Today at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center fight fans saw the promising Masahiro Sakamoto (12-1, 8) [坂本 真宏] record his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title, with a 6th round win against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24).
The 27 year old Osakan champion found a home for his left hook and jab from the opening moments and by the end of the opening round he was down, giving the champion the huge boost of knowing he could hurt the veteran.
Pigmy was again hurt, badly, in round 3 from a body shot and it was clear he fet the effects of the shot, well after the original blow as he fought like a man in retreat from then on. The body become a target for Sakamoto who scored a second knockdown in round 6 with a body shot. That knockdown forced Pigmy's corner to throw in the towel and stop the bout with their man a beaten fighter.
With the win Sakamoto records not only his first defense but also takes a huge step toward getting a world title fight, and potential rematch with WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura, the only man to have beaten Sakamoto so far. As for Pigmy this loss, his 10th, could well be the end and it's hard to see what the 36 year old can do to stay relevant in the sport now.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday the Mutoh gym announced two titles fights for April, both featuring their regional champions defending their titles.
The first of those bouts will take place on April 1st in Osaka and will see Masahiro Sakamoto (11-1, 7) [坂本 真宏] defending his WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title gainst Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-9-2, 24), a former 2-time world title challenger. The Thai veteran will 36 entering this bout and is likely to know that a loss will be the end of any dreams to win a world title. For Sakamoto the bout is expected to open the door to a rematch with WBO Flyweight world champion Sho Kimura, the only man to have beaten him.
The other will take place on April 4th in Tokyo, and will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (28-12, 14) defending his title against Takafumi Nakajima (26-9-1, 13) [中嶋 孝文], in a previously reported bout that wasn'tactually announced until yesterday. The hope for Yap is to move towards a world title fight in the near future whilst Nakajima will know that he needs a win to remain relevant at title level.
The first of the shows is expected to be on the Boxingraise website whilst the second will likely be put online via the Asign Boxing youtube account in days after the fight, for fans wanting to watch.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ealier today Japanese promoter Taisei Marumoto held a press conference announcing the ring return of star hopeful, and former world title challenger, Riku Kano (10-2-1, 5) [加納陸].
Kano, who lost in a WBO world title bout back in August to Katsunari Takayama, will be fighting for the first time since that loss and will be facing Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (59-9-2, 23) [ปิ๊กมี่ ปูนอินทรียิม], who he actually beat last year.
For the 18 year old Kano the bout will be his first bout since failing to set a Japanese record for the youngest world champion. Despite coming up short against Takayama, losing in a technical decision to the veteran, he is still hunting a world title and will likely come against in the coming years, using the experience of the loss to Takayama as a builing platform.
For the 35 year old Thai the bout will be his 71st professional bout, and comes just short of a year since his loss to Kano last year. Interestingly the usually busy Thai has only fought once this year, marking a huge change from his 6 bouts in 2015.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
When it comes to Japanese youngsters looking to make a mark in 2016 it's fair to say not many are younger than Riku Kano (8-1-1, 4) who will begin the coming year on a high after a dominant performance against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (58-9-2, 23).
The 18 year old Taisei Gym fighter was stepping up massively and despite the huge gulf in experience he made the step up seem easy.
Pigmy, a former 2-time world title challenger, had travelled with the intention of derailing the youngster's rise to the top. Instead however Kano used the bout to build his name and showcase his ability.
From the off the teenager looked the more accomplished fighter and boxed well behind his jab. Pigmy tried to up the ante and turn the fight around but was thwarted by combinations, counter punches and smart movement by a youngster who was showing the touches of class that a top class prospect needs.
By the final bell Pigmy had tried everything in his arsenal but had never come close to making Kano struggle, as a result the scorecards were a formality with Kano taking a unanimous decision with cards of 80-73, 80-75 and 79-75.
Given that Pigmy was world ranked coming into this one it seems likely that Kano will find himself in the WBO rankings when they are updated and his dream of becoming the youngest Japanese world champion has certainly taken a huge step in the direction with this win.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This week has been full of announcements. Of course the biggest came from Ohashi on Tuesday, as they announced a world title double header for December 29th, another really notable one came from Teilken who announced the US debut of Ryota Murata on Wednesday.
Another announcement on Wednesday came from the Taisei gym who announce the main event for their December 27th "From Mita to the World 6" card. And in all honesty the announcement was unexpectedly big and very promising.
The match up that was announced will see Taisei's young prospect Riku Kano (7-1-1, 4), who turns 18 in November, face off against former world title challenger Pigmy Kokietgym (57-8-2, 23), who has twice fought in world title bouts.
Earlier this year it was reported that Pigmy was supposed to be fighting Kosei Tanaka at the end of the year, sadly however that chance came to naught as we saw the then WBO #1 ranked contender lose in a major shock to unheralded Filipino Jaysever Abcede. For Pigmy this will be his first bout since that shock loss.
For Kano, who is hoping to become the youngest Japanese world champion, this is a huge step up in class. He will however feel confident, and will know that a win against Pigmy will help prepare him for a title bout, which could take place next summer if he defeat Pigmy in December.
From what we under-stand the bout will be televised on TV Osaka, however the full details of the telecast haven't yet been made clear.
(Image courtesy of Taisei Marimoto's blog)
For those who missed it or forgot about it, we've included Pigmy Vs Abcede below.
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