Earlier today we reported that Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1, 12) [藤本京太郎] would be back in the ring on October 21st as he takes on Suthat Kalalek (13-10, 12) in a rematch of their 2018 clash. That bout won't be the main event of the card however, instead the main event of the show, Slugfest 11, will be WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title clash, between defending champion Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] and Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹], in what will be a rematch of their December 2016 clash.
The bout will be Sakashita's first defense of the title, which he won earlier this year when he stopped former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto.
The 28 year old Sakashita is probably best known for his 2014 loss to Suguru Muranaka for the Japanese Flyweight title. Following that bout he went 2-3 though has now rebuilt well with a 4-0-1 record in his last 5 bouts, including a draw with Takuya Kogawa and stoppage wins over Keisuke Nakayama and Masahiro Sakamoto. Although no world beater he is in good form and his last 3 performances have been among his best.
Interestingly the last man to Sakashita was Mochizuki, who beat him at the end of 2016 with a clear unanimous decision. Since that win he has gone 5-3, with losses to Keisuke Nakayama, Komgrich Nantapech and Junto Nakatani, being stopped by Nakatani in a Japanese title bout earlier this year. Despite the loss to Nakatani he does have some momentum coming into this bout thanks to a June win over Samartlek Kokietgym.
Kyotaro's bout isn't even the chief support bout of the card, instead that's a Japanese Light Welterweight title eliminator between Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-22-1, 5) [永田大士], in what is a really good match up and could end up being a bit of an instant classic. Aoqui is an aggressive, heavy handed and swift fighter and whilst Nagata isn't as quick or sharp he's tough, aggressive and his bout against Rikki Naito showed how much fun he can be to watch.
One other bout announced for this card will see Riku Nagahama (10-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] battling against Fumisuke Kimura (9-4-1, 6) [木村文祐] in an interesting 8 round contest.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans saw former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (16-4-1, 7) [高橋竜平] bounce back from his loss to TJ Doheny earlier in the year.
The Japanese fighter was up against Korean visitor Jin Wook Lim (10-7-5, 3) [임진욱] and the difference in class showed early on.
Takahashi's foot work and aggression was key in the early going, pressing the fight and forcing Lim to fight at a harder pace. Although Lim had some moment he taking more than he was giving and he was hurt in round 4 as Takahashi body shots began to take a toll. Those body shots continued in round 5 with Lim returning in his corner between rounds 5 and 6.
Also on this card was a win for Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹], who took an 8 round decision win over former world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (34-10-1, 12). The Thai visitor, who has previously fought Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue for world titles, was unable to really get into the fight against the bigger, stronger, more powerful Mochizuki, who won a very clear decision over the Thai veteran.
(Image courtesy of boxmnob.jp)
We've known for a while that there was plans to put on a card at Korakuen Hall on June 11th, though the full line up hasn't yet been announced. What we are hearing though are that their may be two former world title challengers in action on the card, as well as a fighter who is part of a very famous Japanese boxing family.
Sources in Japan and Korea have both stated that Ryohei Takahashi (15-4-1, 6) [高橋竜平], best known for losing in an IBF Super Bantamweight title fight to TJ Doheny earlier this year, will be on the show. The tough Takahashi is set to take on Korean Jin Wook Lim (10-6-5, 3) [임진욱], in what is a bit of a must win for both fighters.
Takahashi's shot at Doheny was an unexpected one, and despite losing he did show great fighting spirit and gave a solid effort against a man several levels better than himself. That loss to Doehny, an 11th round TKO, saw the end of a 5 fight winning run from Takahashi. Lim on the other hand was stopped last time out by Jess Rhey Waminal, who stopped him in 9 rounds in a bout for the "interim" WBA Asia Bantamweight title. That was his second stoppage loss, following a 2016 defeat to the then OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo.
The other former world title challenger pencilled in for the show is said to be Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (34-9-1, 12), who has previous fought Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue for world titles. Samartlek is pencilled in to face Naoki Mochizuki (15-4, 8) [望月直樹].
For Mochizuki the bout will be his first since losing to Junto Nakatani in a Japanese Flyweight title bout, back in February, Samartlek on the other hand has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, and is a long way removed from the fighter who went 11 rounds with Inoue back in 2014.
It should be noted that only 1 site has reported the Samartlek bout at the moment, and no site has reported both bouts, so it seems like there is still some confusion on the full line up. We do have have confirmation that 20 year old Kyonosuke Kameda (3-1, 2) [亀田京之介], the cousin to the 3 fighting world champions who share his surname, will be on the show. He will be up against Ryugo Ushijima (3-0, 2) [牛島龍吾], who impressed us earlier this year with his win against Shota Ogasawara. This is a tough bout for Kameda.
Earlier today we saw a new Japanese Flyweight champion being crowned as Junto Nakatani (18-0, 13) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-4, 8) [望月直樹] battled to fill the vacancy left by Masayuki Kuroda at the end of 2018. Both men were fighting in their first Japanese title bout, as part of the Champion Carnival, and it was an excellent match up on paper. The unbeaten wonder kid, who has a wonder boxer-puncher style, against the grizzled pressure fighter.
The fight looked one sided through the opening few rounds, with Mochizuki's pressure being ineffective and leading to him being blasted by straight shots from Nakatani, who looked sharp, crisp and effective. The gameplan from Mochizuki was simple, "get inside and take away Nakatani's reach", it was however a gameplan that was really tricky to put into effect, with Nakatani using his movement well, and often connecting clean as Mochizuki rushed in. Mochizuki was forced to pay for his aggression in round 3, when he was hurt late, and in round 4 Nakatani began to sit on his punches more, but couldn't stop the charge of Mochizuki.
In round 5 we saw Mochizuki have his best round, seemingly picking it up as Nakatani began to look a little tired. The pressure perhaps paying off at last. It was however a momentary blip and the following round Nakatani would slowly ramp things back up before having a dominant round 7, as he began to accept Mochizuki's pressure and return fire with uppercuts. They were the Achilles heel for Mochizuki who ate so many uppercuts in round 7 that he face began to really show the damage that he was taking.
By the end of round 7 Mochizuki would be bleeding from the nose, have a bad swelling around his right eye and look like a man who was too tough for his own good. That proved to be the case even more in round 8, when Nakatani continued to wail away with uppercuts, essentially telling Mochizuki that his only tactic wasn't going to be a smart one.
Mochizuki probably should have been saved by his corner between rounds 8 and 9 but instead he was sent out for 9, and ended up being stopped early in the round, with the referee essentially pulling the plug on his bout as soon as Mochizuki looked hurt. It was, perhaps, a poorly timed stoppage as Mochizuki had looked more hurt earlier in the bout, but in reality it was a perfect stoppage, knowing the bout was too one sided to allow it to continue.
It had been compelling, and competitive at times, but never did Nakatani look like he was going to lose. Instead this was his coronation and his next step towards a world title fight.
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall fight fans will see a new Japanese Flyweight champion being crowned, as the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] takes on Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] for the title that was vacated last year by Masayuki Kuroda.
Today Nakatani and Mochizuki took part in their weigh in, and both men successfully made weight.
On the scales Nakatani, the younger, taller man, was 112lbs exactly whilst Mochizuki was closet to 111.75lbs.
Nakatani was quoted as saying "I am happy that the title fight was decided at this timing, ...the Japanese throne is a step to go to the world" (Translated)
He also revealed that he had worked a hard training camp in December in the US and has improved his jab, developing the power behind it, and he will be looking to show that tomorrow.
Mochizuki on the other hand is quoted as telling the press "I know that it is said to be the under-dog from an objective viewpoint, but I'm motivated, to overturn the expectations."
For fans wanting to see this bout it will be aired live on G+ tomorrow.
Related- Nakatani and Mochizuki battle for Japanese title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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