We'll never defend boxing organisations for creating more and more titles, just to line their own pockets. That however doesn't mean that some niches don't deserve titles, and we're huge fans of the relatively new Japanese Youth titles. They have a niche, young Japanese fighters, and tend to give us some really good match ups.
Today we saw one amazing match up being set in stone, as Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] stopped Hizuki Saso (10-6-1, 3) [佐宗緋月] in just 2 rounds to set up a match with Tsuyoshi Sato (9-1-1, 5) [佐藤剛] for the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title.
Sato had booked his place in a title fight this past weekend, when he stopped the big punching Tetsuya Tomioka (5-4, 5) [富岡哲也], and knew that he would be facing the winner of Shiba Vs Saso.
It took only moments to realise that Chiba was in a different class to Saso, with Saso struggling to match the speed, tempo, skills or movement of Shiba, who closed the show less than a minute into round 2.
There isn't yet an announced date for Shiba Vs Sato, but it is a mouth watering clash between an all out pressure fighter, in Sato, and a skilled boxer-puncher, in Shiba. This bout is the perfect example of what the Japanese Youth titles are all about and we can't wait for the bout to take place!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today saw the announcement of 3 Japanese Youth title eliminator bouts, as the JBC title pictures at Light Flyweight and Super Bantamweight get sorted out.
The Super Bantamweight division had one eliminator announced, a bout between Arashi Iimi (7-1, 7) [飯見嵐], the 2017 East Japan Rookie of the Year winner, and Kenta Nomura (5-2, 2) [野村健太]. These two youngsters will battle on April 1st at the Diamond Glove show. The winner of this match up will then face Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] for the vacant title later in the year.
The Light Flyweight division will have two bouts taking place, in what are essentially tournament semi-final bouts for the vacant title, with the winners fighting for the belt later in the year.
One of those bouts will take place on the April 11th Diamond glove card, and will see Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] battle Hizuki Saso (10-5-1, 3) [佐宗緋月], in a really interesting contest. Shiba was a former amateur standout, who has really exciting since turning professional Saso is much more experienced, and comes into this bout on the back of solid wins over Jeffrey Galero and Desierto Nagaike.
The other Light Flyweight semi-final bout will see the exciting Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] take on the big punching Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] in what should be a real war. Sato has a really fun, aggressive style whilst Tomioka is a stop or be stopped fighter, who has only lost to highly regarded fighters in the form of Junto Nakatani, Katsunori Nagamine and Ryuto Oho. This bout will be held on April 6th.
Both of these bouts at 108lbs are really hard to call, though any combination in the final should give us something really special.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans had the chance to see a trio of B Class tournament bouts.
One of those was a a Flyweight bout which saw former amateur stand out Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] battle against Yasuhiro Tanaka (5-4-2) [田中 康寛]. On paper this looked like a huge step up in class for the novice but he quickly showed what he was all about by controlling the distance with a razor jab and incredibly crisp footwork. After the early moments he began to look settled and started to hold his feet more, landing solid body shots on the inside.
The power of Shiba seemed to hurt Tanaka in the second round, but Tanaka wasn't going to fold that easily, despite eating some big shots from the novice.
The dominate from Shiba continued whilst he showed he could do a bit of every thing. He was switching between pressure fighting and counter punching going from outside fighter to physically imposing guy on the inside.
The accumulation of Shiba's shots were taking a toll on the brave, but thoroughly out matched, Tanaka, who suffered a pretty nasty cut above his left eye. The cut was bad by it's self but with Shiba really toying with his man the cut was the least of Tanaka's worries as he continued eating leather.
In round 5, with Tanaka on the ropes and covering up the referee waved off the bout. It wasn't a perfectly timed stoppage by any stretch, but it was an educated mercy stoppage to save Tanaka from any more punishment. He was well behind on the cards, and really had no chance of turning it around by the time the referee stepped in. Even Tanaka knew that he had no chance and seemed to happily accept the stoppage, which really was a case of stopping his suffering, rather than denying him a chance of turning thing around.
Given this was just Shiba's second professional bout we were massively impressed, and genuinely can't wait to see him in action again. Tanaka was several levels below, but proved to be game, and put up a decent against a man who looks like he's going to go very, very far.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and subscribers to the excellent Boxingraise subscription service, had the chance to watch a trio of B class tournaments, all of which were excellent bouts and incredibly competitive bouts.
The first of the three tournament bouts was at Flyweight, as Yasuhiro Tanaka (5-3-2) [田中 康寛] out pointed Satoshi Tanaka (4-5, 1) [田中公士]. The bout was hotly contested, but Yasuhiro Tanaka was just that touch better than his namesake, and got the well deserved win, though did have to work incredibly hard for it. Notably this was Yasuhiro Tanaka's first bout since September 2015, when he was beaten by Tatsuji Kakumoto. With this win Yasuhiro Tanaka has sealed a place in the tournament final against former amateur stand out Rikito Shiba (1-0) [芝力人], in what should be an amazing bout.
The second of the 5 round tournament bouts saw Featherweights trade blows, with 22 year old Kanehiro Nakagawa (5-5, 3) [中川兼玄] claiming a split decision over Tasuku Nakagawa (7-4-1, 3) [中川祐]. This was more hotly contested than the Flyweight bout, and there was very little to seperate the two men who seemed to have been amazingly well matched and we'd love to see these two go at it again, especially given the exciting way the contest finished with the two men trading hard blows. Sadly for Kanehiro Nakagawa he's now got a very tough final against Ren Sasaki (7-0, 5) [佐々木蓮].
On paper it was the third bout that really had us excited as touted teenager Junpei Inamoto (2-0, 1) [稲元 純平] battled against the under-rated Taiga Higashi (5-3, 2) [東大河], and Inamoto was given a real scare when a solid right hook from Higashi landed clean and dropped Inamoto in round 2. The knockdown left Inamoto in trouble through out the round, but he would regroup and use his skills to take the win, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Whilst this was an excellent win for Inamoto, it does lead him to another tricky fight, as he takes on Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in his final, in what is a truly mouth watering novice match up.
For those wonfering, all the final bouts will take place on September 4th and will, like today's show, be promoted by the Dangan team.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall a number of promising fighters took part in their pro-test bouts, sharing the ring with notable fighters as they look to begin their professional careers and gained their B class licenses.
One of those fighters was Super Bantamweight hopeful Rikito Shiba [ボクシング芝カ人] who has signed with RK Yamata gym. Another RK prospect was Welterweight Ryuuki Abe [阿部龍柾]. Another Welterweight now with a B license is Yoji Saito [齊藤陽二], who has signed with Kadoebi gym.
Celes Gym Lightweight hopeful Jin Minamide [南出仁], who was a former amateur standout on the domestic scene and is expected to make a quick mark on the professional scene. Interestingly Minamide took part in his pro-test by sharing the ring with IBF Super Bantamwaight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (25-2, 16) [岩佐 亮佑]. Minamide will make his debut on June 2nd alongside World of Sport's Middleweight hopeful Takuma Takahashi [高橋拓磨], who did his protest opposite Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登].
Another man with their debut set is Ohashi fighter Taku Kuwabara [桑原拓], who will be making his debut on May 25th on the card headlined by Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13) [井上 尚弥] when he challenges WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1-1, 13). Kuwabara, a Featherweight, sparred with Akira Yaegashi (26-6, 14) [八重樫 東] for his protest.
Please note - We are sorry if the names have been transliterated incorrectly, care was made to try and get them right, but we know mistakes will slip through with these sorts of things.
(Image courtesy of the Ohashi Gym facebook account)
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