Heading into 2018 Ryo Sagawa (6-1, 4) [佐川遼] was 2-1 (2), today however he know he'll end the year 6-1 (4) following his 4th notable win since January.
Today the former amateur standout, who had scored wins over Tasuku Suwa, Junki Sasaki and Ryo Matsumoto already this year, added former OPBF title challenger Shingo Kawamura (16-5-1, 8) [河村真吾] to his victim list with an 8th round TKO win at the Korakuen Hall.
Kawamura, as we saw in his OPBF title fight against Satoshi Shimizu, showed no fear and came out looking to make an impact early. He used his southpaw jab excellently and made Sagawa really think about what he did. Sadly for Kawamura his pace began to tire him out, and as we went through the middle rounds it was Sagawa taking control, landing clean shots and really testing the toughness of Kawamura. That toughness however saw Kawamura being too tough for his own good and the referee stepped in in the final round to stop the bout and give Sagawa his 4th big win of the year.
Sagawa had previously stated that he was wanting to fight for titles in 2019, and it's hard to suggest he doesn't deserve one. Sadly for Kawamura this is a second straight stoppage loss, and it's hard to see where he goes from this.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get a really brilliant card. Among the interesting match ups on the show is a Featherweight bout between recent OPBF title challenger Shingo Kawamura (16-4-1, 8) [河村真吾] and Ryo Sagawa (5-1, 3) [佐川遼].
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 126lb limit, those specifics haven't been given to us at the moment.
Not only did both men make the limit but both looked in fantastic shape for what is a key bout for both men. The winner of this will take a huge step towards a title fight in the new year and will be full aware of how significant this contest is.
Coming in to the bout Kawamura is looking to bounce back from an August stoppage loss to Satoshi Shimizu [清水 聡] whilst Sagawa is looking to build on an upset stoppage win over Ryo Matsumoto [松本亮], from back in September.
Related - Sagawa and Kawamuro battle in mouth watering showdown!
(Image courtesy of Ryo Sagawa's twitter)
Earlier today fans at the Korakuen Hall saw the East Japan Boxing Association award winners for September take to the ring and speak about their futures.
The MVP for the month was Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真], and as we all know his immediate plan is to fight against Petch CP Freshmart (48-0, 33) on December 30th. He spoke about the fight and how fighting for a world title has been on his mind for the last 2 years, as he wants to join older brother Naoya Inoue as a world champion.
The fighting spirit award was won by Ryo Sagawa (5-1, 3) [佐川遼], who will be back in the ring on December 13th when he takes on Shingo Kawamura (16-4-1, 8) [河村真吾]. He revealed today that he would be chasing title fights in the new year, and clearly is looking towards the future, despite the Kawamura bout.
The State of the Art award, otherwise known as the Newcomer award, was won by impressive debutant Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗] who stated that his next bout hadn't yet been decided but that he was wanting to go on to win a world title, and win all his bouts by KO on his route there. He sounded incredibly confident, and told the fans to remember his name. It seems clear that 2019 is going to be a huge year for the teenager, but when he'll be back is yet to be determined.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their latest monthly award winners and it was genuinely one of the best trios we've seen winning the awards.
The MVP for the month was Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真], who scored a bit win against Mark John Yap in a WBC Bantamweight title eliminator, to earn himself a mandatory title fight, albeit one he seems likely to wait a while for.
The fighting spirit award was won by Ryo Sagawa (5-1, 3) [佐川遼], who earned the award for his upset win against former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto [松本亮]. Notably this win, as well as Inoue's, were both on the same September 11th show at the Korakuen Hall.
The State of the Art award, otherwise known as the Newcomer award was won by impressive debutant Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗], who destroyed Sanchai Yotboon and put himself on the boxing map with a brilliant debut.
The three award winners will be involved in a ceremony on December 3rd at the Korakuen Hall, as part of a stacked Phoenix Battle card.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall saw a notable upset, as former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (21-3, 19) [松本亮] suffered a shock 3rd round stoppage loss to Ryo Sagawa (5-1, 3) [佐川遼].
On paper this looked like a mismatch, given Matsumoto's experience at world level. He was however fighting as a fully fledged Featherweight for the first time, and didn't look in the usually amazing shape that we see him in, he was also coming in following a loss last time out to Daniel Roman. Sagawa however turned up for the weigh in in incredible shape, proving he was a natural Featherweight, and was riding the high of an upset win over Junki Sasaki.
Early on Sagawa landed a right hand that seemed to hurt Matsumoto, who looked like he wanted to force a fight. In the second round another right hand from Sagawa landed, and again it seemed like he was hitting too hard for Matsumoto, who had fought much of his career at Super Flyweight.
The power of Sagawa would make a major break through in round 3, when he dropped Matsumoto with a solid right hand. Matsumoto would recover from the knockdown, but immediately showed he was hurt by trying to brawl with Sagawa, who would rock him again before following up and forcing the referee to save Matsumoto.
With the win Sagawa takes a massive step towards a title fight, and could well fight for a regional title by the end of 2018. He's now running a 4 fight winning run and is in great form, living up to the promise of his excellent amateur career.
For Matsumoto however the loss is one that will act as a serious wake up call. Sagawa managed to hurt him repeatedly, seemed to time him with ease and was simply too good. For Matsumoto the future really shouldn't be at Featherweight, though it's hard to see what he can accomplish in the talent packed Super Bantamweight division.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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