Whilst much of the Japanese boxing attention on Saturday was on the action in Tokyo there was also also a show in Ibaragi, headlined by a contest between Tatsuya Takahashi (31-9-6, 21) [高橋竜也] and Renoel Pael (23-11-1, 12).
Although on paper this doesn't look like a bout to get too excited bout, it turned out to be an absolute humdinger of a back and forth war. Those who have seen Takahashi before won't be surprised to hear this was rough, tough, hard hitting and brutal. It wasn't pretty, but it was fantastically competitive and truly exciting.
From the opening round this was competitive, with both looking to get behind their jabs. As it went on though the pace increased and Pael managed to get some sustained success, leaving the local with bloodied face. Takahashi fought through the blood and managed to rack up rounds, but was never able to look comfortable.
The bout had massive drama in the final round as Takahashi was dropped and in all sorts of trouble before surviving to the bell.
The knockdown almost proved game changing on the scorecards, though Takahashi's overall work was just enough to earn a split decision, with scored of 77-75 and 76-75 in his favour, whilst the third judge gave it to Pael with a score of 75-76.
After the bout Takahashi stated he wanted to fight for a title next year. Sadly we don't think he'll to win a belt, even if he does get a title fight at some point during the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Today has been a hectic day for fight fans across Asia with a whole host of shows taking place across the continent. Those weren't all huge, but they featured at least one bout of some note.
The main event of this card saw talented Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) dominate former Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu Onesong (53-7, 35). Magsayo never managed to hurt Pungluang, who is a tough old rugged lump, but thoroughly dominated him and landed some highlight reel combinations in the later stages. The win saw Magsayo claim the WBC Asian Boxin Council Featherweight title, and it's now time he got a big fight. As for Pungluang it's clear he's still a serviceable fighter at regional level, but this was a 4th loss in 5 for the former WBO Bantamweight champion.
In a hotly contested bout for the GAB Bantamweight title Giovanni Escaner (20-4, 12) narrowly over-came Renoel Pael (23-10-1, 12), with a 12 round split decision. On paper this didn't look like it'd be competitive, but the styles gelled well and in the end their was very little to split the men.
In a Featherweight bout Virgel Vitor (15-2, 9) impressively destroyed Alan Alberca (11-4, 6) in 4 rounds. Vitor's power was on show through out the bout and he really did look like a brutally spiteful puncher through out. Alberca gave a good effort but was no match for Vitor and his power.
Chinese fighter Ainiwaer Yilixiati (17-1, 11) claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council and IBO Asia Middleweight titles, as he took a clear decision win over Japan's Ryosuke Maruki (16-7-1, 11). This was a 6th straight win for Yilixiati, following his 2017 loss to Jayde Mitchell whilst Maruki has now lost 3 of his last 4.
The main event here saw the talented Andika Sabu (17-0, 8) pull himself off the canvas to take a decision over Filipino Richard Rosales (14-10-2, 8). The 23 year old Sabu has got potential and time on his side, but he also has a lot of areas to work on. Sadly for Rosales he is now 2-6 in his last 8, dating back 2 years.
Unbeaten Indonesian Lightweight Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) extended his winning run as he took a 6 round decision over veteran Isack Junior (26-12-3, 9). The powerfully built Marapu has shown promise, but at 30 years old it's now or never for that promise and we would be hugely disappointed if he fails to secure a big bout in 2020.
Bang Phli, Thailand
Hard hitting Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (11-0, 11) extended KO streak, and claimed his first title, as he stopped Nattee Thongsingcle (2-2, 2) in 3 rounds to claim the Thai Light Flyweight title. The 20 year old Thanongsak has been drubbed "Srisaket II" in the Thai press and whilst that is a big tag to live up to, he has now racked up 11 wins in just over 14 months.
On the same card veteran Mike Tawatchai (47-13-2, 30) scored a 3rd round KO win over 16 year old novice Keerati Rueangdet (0-2).
Macao S.A.R., China
Exciting young hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (7-0, 4) shone in front of local fans as he took a dominant decision win over ShanTuo Lu (2-4). The 22 year old Cheong Cheong shut out Lu over 6 rounds, to take his second decision win of the year, following a wide decision win over Muhammad Wahid in May. Lu, who has still never been stopped, never looked competitive but did serve as good foil for the youngster to shine against.
Former world title challenger Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9) came up short in a bout against the unbeaten Brock Jarvis (17-0, 15). The match up, for the WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title, was a clear win for Jarvis, who had too much of everything for Saulong who has now won just 1 of his last 5.
When a Japanese prospect isn't with one of the bigger gyms they can be very easy to over-look. One great example of that right now is Ryusei Kawaura (6-0, 4) [川浦 龍生], who is one of the best kept secrets in world boxing.
Today the 25 year old protege of former WBC Super Flyweight champion Hiroshi Kawashima scored his best win to date, dominating Filipino visitor Renoel Pael (23-9-1, 12) over 8 rounds.
Pael, a solid regional level fighter, had a competitive first round, as Kawaura looked settle into the fight. That was about as good as it got for the Filipino. From round 2 onwards he was made to look second best, slow, clumsy and a fighter more reliant on his toughness than his skills. That's despite the fact Pael is a pretty good fighter.
In round Pael broke through with body shots in round 2, dropped his man in round 3, landed straight left hands at will in round 4, and saw off some wild attacks from Pael in round 5, as the Filipino began to fight in a desperate manner. Despite Pael trying to rough up the prospect Kawaura maintained his calm, controlled the distance and made Pael pay for his aggression, despite not managing to secure a second knockdown.
After 8 rounds there was no doubting the winner, with Kawaura getting the decision 80-71, twice, and 77-74 from a judge was tried to give Pael the benefit of the doubt when he could.
After the bout Kawashima and Kawaura seemed to suggest titles were in their sight, whilst Pael, who is now 1-3 in Japan, suggested he'd like to return to the country again. Given how he has performed, his toughness and his desire we'd not be surprised to see him return again in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Yesterday Zanfer Promociones announced that controversial Mexican fighter Luis Nery (27-0, 21) would be back in action this coming Saturday, to take on Filipino visitor Renoel Pael (23-8-1, 12) in a bout to be televised on Azteca.
The bout is set to be Nery's second since being suspended for failing to make weight for his March rematch with Shinsuke Yamanaka, a bout that saw him being stripped of the WBC title that he had won the previous August when he failed a drugs test.
Given the short notice for the bout it's hard to know what sort of fitness Pael will be in, but the Filipino has had a forgettable few years, going 4-7 in his last 11 bouts dating back 3 years. He's yet to be stopped as a professional, but having been fought much of his career at Flyweight and Super Flyweight we're expecting him to be dwarfed by the Mexican, who is a big Bantamweight.
Sadly it's hard to see anything but a stoppage win for Nery here, especially given the way he took out the durable Jason Canoy last time out.
Earlier today fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (24-2-1, 8) [村中 優] claim his most notable victory in several years as he out pointed the under-rated Filipino fighter Renoel Pael (19-4-1, 9) in a bout fought at Bantamweight.
The bout was Muranaka's second contest in the last 12 months, following suspensions for failing to make weight twice in 2015, but unlike his previous bout there wasn't ring rust on the talented Flash Akabane fighter. Instead their was hunger.
From the off Muranaka looked confident and sharp, and although Pael seemed to enter the bout with the intention of upsetting Muranaka he simple couldn't force the Japanese fighter to respect him. Instead it was the left hook and straight right of Muranaka that seemed to be the key punches whilst his defense did a lot to frustrate Pael who was competitive at times, but clearly beaten.
The effort from Pael was reflected on the score-cards but so too was the clear nature of Muranaka's win with the score cards reading 79-74 and 78-74, twice.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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