Heading into the weekend the hope was that WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵] would excite fans in Osaka, as he defended his belt against fellow Japanese fighter Takuya Mizuno (17-2-1, 14) [水野拓哉]. Sadly the bout failed to excite, and whilst Mori retained the title he did little to wow audiences in Japan's second biggest boxing market. It finally got going late on, but the early stages were certainly not the most exciting fans saw this weekend.
The fight featured a lot of clinching in the early going. Mori managed to get his jab going, and Mizuno tried responding with his straight, but the southpaw Vs orthodox stances of the two men did little to help a fight break out.
Thankfully round 5 did excite the fans, as the two men finally managed to have a exchange of power shots, and it seemed if a real fight was going to break out. That however was short lived as clinches began to plague the bout. Despite the clinches frustrating both men, and the audience, Mori did smartly use them as a platform to attack the body, and work on the inside, smothering the power of Mizuno and wearing him down at the same time.
In round 10 Mori landed the best shot of the fight, dropping Mizuno, and putting any questions of the scores beyond much doubt. Although was dropped he wasn't buzzed and returned to his feet quickly before the messy action resumed.
After 12 rounds the was no doubting Mori deserved the win, getting the decision with scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112, but in reality few will be wanting to watch that over again, when it arrives on Boxing Raise in the coming days.
Despite being a less than great fight it was a good win for Mori who stated that he was wanting to fight for a world title in 2020. It's hard to see him picking up a belt at the level next year, butt we do like the ambition of the 20 year old, who again fought with Ismael Salas in his corner just as he did back in September against Suntorn Panhom.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka Shinsei will promote the next card in their "Real Spirits" show. The card, overall, is a pretty forgettable one but the main event is a bout worthy of note, as WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) [森 武蔵] risks his unbeaten record and title against hard hitting challenger Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [水野拓哉].
For Mori this is the third defense of his title whilst Mizuno is looking to claim his second title, after having held a Japanese Youth title earlier in his career.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and neither man struggled with the 126lb limit, with both coming in around 125.75lbs, and looking in great condition.
Mori sounded confident and it seems clear the time he is spending in the US, learning from Ismael Salas, is helping him improve and develop drastically. Mizuno stated that he was sure he'd win, but this will be a big ask for the challenger, who hasn't looked impressive in bouts where he hasn't been able to blow opponents out.
For fans wanting to watch this the bout will be made available in the coming days on Boxing Raise.
Related - Fast rising Mori takes on hard hitting Mizuno in next title defense
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the Boxing Raise service announced their line up for December, and sadly it has no live show available this month. Thankfully however the service is still set to get a lot of action during the month, ranging from some great fights at domestic level, to a world title eliminator, and various things in between.
Firstly they will get the On Demand rights of the November 17th Sanei Pro Fight Boxing, which will be uploaded on December 5th.
The next show they have is the December 8th Real Spirits card, headlined by a brilliant WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout, pitting champion Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) [森 武蔵] against once beaten challenger Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [水野拓哉]. The card after that will be the Green Dream show on December 15th, headlined by a bout between Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3, 8) [竹原真敬] and Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍], who battle for the Japanese Heavyweight title.
The next card they will have will be the Kadoebi card from December 16th, headlined by OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (38-7-1, 32) [渡部あきのり] defending his title against Thai challenger Sitthidet Banti (12-5, 6).
Unsurprisingly the December 22nd Muto card will also be available on tape delay, with the card actually clashing with the Rookie of the Year final. This show is headlined by WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) [小林佑樹]defending his title against South Korean challenger Ki Chang Go (8-3, 4).
After Christmas we'll see a late present with the service bringing up the IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator between Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] and Israel Gonzalez (24-3, 11).
While it's disappointing to not have a live card this month, the quality of shows, overall, is solid and with all the other shows on television in December we are set to have a great run in to the end of the year!
Earlier today news broke from Japan regarding a future Shinsei Promoted card, revealing the date and one of the bouts from the card.
The show, "Real Spirits 66" will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka, on December 8th and will be headlined by a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout, pitting champion Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) [森 武蔵] against once beaten challenger Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [水野拓哉], in a mouth watering match up.
Of the two men it's Mori who has achieved more, though he will be going into perceived enemy territory for this match up.
The unbeaten champion turns 20 just a few days before the fight, and despite his youth he has already been very impressive. In 2017 he won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in the Super Featherweight division, whilst running up a 5-0 (4) record. Since then he has dropped down in weight and managed to win the WBO Asia Pacific title with a technical decision over Richard Pumicpic. He has defended the title once, with a split decision in a rematch over Pumicpic, and this looks set to be another very difficult defense of the title for the rising youngster.
Managed by former world champion Yasuei Yakushiji we've seen Mori show real development in recent bouts, whilst beginnign to work with the legendary Ismael Salas, but the youngster still has a lot of work to do before progressing beyond regional level. This bout will be a great chance to see just how much he has developed against a fellow hungry and young fighter.
The 24 year old Mizuno has been a pro for around 6 years, and he made his first mark back in the 2015 Rookie of the Year, reaching the West Japan Rookie of the Year final where he lost a close decision to Tenta Kiyose. Since then he has reeled off 10 straight wins, including victories over Yuki Iriguchi, Noboru Osato and Roli Gasca, and claimed the Japanese Youth title along the way. He has looked rather destructive, with heavy hands, but has got areas to work on, and when his power hasn't been able to win bouts he has struggled, narrowly getting over the line in his 3 decision wins, two of which were split decisions and the third was a majority decision.
Fighting out of the Matsuda gym Mizuno is one of the few fighters at the gym worthy of taking note of, but a win here will shine a light on the gym and help it attract other hopefuls going forward, making it a significant bout for the gym.
Interesting neither of the fighters in this bout are Shinsei promoted fighters, so we're expecting a strong under-card of Shinsei's fighters. It's also worth noting that last year Shinsei doubled up and ran 2 shows in December on the same day and this could be part of a similar plan from the promoter, who really did stack both cards last year.
WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) [森 武蔵] has had a tough time recently, struggling past Allan Vallespin and Richard Pumicpic, twice. Those wins were good, but the competitiveness of them suggested that maybe he was faltering in his development.
Earlier this year Mori, aged 19, began to train under the tutelage of Ismael Salas, doing a 40 day camp with the highly regarded trainer in the summer. That training seemed to pay off today with Mori adapting his style and showing more to his game than we'd seen in recent bouts.
The talented youngster was up against Suntorn Pahom (5-5, 4) and showed an intelligent approach to things as he broke down Suntorn, using combinations and and his physicality. It seemed he wanted some rounds but he would step up the pace in round 3, dropping Suntorn, and closing the show.
Following the bout Mori spoke to the press about how he's fighting less instinctively and more with a game plan thanks to Salas' guidance. It seems like the mental development of Mori's style is the key focus under Salas, and something the two will continue to work on before Mori get's another serious test. Mori has shown natural ability from early in his career, but a bit more guidance and development on how to make the most of his natural tools will certainly do him no harm, and that seems to be the idea behind working with Salas.
As for the visitor Suntorn's 4th stoppage loss, all of which have come when he's fought outside of Thailand.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
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