At the end of June we were informed that Yuta Saito (10-9-3, 7) [齊藤裕太] would face off with Eita Kikuchi (21-5-4, 8) [菊地永太] to fill the vacancy of the Japanese Bantamweight champion, with that bout taking place on September 1st. At the time there was no details on the under-card, though with it being the headline bout of an A-sign Bee card we did expect something of quality on the show.
This morning A-Sign took to twitter to confirm some of the details of the card.
The chief support bout was confirmed as being a contest between Reiya Abe (17-2, 8) [阿部 麗也] and Masashi Noguchi (12-10-1, 6) [野口 将志]. Originally the hope had been for Abe to fight in a Japanese challenger decision bout, a Japanese title eliminator, sadly however none of the ranked challengers wanted to face Abe so instead the Noguchi bout will take place above the divisional limit. From what we understand Abe however will not miss out on a Japanese title fight, and will instead got a shot at the Japanese Featherweight title next year at the Champion Carnival.
Another bout on this card will feature popular American born Japanese based fighter Charles Bellamy (27-3-2, 18) facing off with Yuto Shimizu (12-3-2, 5) [清水優人]. The 36 year old Bellamy has been out of the ring since January, when he took out a Thai visitor in 2 rounds, and will be looking to get his career back on track after some recent bouts of inactivity. Interestingly Shimizu has been out of the ring a little long, after having last fought in December 2017. This bout is a must win for both and should prove pretty entertaining given the styles of both fighters.
The card will also feature Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平], though his opponent is yet to be announced and will be confirmed closer to the date of the card.
Earlier today fight fans in Thailand, and those who were watching on Thairath, had the chance to see a pretty interesting card, headlined by a really good match up between Thai veteran Mike Tawatchai (45-12-1, 28) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา] and Japanese visitor Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平].
On paper this was a match up that looked likely to be entertaining, though few would have expected what we got, with Takahashi fightign at an insane pace always pressureing the Thai and forcing a real action bout. The Thai looked to avoid the war but kept getting dragged into a fight, and it was a fight he struggled to ever shine in, with the visitor out working him, out fighting him and refusing to change tactics.
In the end Takahashi's work rate sealed the deal and forced the judges to give him the win, with scores of 117-111, twice, and 116-112.
For Takahashi this is a huge win and could help him take a step towards a potential world title fight. It also leaves Tawatchai needing a win in September, when he returns to the ring against Muhamad Ridhwan inm Singapore.
The card also featured a second win for a Japanese fighter with Hironobu Matsunaga (13-1, 7) [松永 宏信] scoring a 4th round TKO win against Patomsuk Pathompothong (34-9-1, 21) [ปฐมศึก เกษตรพัฒนา]. The only real relief for Thai's was Downua Ruawaiking (12-0, 9), who continued his unbeaten run with a 6th round KO win against Filipino foe Jason Egera (23-20-2, 11).
Yesterday we were informed that Thai veteran Mike Tawatchai (45-11-1, 28) [ไมค์เกษตรพัฒนา] woud be back in the ring on June 20th to make his next defense of the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title. His opponent for the bout wil be Japanese visitor Ryohei Takahashi (14-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平], who fights in Thailand for the second time.
The Thai 32 year old is still in the IBF top 15, and is holding on to that rankings thanks to the regional title, but will know that his dreams of a world title fight are one loss away from ending. In fact he'll likely know that he's lucky to even be in consideration given recent losses to Shingo Wake, Yukinori Oguni, Tomoki Kameda and TJ Doheny, all in the last 3 years.
Despite picking up a lot of losses Tawatchai has actually got a brilliant record in Thailand, a 44-1-1 record at home.
The 28 year old Takahashi is 1-1 outside of Japan, having lost a decision to Andrew Moloney in Australia back in 2016 and picked up a win against a limited Thai last year. Coming in to this he is riding a 3 fight stoppage run and will feel confident of a victory here.
This bout will be televised by Thai Channel 32, Thairath TV, who have often streamed boxing live on their youtube channel.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got the latest in the A-sign Bee shows. The card had a number of notable fighters on it,and was a pretty notable domestic level card for the local fans.
The main event was a very technical affair between the in form Reiya Abe (17-2, 8) [阿部 麗也] and the very-rated Daisuke Watanabe (6-4, 3). The talented Abe, who had won his last 8, showed a little bit too much class and skill for Watanabe, but certainly didn't dominate the bout, with Watanabe often holding his own on a round by round basis. Sadly for Watanabe he wasn't ever able to shine above Abe, and in the end Abe took a clear 8 round decision, with scores of 79-73 and 78-75, twice.
Abe is now expected to move towards a Japanese title fight, and it likely to get his opportunity before the end of 2018.
Another notable fighter picking up a win here was recent world title contender Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) [近藤 明広], who scored a 4th round TKO win against Rikhit Thunritsa (0-1), and stated he wanted to work towards getting a second world title fight.
One other notable fighter picking up a win was Ryohei Takahashi (14-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平], who scored a 7th round TKO win against Tetsuya Koyama (7-10, 2) [小山哲也].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans had the chance to see an interesting card at the Korakuen Hall. The card had a number of well matches bouts and a number of notable fighters in action.
The chief support bout saw Teiken prospect Shuya Masaki (8-0, 4) [正木 脩也] destroy a Thai foe in 3 rounds, with the Thai being dropped in round 2, and round 3 of a pretty fun supporting bout. The Thai was saved by the towel, during the count from the second knock down, but he did give a very credible effort.
In a minor upset Yuki Iriguchi (9-1-1, 4) [入口 裕貴] took a split decision win over the in form Ryohei Takahashi (11-3-1, 3) [高橋 竜平] , who had taken the unbeaten records of Wataru Takeda and Kazuki Tanaka in his last 2 bouts. Takahashi had come into the bout as the #12 ranked Japanese Bantamweight, and he looked to defend that ranking, but could never get on top of his man in a real nip-and-tuck back and forth contest. Although Iriguchi took the win the scores of 77-75 could have gone either way on a really good fight.
In a battle of Japanese ranked Lightweights fans saw Tatsuya Yanagi (13-5-1, 4) [柳 達也] take a unanimous decision win against former title challenger Masashi Noguchi (12-8-1, 6) [野口 将志]. The bout saw Yanagi have a really solid start, before Noguchi settled, and by then the 27 year Noguchi was too far behidn to get back into the bout, despite some solid rounds. Sadly for Noguchi this is a third straight loss and it's hard to see how he will bounce back. As for Yanagai this was a second good win in a row, following an upset against Ryusei Nakajima, and it seems his once promising career is slowly getting back on track following a number of setbacks over the last few years.
One other bout of note saw Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Ryuta Otsuka (16-10-3, 6) [大塚 隆太] fight to a draw with Ryuta Wakamatsu (10-12-1, 7) [若松 竜太] in a really well matched and competitive contest.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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