Earlier today fights fans at the Korakuen Hall, and those who subscribe to Boxing Raise, saw the quarter finals of Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament, with 3 quarter finals taking places to see who joined Filipino veteran Richard Pumicpic (21-10-2, 6) in the final 4.
The first of the quarter finals saw Korean fighter Jae Woo Lee (7-2, 6) [이재우] score a big upset as he stopped local puncher Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-5-2, 19) [溜田剛士] in a fire fight of a bout. From very early on the two men were standing at mid-range and unleashing bombs at each other. The opening round was an intense back and forth tear up as both men looked to prove their toughness, rather than their technical skills.
This was an opening round that would have been raved about had it been shown on UK or US TV and left Tameda with a bloodied nose. the hot action continued in to 2 round, as the men began to mix more body shots into their intense and brutal exchanges. This was wild, entertaining and absolutely sensational stuff from both men, who were showing their will to win and incredible desire. That desire finally began to track in round 3, as the tempo and damage to began to take a toll on both men, with Tameda showing the scars of war, with a huge cut over his left eye. That cut seemed to spur him on and he took more risks, but was dropped hard as a result He got up, now a bloodied mess after an exchange the referee jumped in to save the local. With the 3rd round TKO win for Lee he progresses to the tournament, and given his performance he is going to be a very, very hard man to beat.
In the second bout local fans were given something to celebrate as Shingo Kusano (12-8-1, 5) [草野慎悟] stopped Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-2-2, 3) [马强], in an up and down battle. Kusano was dropped in the opening round, twice, as he fell to the wrong end of a 10-7 round. Ma continued to pressure through the round and seemed on the verge of a stoppage win at one point. Sadly for Ma his opportunity slipped away and Kusano managed to settle to his rhythm, and he hurt Ma early in round 5. Ma never really managed to recover, tiring instead as he lost his form and was dropped. Although he got back to his feet Kusano refused to let off and forced the referee in to save an exhausted looking Ma.
The third of the bouts looked the best on paper, but was somewhat under-whelming as Koshin Takeshima (4-0-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心] and Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-2, 6) [渡部大介] saw their bout end in a technical draw. On the paper this had the makings of an excellent bout, but the two men had styles that that never quite gelled, and in the opening round we managed to have a head clash. It was exciting, but always a touch wild and clumsy from both, with the two men seemingly wanting to out-excited the fans who had been on the edge of their seat for the Tameda Vs Lee bout. It only took until round 2 for a time bomb to be put on the fight as Takeshima suffered a cut. The cut didn't force an immediate halt but did worsen as the bout went on and forced the referee to stop the contest in round 4.
With the bout being stopped we went to the scores cards, with scores of 38-38, 37-39 and 39-38 causing a technical draw. Due to the scoring rules of the tournament it was Watanabe, who had the 39-37 card in his favour, that advances to the final 4.
The semi finals for the tournament will take place on February 27th at Korakuen Hall, with the the final set to take place in May at the Sumida Ward General Gymnasium.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming Tuesday fight fans in Tokyo, and users of the Boxing Raise service, get a mid-week show of note thanks to the Hajime No Ippo tournament, which kicks off tomorrow at Korakuen Hall.
The 7 man tournament will begin in earnest tomorrow with 3 quarter-final bouts, one of which will see Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) [草野慎悟] battle Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [马强]. Ahead of their bout the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the Featherweight limit today.
On the scales Ma was 125.22lbs whilst Kusano was bang on the Featherweight limit.
Ma spoke confidently of of his chances, saying he would be aggressive and and was very confident in his left hook. Kusano also sounded confident and, like Ma, suggested his aggression was going to be the key.
Whilst this bout is probably the least highly anticipated of the 3 quarter-finals, it is potentially the most evenly matched and the most exciting of them, with their styles expected to gel and make for an all action war.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Boxing Raise service, which we love despite it's sometimes awkward scheduling, have announced that in November they will be picking up 4 cards, including 2 very exciting live tournament shows and 2 tape delay recorded shows.
The first of the shows will be this Saturday's God's Left Bantamweight tournament show, featuring the God's Left semi final bouts between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], and Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁]. The card also includes a Japanese title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也], and the ring return of former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼].
The service will also live stream November 19th Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament on November 19th. This show will feature quarter final bouts for a Featherweight tournament as Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [이재우] takes on Japan's Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) [溜田剛士], Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) [草野慎悟] meets Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [马强] and we get an excellent all Japanese bout between Koshin Takeshima (4-0, 3) [竹嶋宏心] and Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-1, 6) [渡部大介]. This card will also feature Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] against Hokuto Matsumoto (5-2, 1) [松本北斗].
As for the delay cards, Boxing Raise will be showing the November 17th and November 22nd cards.
The first of those two cards will see Eruka Hiromoto (5-0) [廣本江留香], defending her OPBF female Minimumweight title against Sana Hazuki (7-4-1, 2) [葉月さな], whilst the second will feature former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川繁] battling against Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡康輔]
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