Earlier today in Japan fight fans saw veteran Motoki Sasaki (42-11-1, 26) [佐々木 基樹] suffer a clear decision loss to 24 year old hopeful Genki Ishikawa (9-1, 5) [石川元希], who secured his biggest win to date.
The talented youngster got off to a good start, controlling the tempo and space of the bout with his sharp southpaw jab, and clearly took the opening round against the older, and much smaller, man. Sasaki, to his credit, bounced back well and seemed to claim the following two round, as he began to close the distance and cut Ishikawa around the right eye in what would be his biggest moment of success.
With a bad cut, that would bleed down his face for the rest of the bout, Ishikawa knew that he couldn't things and began to fight smartly. He uses his younger, fresher, legs to legs well and landed power straight left hands and sharp right hooks to keep Sasaki from ever forcing a war, until round 6 when it was too late for the veteran.
At the end of the bout Ishikawa was the winner on all 3 cards, winning with scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 58-57.
Following the bout Sasaki announced his retirement, as if to accept that he's no longer got what it takes to be a champion.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see veteran Motoki Sasaki (42-10-1, 26) [佐々木 基樹] battle against 24 year old hopeful Genki Ishikawa (8-1, 5) [石川元希].
Today the two men took part in their weigh in.
The 41 year old Sasaki was just over 134.25lbs but looked in great shape and like a hungry fighter, despite the age and wear and tear. It's clear that he's determined to come out and top and he even twent as far as to suggest that if he loses here he'll probably retire, and this time it'll likely be for good.
The younger, taller, Ishikawa, was just just under the Lightweight limit. It was a career highest weight, but one that seemed to suggest he was heading tot he Lightweight division and a weight that certainly didn't look bad on his frame as he towered over Sasaki. He'll see this bout as a potental to make a name for himself and it's clear he's coming in hungry and determined, knowing what a huge opportunity this bout is.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've long known that Japanese Middleweights Makoto Fuchigami (23-11, 13) [淵上 誠] and Tomohiro Ebisu (16-4, 16) [胡 朋宏] would be facing off on December 24th in a bout for the "interim" Japanese Middleweight title.
Today saw more fighters involved in that card being announced.
One of those in action will be 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (28-2-2, 18) [赤穂 亮] who will be fighting in an 8 rounder, against a yet to be named opponent. This will be his third bout since his 2015 loss to Pungluang Sor Singyu and it'sclear he's hoping to stay busy with this being his third bout in the space of about 7 months, and it's likely he'll get something notable in 2017.
Another is former world title challenger, and 41 year old veteran, Motoki Sasaki (41-10-1, 25) [佐々木 基樹] who looks to secure his third win of the year as he takes on Yuki Kimura (6-8-1, 5) [木村 勇樹] and looks to take another step towards a potential title fight in 2017.
Although strongly favoured here Sasaki is fighting for just the third time in 4 years and is fighting for the first time since his 41st birthday. Kimura on the other hand is "just" 32.
The bouts are all expected to be featured on A-sign boxing in a card that, if it has a 24 hour delay like others on the service, will be a pleasant Christmas gift for boxing fans in Japan, and other users of A-sign boxing.
Earlier today Japanese fans in Tokyo had the chance to see former world title challenger Motoki Sasaki (41-10-1, 25) [佐々木基樹] battle against Japanese ranked Yuya Okazaki (11-9-2, 4) [岡崎 祐也]. On paper the bout might not make for interesting reading but Sasaki, a 40 year old fighting for just the second time in 3 years, was taking on a real challenge and a man who recently challenged for an OPBF title, and given that Sasaki is still a popular fighter the bout was a notable one in Japan.
Given that Okazaki was several inches taller and 11 years younger than Sasaki something this would be too much for the veteran. In the end however it was Sasaki's toughness that took him to a victory in an 8 round slugfest,
The fight started relatively controlled but round by round the action became hotter and more violent, with Sasaki cutting the distance and forcing the fight up close, whilst Okazaki responded with hooks and uppercuts. At the end however their was no doubting that Sasaki landed the better shots, forced the action and controlled the bout whilst Okazaki was being forced to respond to the aggression of Sasaki.
After 8 rounds all 3 judges scored the bout for the veteran with cards of 78-75, twice, and 78-74 who we suspect will be rewarded with a Japanese ranking when the rankings are next published, towards the end of this month. For Okzaki however this likely pushes him well away from a title fight, and leaves him 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts.
For fans wishing to watch this bout, it will be on Boxingraise tomorrow.
Tomorrow Japanese fans will see popular 40 year old Motoki Sasaki (40-10-1, 25) [佐々木基樹] face off against Japanese ranked Yuya Okazaki (11-8-2, 4) [岡崎 祐也]. The two men, fighting at Light Welterweight, both made weight today for what is a genuinely intriguing bout.
On paper Sasaki should be the favourite, just from comparing records, however he is 40 years old and has only fought 6 professional rounds in the last 3 years, easily seeing off Tatsuya Miyazaki back in February. The veteran is also the naturally smaller man, as seen by the fact Okazaki towered over him at the weigh in.
Whilst Sasaki is an inactive old man he is a teak tough fighter who gives anyone problems and won't be coming in to the bout intimidated, in fact he seems to be viewing this bout as a potential stepping stone towards a title bout.
Okazaki amazingly began his career as a very tall Featherweight but quickly grew into his body and has fought as high as Welterweight. His crowning achievement so far is beating Daiki Koide and he has also fought for an OPBF title, losing to Keita Obara last year. Aged 29 he's much younger than Sasaki but given his his losses through his career he is limited and hasn't won a bout since November 2014.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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