighters this was a painful war, but one that will have done them no harm at all with fans. A genuine fight of the year contender, and round 6 should be in the conversation as the best round of the year. A truly incredible fight.
Tomorrow subscribers to the Boxing Raise service will get the chance to see an excellent Japanese title eliminator, as the exciting Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] takes on former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆]. The winner of the bout will enter 2020 as the mandatory challenger, and will compete in the Champion Carnival next year.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both looked in amazing condition for the bout, with both looking genuinely shredded.
On the scales Ishizawa, the short of the two men, was bang on the 105lb limit whilst Taniguchi was a little bit lighter, coming in closer to 104.7lbs for the contest.
At the weigh in Taniguchi revealed his weight loss had gone better this time than it had earlier in the year, when he lost to Vic Saludar. He seemed to be driven by his loss to Saludar and was determined to get back to winning ways. Ishizawa described his condition as perfect and whilst he added he wasn't too bothered about the perfect KO record he's got, he was focus on having an exciting fight, and doesn't want to be involved in a boring contest just because it's at Minimumweight. Having watched Ishizawa's rise it's fair to say he's yet to have a boring fighter thank to his aggression, power and style, and we don't see that changing here.
Related - Taniguchi and Ishizawa meet in Japanese title eliminator
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In August Boxing Raise, sadly, under-delivered. For September however it looks like they are looking to make up for that a poor month with 9 cards in total being added to their service, including 4 that are going to be made free to none member and 5 that are members only, with 1 card being live.
The first of the cards will be the September 12th Victoriva 5 show, featuring 2 female world title fights. The service will then get 5 of the cards from from September 15th and 16th. On paper those cards aren't amazing, but 2 of them are Rookie of the Year cards, which will be available for free, another is headlined by Masanori Rikiishi (6-1, 4) [佐藤政法] battling Freddy Fonseca (27-3-1, 18) and another will be headlined by WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-10-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending against South Korean puncher Yang Hyun Min (8-2, 7) [양현민].
Those shows are expected to be posted through the month, despite all taking place in such a limited amount of time.
We get the one live card for the month on September 21st and it's a cracker. It will feature a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout, pitting champion Yusaku Kuga (18-3-1, 11) [久我勇作] against Yosuke Fujihara (18-6, 5) [藤原陽介], a WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title fight between Tsubasa Murachi (4-0, 3) [村地翼] and former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (30-3-1, 21), and an excellent Japanese title eliminator between Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆]. This is a great card, and we're incredibly grateful for the fact it will be streamed live.
We then end the month with two more Rookie shows, that will be made free to view, likely in early October.
This is a great month to be a subscriber, and a great month even if your not, thanks to all the free content the service is making available!
Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
A day of top sparring at the Ohashi Gym, Mr Ohashi states no decision has been made on WBSS final date
Today was a genuine crazy day at the Ohashi gym at the media were able to attend a packed session with a host of notable names involved.
The biggest name there was, of course, Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] who was preparing for this WBSS final bout with Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26), more about that bout in a few monemts. The 3 weight world champion was sparring with amateur standout Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐], who is one of Japan's big hopes for the Tokyo games next year. Inoue hadn't really sparred over the last few months, focusing on general fitness since the Rodriguez bout in May, but spent 4 rounds with Morisaka today, and looked devastating when he moved through the gears.
Noaya Inoue was one of two world class Bantamweight's with the Inoue name sparring in front of the media, with younger brother Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真], who is preparing to face WBC champion Nordine Oubaali (16-0, 12), also in action. The talented, though often over-looked Takuma, did 4 rounds of sparring with former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆]. Whilst Takuma has a bout with Oubaali to prepare for, Taniguchi has a major bout of his own to get ready for, as he meets Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] in a Japanese title eliminator in September.
Taaniguchi's stablemate Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0, 9) [京口 紘人], the WBA "super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight champion, was also in the Ohashi gym. Kyoguchi will be defending his titles on October 1st against Tetsuya Hisada (34-9-2, 20) [久田 哲也] and today prepared for that bout by sparring with excellent Japanese youngster Taku Kuwahara (5-0, 4) [桑原拓]. Kuwahara will have taken a lot from the spar and it was particularly notable given he faces former Kyoguchi opponent Jonathan Refugio (21-6-5, 7) in September. Interestingly Kyoguchi admitted he got hit too much, with Kuwahara bringing the pressure in their spar.
Of course with this being the Ohashi Gym, and with Naoya Inoue being a notable figure, with a big bout on the horizon the press asked Hideyuki Ohashi about the recent rumour for the WBSS final. The story doing the rounds is that it will place on November 7th at the Saitama Super Arena. Mr Ohashi told Sankei Sports that "it has not been decided yet" whilst Nikkan sports have him quoted as simply saying "It is November", something that was already confirmed back at a recent Ohashi in July. Whether this was just Mr Ohashi keeping his cards close to his chest until an official announcement, which is expected to take place after the Bon Festival next week, or whether their are still details to iron out is unclear.
Although November 7th, a Thursday, is now widely reported it is worth noting that there are two bank holidays in Japan in November. The first of those is Monday 4th and the second is Saturday 23rd, giving some interesting alternatives
(Photo - nikkansports.com / Shinji Kawada)
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