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)
Tomorrow Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (23-2-1, 8) [村中 優] battle against under-rated Filipino fighter Renoel Pael (19-3-1, 9) in a potentially brilliant match up.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both made weight.
On the scales a ripped looking Pael made the 118lb limit with ease, coming in at just under 117lbs for the bout, and looking in great shape. In fact if anything he has come in looking in almost optimal condition for the contest and certainly carries the weight better than Muranaka.
As for the Japanese fighter he was a "fleshy" looking 117.5lbs at the weigh in and appeared to be a man who could easily drop a bit more weight without looking ripped, strangely though his face did look rather gaunt.
At the weigh in both men seemed confident, and Muranaka seemed to suggest that he would be seeking a stoppage in the middle rounds. It's worth noting however that Pael has never been stopped and although Muranaka hit harder than his record suggests it would be an achievement to stop Pael here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today it was announced that former world title challenger and multi-time OPBF champion Yuzo Kiyota (29-5-1, 27) [清田 祐三] would be returning to the ring on July 8th in what will be his retirement ceremony.
The heavy handed former OPBF Super Middleweight champion hinted that retirement beckoned following a loss, earlier this year, to Shintaro Matsumoto (13-4, 9) [松本 晋太郎], who he had twice beaten and it seems he hasn't changed his mind.
It's unclear what Kiyota's ceremony will be like, though it'll be part of a card headlined by his world ranked stablemate Suguru Muranaka (23-2-1, 8) [村中 優], who will be facing off against Filipino fighter Renoel Pael (19-3-1, 9).
Incidentally Kiyota's loss came on the same show as Muranaka's recent comeback bout after a long suspension following issues with missing weight.
Earlier today fans in Okinawa got the chance to see a card at the City Gym in Tomigusuku. The card wasn't a big one but duid feature a pair of notable match ups featuring local fighters who were hoping to move their careers forward in what looked like good test bouts.
The first of those contests was an all-Japanese bout that saw local fighter Masatoshi Kotani (18-2, 13) [小谷 将寿] claim a decision over the heavy handed, but limited, Koichi Ito (10-5-3, 9) [伊藤 弘一]. Kotani, who was born in Nanjo, Okinawa and now resides in Ginoan, Okinawa, recorded his 8th straight victory with a unanimous decision over Ito, who has now lost back to back fights and has just 1 win in his last 6.
Whilst we haven't been sent the scores form the bout we know that Kotani, who is ranked by the OPBF, will now be looking to move into title bouts, though of course he is in the very deep Super Featherweight division and wouldn't be favoured against any of the top domestic level Japanese fighters ion the division.
The other notable Okinawan who in action was IBF ranked contender Go Onaga (27-2-2, 18) [翁長 吾央] who battled against recently OPBF title challenger Renoel Pael (19-3-1, 9), a visitor from the Philippines.
The scores for this bout were 99-90,99-90,100-90 to Onaga who took the unanimous decision and the hope now is that the Ohashi gym fighter will be fighting for an OPBF title in the near future. Incidentally that could mean that Takuma Inoue (6-0, 1) [井上 拓真] is set to vacate the OPBF Super Flyweight title, or that Onaga is set to transfer away from the Ohashi gym, with the Hiranaka gym being a real possibility given that they promoted this card.
Earlier today we were made aware of an intriguing match up made for March 13th.
The bout in question will see world ranked Super Flyweight hopeful Go Onaga (26-2-2, 18) [翁長 吾央], a Japanese veteran from the highly regarded Ohashi Gym, facing off with recent OPBF Flyweight title challenger Renoel Pael (19-2-1, 9).
Of the two fighters Onaga is the more experienced and established, but the 35 year old is running out of time to fight at the top level and is really lacking a stand out win. Despite lacking a big win he is ranked highly be the IBF and is hoping to get a shot at the IBF title later in the year, possibly facing the potential winner of the McJoe Arroyo Vs Jerwin Ancajas bout. Despite being with the Ohashi gym Onaga hasn't been one the fighters to really make a lot of noise recent and is widely regarded as their #3 fighter at 115lbs, behind the Inoue brothers.
Whilst less well known Pael is a solid fighter and at 25 years old is still maturing. Last time out he was seen coming up short, in a competitive bout, with Ardin Diale in an OPBF Flyweight title bout, suffering his second decision loss. He does lack a major win but both of his loses, to Diale and to Noknoi Sitthiprasert, have been competitive.
The bout is set to headline a card at the the City Gym in Tomigusuku, Okinawa. The venue also hosted Onaga's last fight, a very competitive win over Jonas Sultan last November which was much closer than the scores suggested.
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