Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and those who have subscribed to Boxingraise, saw former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Rikiya Fukuhara (32-9-1, 24) [福原 力也] fight for the final time as a professional fighter, defeating Filipino foe Alvin Bais (15-8-1,4) in 2 rounds.
Fukuhara had announced that this would be his final bout several weeks ago, win or lose, and despite knowing he could go out on a loss he put his his all into preparing for the bout and being in incredible shape.
Being in great shape is one thing, fighting to win is another and it was clear that Fukuhara hadn't turned up just to lose. From the opening seconds it was clear he was there to win and he quickly established his jab, putting Bais on the back foot and looking for openings for the right hand. Those openings began to come more frequently in rounds 2 and although Fukuhara showed some contempt for the Filipino there was a clear feeling that he was in charge, and it showed when a body shot crumpled Bais for the 10 count.
After the win Fukuhara took part in a prolonged retirement ceremony and made it clear that this really was the end of his career.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get a chance to see the popular Rikiya Fukuhara (31-9-1, 23) [福原 力也] fight for the final time as a professional as he takes on Filipino foe Alvin Bais (15-7-1,4), in a bout set to be streamed on the Boxingraise service.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men came in under the contracted limit of 58.5KG's, around 129lbs.
On the scales the ripped Fukuhara was 128½lbs, well under the limit. Although fighting at one of the highest weights of his career, and fighting for the final time, it was clear he was cutting no corners to come in in fantastic shape and looking to go out with a win.
Bais, a naturally much smaller fighter, was well under the contracted limit weighing in at just 126½lbs. Amazingly this was his highest career weight, by quite some margin with Bais having never previously weighed in above 121lbs.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fighter Rikiya Fukuhara (31-9-1, 23) [福原 力也] announced that he had one more bout left in his body and that he would be returning for his retirement bout on December 19th.
At the moment very few details are set in stone in regards to the bout, other than that it will be Fukuhara's final contest as a professional fighter and will take place on a yet to be announced Dangan card at the Korakuen Hall.
The bout marks the end of a memorable and exciting career that began back in 2000 when Fukuhara was 28, and has seen him claim the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, challenger for the OPBF Super Featherweight title and the Japan title at both Featherweight and Super Featherweight.
Whilst not one of the biggest names at the Watanabe gym he has long been one of the more popular fighters there and is seen as a real veteran figure of the gym, along with Takashi Uchiyama and recently retired Akio Shibata.
We last saw Fukuhara fight in March, when he lost a decision to Satoshi Hosono for the Japanese Featherweight title, in what was their third bout together, and he's now set for a farewell bout before becoming a sports instructor next year!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The next few days are busy for Japanese fight fans with a lot of TV action over the next couple of days. Whilst several of the broadcasts are on tape delay one is a live broadcast.
The televised action begins on Friday, at 22:00 local time, and is a tape delay broadcast of the recent Osaka Teiken show. We won't include spoilers, but the broadcast is expected to feature at least 3 bouts. Those bouts are Juiki Tatsuyoshi (3-0, 2) Vs Kazuki Sanpei (3-3, 1), who fought in a 4 rounder, Sho Nakazawa (8-0, 4) facing Teiru Atsumi (9-1, 3), in an 8 round bout, and Tatsuya Ikemizu (13-1, 6) Vs Jonas Sultan (9-3, 5), in another 8 rounder.
That card will be shown on G+ and will run from 22:00 to 24:00
Around 2 hours after the G+ broadcast finishes fans will be able to turn over to Fuji TV to see the recent Phoenix Battle show. The main fight being broadcast here will be the Japanese Featherweight title fight between Satoshi Hosono (30-2-1, 20) and Rikiya Fukuhara (31-8-1, 23). As well as the title fight we also expect to see footage from Koki Inoue's (1-0, 1) bout with Sultan Sithprakaifah (0-0).
The Fuji TV broadcast is set to run from 26:15 to 27:15 (or 2:15am to 3:15am on Saturday morning).
On Saturday attention turns back to G+ who will re-run the Osaka Teiken show from 13:15 to 17:45, we understand that the show will be run back-to-back though it's not completely sure.
Following the Osaka Teiken card we then get the live action, which will run from 17:45 to 22:00.
The live broadcast is set to feature 6 bouts in total, with the main bouts being the Japanese Super Featherweight title bout, between Kenichi Ogawa (17-1, 14) and mandatory challenger Satoru Sugita (11-2-1, 7) and the Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight between Yasutaka Ishimoto (27-8, 7) and Yosuke Fujihara (16-3, 4). These bouts are both part of the Champion Carnival and are both mandatory title fights.
For fans unable to watch the live card it will be replayed on April 9th between 12:30 and 17:45, also on G+.
All times given here are local times for Tokyo, and for international fans the times will need to be adjusted.
Note-All records are pre-fight records.
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Japanese Featherweight king Satoshi Hosono (31-2-1, 20) [細野 悟] record the 6th defense of his title as he over-came mandatory challenger Rikiya Fukuhara (31-9-1, 23) [福原 力也], who suffered his third loss against the former world title challenger.
Early on it did look liek the title could change hands. The typically slow starting Hosono was his usual self and whilst he applied pressure early on that pressure wasn't as effective as he'd have hoped, with Fukuhara using clever footwork to land counter shots on the champion. Those counters caught the eye of the judges who had Fukuhara winning 48-47 when the cards were announced after 5 rounds.
Sadly for the challenger those cards were the worst thing that could have happened for him as they seemed to help kick start Hosono's drive. With the champion feeling his title was at risk he upped the pressure and started to make real in roads on the challenger who was dropped in round 8 from a body shot and forced to take a knee in round 9 from another body shot. Impressively Fukuhara rose from both knockdowns but they had turned the fight completely.
By the final bell there was only one winner, with Hosono have averted disaster with a wide decision win, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 97-91 to the champion.
Following the bout it was hinted that Hosono's next bout could be a world title bout, and is likely to be for the WBA Featherweight title, which could mean a potential showdown with the winner of the upcoming Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar vs Abner Mares fight. As for Fukuhara, the future looks bleak with retirement looming for the exciting but flawed for Super Bantamweight title holder.
For fans interested in watching the contest, it will be aired, in part at least, on April 1st on Fuji TV as part of their Diamond Glove series of telecasts.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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