Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (33-2-2, 22) [赤穂亮] record his latest win, stopping domestic foe Naoto Mizutani (5-5-1, 2) [水谷直人] in 6 rounds.
On paper the match up was a massive mismatch, and the bout was seen as little more than a stay busy bout for Akaho, who should be competing at a much higher level than this if he's wanting to get back into title contention.
Mizutani actually started quite well, boxing behind his southpaw jab, but it very much felt like Akaho was happy to see what his opponent had in his arsenal before committing to anything of his own. When Akaho finally did let his hands go in round 2 his power showed, as he landed a left hook that put Mizutani on alert. That power was a key difference with Mizutani never able to really shift Akaho or get his respect.
In round 4 a clash of heads left Mizutani with a cut, and from then on the fight became messy, with a lot wrestling and clinching.
With the bout becoming awfully disjointed Akaho managed to break through the defences of Mizutani, landing a nasty body shot that dropped his man. Mizutani got back to his feet, but was down again and the towel would soon save him, at an official time of 2:45 in round 6.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Back September we reported that former OPBF and JBC champion Ryo Akaho (32-2-2, 21) [赤穂亮] would be back in the ring on November 19th for his next bout as part of an upcoming A-Sign Bee card. At the time however his opponent wasn't named.
Today we can report that Akaho's opponent for that bout will be the rather disappointing Naoto Mizutani (5-4-1, 2) [水谷直人], who is 1-1-1 in his last 3 and is taking a monstrous step up in class. The bout will be an 8 round contest at Super Bantamweight and will be Mizutani's first since an upset win over Mirai Imagawa in September, the only win Mizutani has had over a domestic opponent in 3 years. For Akaho this will be his second bout of 2018, and sees him looking to build on an opening round win over Robert Udtohan.
Another bout of note confirmed for this card is a Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title bout, with Ryuto Oho (11-4-1, 3) [大保龍斗] defending his title against Yuta Nakayama (6-1-1, 3) [中山祐太]. Originally Oho was supposed to defend the belt in August against Hiroki Inamine but that bout fell though due to Inamine pulling out, so this will be Oho's first defense of the title he won in April, when he stopped Tetsuya Tomioka. For Nakayama the bout will see him coming into the ring in search of a 6th straight win.
As with all A-Sign shows we do expect this to make it's way to Youtube, though it may be drip fed to the online video website.
Earlier today saw the announcement of the next A-Sign Bee show, which we now know will take place on November 19th.
The specific details of the card are scarce, but we have seen the first 3 fighters on the card being confirmed, though sadly none of them are yet to have their opponents named.
The highest profile fighter announced for the card will be former OPBF and JBC champion Ryo Akaho (32-2-2, 21) [赤穂亮]. The 2-time world title challenger is expected to have a step up from his last bout, against Robert Udtohan, but it's unclear whether he will be up against a domestic foe or a visitor.
Akaho will be joined by the always fun to watch Keita Kurihara (12-5, 11) [栗原 慶太], who will be looking to extend his current 3 fight winning run. We do believe that Kurihara is chasing titles, but would be surprised if he got a title shot here, however a shot for a belt will not be far off following notable recent wins over Ryan Lumacad, Tetsuya Watanabe and Kazuki Tanaka.
The third fighter confirmed for this card is Niboshi Yujiro (2-0, 1) [大曽根悠二郎], with his bout expected to be either a 4 or 6 rounder.
More details of this card are expected to be released in the weeks to come, though it's good to already see the promoters piecing the card together 2 months out.
Back in Janaury Ryo Akaho (32-2-2, 21) [赤穂 亮] had his career hanging by a thread after being taken to hospital ahead of a scheduled defense of the Japanese Bantamweight title, cancelling a bout with Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介].
Despite his health being a concern he decided to continue his career, though wasn't going to continue to fight at Bantamweight. Instead he would be fighting at either Super Bantamweight or Featherweight.
Today he returned to the ring for the first time since cancelling his January bout, fighting between the Super Bantamweight and Featherweight limits, and battled against Filipino foe Robert Udtohan (24-4-3, 15).
On paper it was a really interesting match up, eespecially given the health issues of Akaho, but instead the bout turned out to be a total mismatch. Udtohan seemed to be wanting to come forward to begin with but with just over 2 minutes of the round gone Akaho landed a brutal left hand to the body, which dropped Udtohan for the full 10 count.
After the bout Akaho spoke about being tense on his entrance to the ring, but seemed very relaxed after the bout joking with reporters and talking about continuing his career, thanks to the support her's recieved over social media since the issues in January. As for Udotohan, he has now lost 3 of his last 4, 2 by stoppage.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in Janaury Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] vacated the Japanese Bantamweight title due to medical issues that had left him medically unfit to fight, just days before a scheduled title defence against Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介]. The cancellation of that bout lead to the Japanese title becoming vacant, and has since seen two other Japanese title fights being cancelled this year, with the title still vacant today.
Despite the medical issues Akaho has been cleared to fight and will return to action tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall, where he will face Filipino foe Robert Udtohan (24-3-3, 15) in the main event of an ASign Bee show. Originally the bout had been scheduled to be the chief support bout, but was upgraded to the main event when Quaye Peter (11-9-3, 6) was injured whilst preparing to face Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) [近藤 明広], forcing that bout to be cancelled.
Today Akaho and Udtohan took part in their weight in, for a contest set to take place at a contracted at 123.5lbs.
On the sclaes Akaho made the limit with no problems and looked in pretty good shape for a man who had gone to hospital with potentially career threatening health issues just 6 months. Apparently a conversation with former world champion Akifumi Shimoda convinced Akaho to continue his career, but abandon the Bantamweight division, which was taking it's toll on his body. The weight limit for this bout seems to have been selected to allow Akaho to decide whether he wants to fight at Super Bantamweight or Featherweight going forward.
Udtohan was over the limit originally, coming in at 123.9lbs on his first attempt. Thankfully however he would lose the extra weight in time for his second attempt at weighing in, and the bout will take place, rather than have the top two bouts on the card being cancelled.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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