Earlier today fight fans in Thailand, and those who were watching on Thairath, had the chance to see a pretty interesting card, headlined by a really good match up between Thai veteran Mike Tawatchai (45-12-1, 28) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา] and Japanese visitor Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平].
On paper this was a match up that looked likely to be entertaining, though few would have expected what we got, with Takahashi fightign at an insane pace always pressureing the Thai and forcing a real action bout. The Thai looked to avoid the war but kept getting dragged into a fight, and it was a fight he struggled to ever shine in, with the visitor out working him, out fighting him and refusing to change tactics.
In the end Takahashi's work rate sealed the deal and forced the judges to give him the win, with scores of 117-111, twice, and 116-112.
For Takahashi this is a huge win and could help him take a step towards a potential world title fight. It also leaves Tawatchai needing a win in September, when he returns to the ring against Muhamad Ridhwan inm Singapore.
The card also featured a second win for a Japanese fighter with Hironobu Matsunaga (13-1, 7) [松永 宏信] scoring a 4th round TKO win against Patomsuk Pathompothong (34-9-1, 21) [ปฐมศึก เกษตรพัฒนา]. The only real relief for Thai's was Downua Ruawaiking (12-0, 9), who continued his unbeaten run with a 6th round KO win against Filipino foe Jason Egera (23-20-2, 11).
Yesterday we were informed that Thai veteran Mike Tawatchai (45-11-1, 28) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา] woud be back in the ring on June 20th to make his next defense of the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title. His opponent for the bout wil be Japanese visitor Ryohei Takahashi (14-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平], who fights in Thailand for the second time.
The Thai 32 year old is still in the IBF top 15, and is holding on to that rankings thanks to the regional title, but will know that his dreams of a world title fight are one loss away from ending. In fact he'll likely know that he's lucky to even be in consideration given recent losses to Shingo Wake, Yukinori Oguni, Tomoki Kameda and TJ Doheny, all in the last 3 years.
Despite picking up a lot of losses Tawatchai has actually got a brilliant record in Thailand, a 44-1-1 record at home.
The 28 year old Takahashi is 1-1 outside of Japan, having lost a decision to Andrew Moloney in Australia back in 2016 and picked up a win against a limited Thai last year. Coming in to this he is riding a 3 fight stoppage run and will feel confident of a victory here.
This bout will be televised by Thai Channel 32, Thairath TV, who have often streamed boxing live on their youtube channel.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans got the long awaited ring return of fomer WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (33-2, 20) [亀田和毅], who foufght in Japan for the first time in more than 3 years. Although away from Japan for 3 years his continued did famously continue in the west with a number of fights aired on American TV, including his 2014 stoppage win over Pungluang Sir Singyu in Las Vegas.
On his Japanese ring return he took on tough Thai surivor Mike Tawatchai (42-10-1, 25) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา] and dominated the bout, looking like a man who was looking to prove a point.
From the first round Kameda made it clear he was the faster, more skilled and more able fighter, using his speed and skills to land on Tawatchai with ease. The head and body were both clear targets for Kameda, though to credit the Thai he did well to protect himself and used his negativity to prevent any serious harm in the early stages.
In round 6 Kameda had his biggest break through, dropping Tawatchai with a body shot, but the Thai gritted his teeth and managed to not only get up but also have a brief moment of success. That success was however short lived and Kameda quickly resumed control, hunting a stoppage late in the bout. Tawatchai's toughness, bravery and defense were the only things preventing the stoppage for the Japanese fighter.
After the bout Kameda through his name into the hat for a world title fight in the now packed Super Bantamweight division, which could have two Japanese world champions in the months to come, with Yukinori Oguni being the IBF and Shun Kubo challenging WBA "regular" champion Nehomar Cermeno in April. He will also be aware that Rey Vargas would make for an interesting opponent for the WBC title whilst WBO champion Guillermo Rigondeaux is known in Japan following his 2014 bout with Hisashi Amagasa, and notably that bout was promoted by Kameda's current promoter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans will get the chance to see the long awaited Japanese ring return of former world champion Tomoki Kameda (32-2, 20) [亀田和毅], who will battle with Thailand's Mike Tawatchai (42-9-1, 25) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา]. The bout is particularly notable as it seems Tomoki fighting in Japan for the first time in more than 3 years and his first bout at the Korakuen Hall.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both made the contracted weight.
A brilliant conditioned Tomoki was 123lbs for the contest, which is one of the highest of his career. The weight seems to suggest that Tomoki is now going to be a fully fledged Super Bantamweight and it looks clear that he will not be dropping back to Bantamweight, where he won the WBO world title.
As for Tawatchai the Thai weighed in at around 122¼lbs, which is lighter than he was for last year's loss to Yukinori Oguni, but heavy than he was for losses to Shingo Wake and Daiki Kameda, with all 3 of those bouts taking place in Japan in the last 6 years.
For fans wanting to see this contest it will be shown on the A-sign Boxing service as part of A-sign Bee vol 1.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
It's fair to say that 2017 hasn't been a great year for video website Asign Boxing, with their first show of the year losing it's main event on the day before the card and their second show being less than enticing. Despite the slow start to the year it does look like they are set for some March madness with two big shows taking place in the space of a few days.
The first of those shows, Asign Bee 1, takes place on March 10th and the second, creatively named Asign Bee 2, takes place on March 13th.
The first of those shows features a host of notable names. The main event will see former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (29-2-2, 19) [赤穂 亮] battle Yushi Tanaka (19-1-3, 13) [田中 裕士] for the Japanese Bantamweight titlewhilst supporting bouts will see former world champion Tomoki Kameda (32-2, 20) [亀田和毅] face Thaland's Mike Tawatchai (42-9-1, 25) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา] and Hisashi Amagasa (31-6-2, 20) [天笠 尚] take on veteran professional Kinshiro Usui (27-4, 11) [臼井 欽士郎].
The second of the shows will be headlined by Naoko Fujioka (15-2, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子] battling against Australian Louisa Hawton (7-0, 3) for the WBO female Light Flyweight title. That card has several notable suporting boutsof it's own, though not quite as good as the first show.
Asign have offered the two cards for sale at ￥700 each, about £5.00 or $6.20, however they also sell the two shows together for a really good value ￥1000,about £7 or $8.80. Although pracier than a month of Boxingraise their is real value here in paying for both shows together!
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