Back in August we saw the once touted Riku Kano (14-4-1, 7) [加納 陸] suffer a stoppage loss to Shin Ono [小野 心] in a Japanese Minimumweight title fight. The loss was a major set back for Kano, who looked to be beaten mentally, as much as physically, falling apart after a head clash. Today Kano returned to the ring for the first time since that loss, and took on domestic journeyman Takayuki Teraji (9-17-1, 4) [寺次孝有希].
Teraji, a usually safe opponent who puts up a good effort in losses, had scored just 3 wins in his last 11 bouts and seemed a straight forward opponent for Kano to rebuild his confidence against.
Knowing he was in easy the pressure was off Kano to look good good, or to even really be challenged. His only goal was to win, and that he did, by simply out boxing Teraji, using his southpaw jab and left uppercut well from the opening round. Teraji tried to up the pace in round 2, but Kano's edge in speed and skills saw him neutralise the change in tactics from his foe. In fact during round 2 Kano landed a hard right hook that seemed to shake Teraji up, though the veteran held on and weathered the storm.
In the second half of the fight Kano slowed, notably, but managed to just use his boxing know how the land the eye catching blows, and used Teraji's offense against him. It wasn't the most exciting way to conclude the bout, but it was a case of needing to get the win, rather than putting on a show for the fans.
After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards, which read 79-74, 79-73 and 80-74, all in favour of Kano.
Earlier today the Taiesei gym held a press conference to announce their next show, set for December 2nd in Hyogo.
The card will feature 3 notable bouts at the top of the card, with two of them being Japanese Youth title fights and one being the return of a recent Japanese title challenger.
That recent challenger is Riku Kano (13-4-1, 7) [加納 陸] who came up short in a recent Japanese Minimumweight title fight against Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心].
Kano will be up against Takayuki Teraji (9-16-1, 4) in what looks like a straight forward confidence building fight for the once touted youngster. Kano was harsh on himself for his performance against Ono and seems to be fully aware that his potential is on the verge of being wasted. He needs to get back into the swing of things and this bout is the start of a rebuilding process.
One of the youth title bouts is at Flyweight, as Arata Matsuoka (6-6, 4) [松岡新] faces off with Hikaru Ota (9-8, 5) [太田輝]. On paper this isn't a brilliant bout, but it clearly seems to be a contest to fill a void as Junto Nakatani has turned his eyes on to the more notable Japanese Flyweight title, rather than the Youth version who he now appears to have vacated. The 23 year old Ota is 3-5 in his last 8 and clearly is struggling for form, so a win here could be the bit shot in the arm his career needs. Matsuoka on the other hand has won 4 of his last 5, but was stopped last time out by veteran Shunji Nagata..
The other youth title bout will take place at At Featherweight, and looks to be a much better match despite having two men who are better known as Super Bantamweights. This fight will see Arata Matsuoka's twin brother Hikaru Matsuoka (14-4-3, 2) [松岡輝] battle against Noboru Osato (10-6-4, 2) [大里登]. On paper this is a pretty decent match up. Matsuoka has shown a weak chin, with 3 of his 4 losses coming by stoppage, but has a huge win over Richard Pumicpic on his record and has won 6 of his last 7. Osato on the other hand has a more spotty record but has competed at a decent level with bouts against Yuki Iriguchi and Takuya Mizuno in recent years.
It should be noted that if the Matsuoka brothers win they will be the first brothers, and the first twins, to be Japanese Youth Champions.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] scored his first defense of the title, though did in somewhat controversial fashion as he stopped youngster Riku Kano (13-4-1, 7) [加納 陸].
The bout began with Kano looking he faster, sharper fighter. Despite the good start by Kano only one of the 3 judges actually gave him the round, despite the youngster looking like the boss with his speed and movement. The good start did however continue into round 2, a round that all 3 judges gave to the challenger who was looking like he wanted to make an impression on his Korakuen Debut.
Ono upped the pace in rounds 3 and 4 as he began to increase his work rate. It made the bout messy, but saw him land some big body shots, slowing down Kano, and out dragging the youngster out of his gameplan. It was brilliant from Ono who had began to neutralise the speed difference.
Round 5 was the most competitive in the first half of the fight, and really should have decided who was in the lead, in what beginning to represent a really competitive and close contest. Strangely however two judges had the bout 49-46 to Ono, a score that really discredited Kano's work in the first two rounds, with the third judge having the challenger in the lead, 48-47.
Round 6 was a good one for Kano, who managed to cut Ono above the left eye, in what was a nasty looking cut, that bled through out the round. It was a messy cut that could have resulted in the bout being stopped, with the doctor giving it a close inspection. It seemed to trouble Ono, who didn't look himself through the round and seemed to be bothered by the blood, and the placement of the cut.
Amazingly Ono's team tidied the cut up amazingly well and in round 7 it wasn't and issue at all, a real testament to the work done in the corner. With the cut tidied up Ono seemed more himself, and went back on the front foot, though Kano seemed to be very comfortable and managed to reopen the wound at the end of the round.
Ono came out for round 8 like a man point to prove. He made the fight messy again, , letting shots go when he was close, and landing some really eye catching head shots. He was dragging Kano in deep and making the youngster fight at a high tempo. Mid way through the round controversy struck with a brutal clash of heads. Neither man was cut by it, but Kano was dropped by it and looked in agony on his knees. He quickly taken over to a neutral corner and looked badly shaken.
Although it was an accidental headclash it done clear damage for Kano and Ono seemed to know it, jumping on Kano when the fight resumed. The attack from Ono sent Kano down. The youngster got back to his feet but would be sent down again by another Ono flurry with the bout then being stopped.
Whilst no one would argue the headclash was deliberate it certainly seemed to be the start of the end for Kano who never looked himself afterwards. It opened the door for Ono, who went all out looking for the stoppage and got it.
For Ono this was a huge victory, and could help him get a second world title fight. For Kano the bout leaves a lot of questions, and although we don't doubt the headbutt was painful the way he fought afterwards was like a fighter who was mentally beaten, leaving some questions about his mental toughness, especially given how Ono gritted his teeth and fought through the nasty cut. It was a real case of a fighter with desire against one, who perhaps have the same hunger to be a champion.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp and boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and those who have subscribed to the Boxingraise service, will get the chance to see two Japanese title fights.
One of those will see youngster Riku Kano (13-3-1, 7) [加納 陸] challenge Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (22-9-3, 5) [小野 心], with Ono looking to make his first defense of the title he won earlier this year.
Today those two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both fighters made weight.
The 35 year old Ono made weight bang on, weighing 105lbs and looked good at the weigh in. Despite being significantly older than the challenger he didn't look a man who is 15 years older than Kano and didn't look like a fighter who has had a 17 year career in the sport.
Kano on the other hand came in with some room to spare, at 104.7lbs. He looked in great shape, and was significantly more ripped than the champion. Although looking the more in shape fighter we suspect Kano will look to rely on his youth and speed and will to out box Ono rather than try and have a brawl with him
Related - Kano and Ono meet in battle of Young Lion vs. Old Lion!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On August 24th Dangan will be putting on Dangan 215, a show that really is a great one on paper for fans able to attend at the Korakuen Hall. Thankfully you won't need to be in Tokyo to watch the card live with Dangan's online service "Boxingraise" confirming they would be streaming the entire show live as part of their monthly subscription service.
The card's big selling point is the double title aspect of the card, with two Japanese title fights.
One of those will see youngster Riku Kano (13-3-1, 7) [加納 陸] challenge Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (22-9-3, 5) [小野 心]. For Ono the bout will service as his first defense, following his title winning effort against Ryoki Hirai earlier in the year whilst Kano will be getting his first Japanese title shot, though has previously won an interim OPBF title and a WBA Asia title. The winner of this will be seen as a potential world title challenger towards the end of the year, whilst the loser really will have a long way to climb back if they are to be considered a contender.
The other title bout will be for the Japanese interim Light Middleweight title, as Ryosuke Maruki (15-5-1, 10) [丸木 凌介] and Akinori Watanabe (36-7, 30) [渡部あきのり] meet in what could be an explosive and action packed contest. For Maruki the bout will be his third shot at the title, after having come up short against Yuki Nonaka and Nobuyuki Shindo, both in close contests, whilst Watanabe will be looking to add to his collection of career titles which saw him claim a number of belts at Welterweight.
Other bouts of note on this card will see Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] taking on Joe Tanooka (15-4-4, 1) [田之岡条], in what is a fantastic match up, and a bout featuring the in form Kyosuke Sawada (11-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] taking on former Japanese title challenger Yosuke Fujihara (17-5, 4) [藤原陽介].
Although fight fans will need access to boxingraise it is a fantastic show for subscribers, and well worth the attention for those tempted to try the service.
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