Last week we reported that Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] had been listed as fighting on May 1st , with the Dangan card at the Korakuen Hall seemingly the most obvious show for his bout. At the time there was no opponent named, but confirmation that he would be in action on the date.
Today the Dangan twitter account confirmed Maruta's next bout, and confirmed not only that it was going to be on the May 1st Dangan card but also who Maruta would be facing.
The talented youngster from the Morioka Gym will be up against Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人], who will be fighting for the first time since fighting to a draw with Ryo Hino, and the first time since the weight mishap that saw him being forced to cancel a fight with Shohei Omori last March. Following the weight issues for the bout with Omori the Kadobi gym punished Hiroto who has now transferred to the Dangan gym, with this being his first bout as a Dangan fighter.
Interestingly the Dangan twitter account suggest that the winner will be targeting the winner of the show's main event, which is the Japanese Featherweight title bout between Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] and Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也]. And it we're being hone that would be great, in fact the losers meeting could also make for an interesting match up down the line as well.
Earlier today news broke that the scheduled bout between hard hitting Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (8-3, 8) [佐藤政道] and skilled youngster Ryuto Oho (12-4-1, 4) [大保龍斗] had been rescheduled, from March 21st to May 1st, due to injuries in training suffered by Oho.
According to the excellent @makotookaniwa, who was the match maker in Japan who put this bout together, Oho was injured on March 4th forcing the original bout to be rescheduled. Though with it coming on the May 1st show, where it will now be the chief support bout, it does actually have a high profile, and will be available on Boxing Raise, which is always a good thing!
At the moment we've not had confirmation on the full details, though we're expecting it to still be an 8 round bout at 50KG's.
This bout will now share a card with the highly anticipated Japanese Featherweight title bout between Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] and skilled challenger Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也]
Earlier this week we were informed that the Japanese Light Middleweight title bout between defending champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] and mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信], had been delayed.
Originally the bout had been pencilled in for May 1st, along with a Japanese Featherweight title bout between hard hitting champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] and skilled challenger Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], on what was a very attractive looking Dangan card. Now however the Light Middleweight title bout will be held on May 10th as part of an A-Sign Bee card, which should mean the bout ends up being uploaded to youtube within days of the bout.
This interestingly matches up with another story there may be a big addition to the May 1st card, with multiple sources now confirming that Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] would be in action on May 1st, though at the time of writing sources haven't been able to confirm whether he will be on the same show as the Minimoto Vs Abe fight.
No clear reason has been given for the delay, though with it only being pushed back by 9 days it seems clear neither man is injured and would seem to be a scheduling issue, or just a feeling that the Dangan card didn't need to be as top heavy as originally announced. Or of course the Maruta fight is on the show and is a big one, time will tell.
Sometimes fights exceed expectations, sometimes however they fail to reach the heights of excitement we had anticipated. One bout that failed to really deliver took place at the Korakuen Hall earlier today and saw world ranked Japanese Featherweight Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也] essentially go through the motions against former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-1, 3) [杉田大祐].
On paper this looked interesting. Abe had been in amazing form recently, reeling of notable wins on the domestic scene and earning a Japanese title fight, which he will get on May 1st against Taiki Minamoto. Sugita on the other hand had been a fantastic amateur, and is a full time police office who is fighting because of his love of boxing. Despite being a police office, Sugita was regarded as a real hopeful, and knew a win today would move him towards his own potential Japanese title fight.
It had the ingredients to be good. Sadly however it had a major issue. There was a huge gulf in class. From the opening round it was clear that Abe wasn't going to let Sugita have things his own way. He used his reach, movement and southpaw stance to make Sugita fall short, over-commit and generally look like a novice. It wasn't pretty or exciting, but it was what Abe had been doing to much more accomplished professionals before Sugita. Whilst making Sugita miss Abe would land the occasional stinging left hand, busting the nose of his opponent.
The nose would bleed for much of the bout and Sugita's issues weren't helped by the fact that Abe seemed so much quicker, sharper, smart and stronger. He was able to push Sugita around when he wanted, and able to just out think and out move him.
In round 5 the bout was essentially sealed for Abe who twice dropped Sugita. Sugita looked like he was being given a lesson in boxing by Abe who seemed happy to carry Sugita at times. Rounds 6 and 7 both saw Abe take things relatively easily on his man, as he looked to prove who the better boxer was. His mentality did however change in round 8, when he finally chose to prove who the better fighter was, and looked to stop Sugita, who was badly hurt in the final seconds of the bout.
Having managed to survive 8 rounds it was clear Sugita hadn't done enough to win, and all 3 judges had Abe winning wide, with scores of 79-71, 80-70, 80-70.
Next up for Abe is that aforementioned bout with Minamoto. Today's bout shouldn't see any delay for that contest as he looked almost untouched at the end of the bout. For Sugita the question of what's next is going to be an interesting one. He's tough, and can make for good fights, but a loss like this can cripple a mans confidence. He was being being played with at times.
Abe is fringe world class, at worst, and the performance today seemed to be him at about 50%, he really is a fantastic fighter, even if he's not putting on exciting performance, he is putting on clinics and we'd not be surprised if he embarrasses Minamoto later this year.
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall, and live on G+, we'll see future Japanese Featherweight title challenger Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who is scheduled to fight for the title on May 1st, take on boxing policemen, and former amateur stand out, Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐].
Today the two men took part in the weigh in for their bout, and both men made weight, for the contest which has an agreed limit of 57.8KG, or close to 127.5lbs, well above the Featherweight divisional limit.
On the scales Abe was 127.2lbs. He looked in good shape and looked significantly bigger than Sugita. This is, for all intents, his division and he really has been low key ripping up the domestic scene with a string of good wins against the likes of Hikaru Marugame, Satoshi Hosono and Tsuyoshi Tameda. He sounded confident at today's weigh in and hinted that Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Watanabe will be watching the bout, potentially scouting his next challenger. Incidentally Watanabe and Sugita are stablemate mates, and it's assume that the champion will be cheering on his gym mate.
As for Sugita he was bang on the agreed limit of 127.5lbs. He looked in tremendous shape and admitted that he didn't expect to be fighting in such a big bout after just 9 months of his professional career. He did have over 140 amateurs but this is still a tougher opponent than anyone would have anticipated for him. He appears to see himself as the under-dog here but it was clear that he felt like he was a very hungry under-dog for what will, by some margin, be the biggest fight of his career, so far.
Related - World ranked Abe takes on Policeman Sugita!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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