Earlier today at the Aioi Hall in Kariya fight fans had the chance to see a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout, as defending champion Richard Pumicpic (21-9-2, 6) took on unbeaten Japanese challenger Musashi Mori (8-0, 5) [森 武蔵].
On paper this looked like a really interesting match up. The experienced champion had had a reputation as being a nightmare for Japanese fighters, holding Yohei Tobe to a draw, running Ryosuke Iwasa close in an OPBF title fight and scoring notable wins over Hisashi Amagasa and Yoshimitsu Kimura. Mori on the other hand was seen as one of the most promising Japanese teenagers, who had won the 2017 Super Featherweight All Japan Rookie of the Year.
Sadly though the bout failed to live up to the hopes we had all had. That's not to say it was bad, just ended in an inconclusive fashion.
Mori started really well, using his speed and aggression to keep Pumicpic from settling early. Pumicpic did try to attack behind his right hook when pressing forward, but he struggled to have major success early on due to the speed and movement of Mori. Pumicpic, knowing he was the slower man, tried to attack the body, and seemed to be willing to play the longer against the inexperienced and unproven Mori.
In round 5 Pumicpic suffered a cut from a head clash. He escaped the first inspection, but soon was stopped afterward as the doctor took a second look and waved the bout off, just shy of the half way mark of round 5. That took us to the scores cards which 47-49 to Mori, 48-47 to Pumicpic and 49-46 to Mori, who claimed the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title with a split technical decision.
Given the inconclusive ending, and how the bout had been competitive up to the finish, a rematch would make a lot of sense, though we suspect the two men will go in different directions, given there is a lot of talent and interesting match ups to make regionally at 126lbs. Pumipic deserves a rematch, given how he lost the title, but his career has often been one full of hard luck and unfortunate set backs. For Mori however today's win really boosts his standing in the sport and we wouldn't be surprised to see him in the WBO world rankings in the near future, helped significantly by today's regional title win.
Earlier today the brilliant Boxingraise revealed their scheduled for November, which will include 7 shows in total, one of which will be live.
The live show will be on November 10th and is a really good show headlined by Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一] fighting in an IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator against Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-2-1, 7). As well as that bout the card will also feature a strong support including Shuya Masaki (10-1, 5) [正木脩也] against Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹], a Japanese Youth Lightweight title bout between Shawn Oda (9-0, 8) [小田翔夢] would face off with Seiryu Toshikawa (10-4, 6) [利川聖隆] and a Japanese Youth Minimumweight title bout between Yuga Inoue (7-0-1, 1) [井上夕雅] and Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開].
The tape delay cards, which are usually put up 1 to 7 days after they take place, will include the November 16th card headlined by Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], defending against Akihiro Toya(8-4, 1) [戸谷彰宏]. The November 20th card "Victoriva Vol 3", which is headlined by Ayaka Miyao (22-7-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香] having her third bout with Nao Ikeyama (18-4-3, 5) [森脇恵子], for the WBA "interim" Atomweight title, and the November 25th show, headlined by Richard Pumicpic (21-8-2, 6) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight against unbeaten teenager Musashi Mori (7-0, 5) [森 武蔵].
Whilst none of these shows are the jaw dropping things that the end of year cards are set to be, they are solid shows for what is a genuinely busy month in Japan!
(Image courtesy of boxingreaise.com)
Earlier today fight fans in the Aioi Hall saw local hopeful Musashi Mori (7-0, 5) [森 武蔵] being given his sternest test to date, as he got pushed all the way by Filipino foe Allan Vallespin (12-3, 9).
On paper the bout was a step up in class for the 2017 Rookie of the Year Featherweight king and that showed to be the case in the ring. Vallespin not only showed the toughness to survive Mori's power but also the skills and physiclaity to ask the Japanese teenage serious questions.
Mori looked to use his jab early on but Vallespin managed to find a home for his right hand, and quickly got Mori's respect. The power of Vallespin made Mori cautious and of standing his ground and instead of tading blows Mori bgan to show his movement. The youngster picked up the pace in the middle rounds, trying to get in and out, but Vallespin pressured well and had some very good success in round 5.
With Mori being put under pressure he was forced to bite down on his gum shield and grit his teeth, which he did in the final few rounds, with the crowd on his side. It was this late determination that saw him just doing enough to take home the win, with majority decision, courtesy of scores 77-76, twice, and 77-77.
Following the bout Mori spoke about wanting to fight for titles, though we suspect today's performance has left him perhaps a fight or two away from being ready for one.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at the Aioi Hall in Kariya saw hard hitting teenage prospect Musashi Mori (6-0, 5) [森 武蔵] continue his rise, and build from his success as the 2017 Super Featherweight Rookie of Year triumph.
The 18 year old Japanese puncher needed just 112 seconds to despatch his Thai opponent, who looked completely out of his depth from the opening round. Mori's knocked down the Thai in the opening moments, and would go on to drop him two more times before the referee finally halted the mismatch.
After the bout the youngster took to the microphone in the ring and stated that the plan now is for him to return in July to take on an OPBF ranked opponent and move towards a title fight. It's unclear which OPBF ranked fighter he'll be matched against, but it's obvious that his promoted Yasuei Yakushiji has huge plans for him.
In the chief support bout fans saw the hard hitting Arashi Iimi (5-1, 5) [飯見嵐] score a 3rd round TKO win against Shuto Takase (4-2-1, 1) [高瀬衆斗]. This was the first fight for both men, since losing in the 2017 Rookie of the Year finals, with Iimi losing to Toshiki Shimomachi in a Super Bantamweight fight and Takase losing to Ren Sasaki in the Featherweight bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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