Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans saw former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (16-4-1, 7) [高橋竜平] bounce back from his loss to TJ Doheny earlier in the year.
The Japanese fighter was up against Korean visitor Jin Wook Lim (10-7-5, 3) [임진욱] and the difference in class showed early on.
Takahashi's foot work and aggression was key in the early going, pressing the fight and forcing Lim to fight at a harder pace. Although Lim had some moment he taking more than he was giving and he was hurt in round 4 as Takahashi body shots began to take a toll. Those body shots continued in round 5 with Lim returning in his corner between rounds 5 and 6.
Also on this card was a win for Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹], who took an 8 round decision win over former world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (34-10-1, 12). The Thai visitor, who has previously fought Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue for world titles, was unable to really get into the fight against the bigger, stronger, more powerful Mochizuki, who won a very clear decision over the Thai veteran.
(Image courtesy of boxmnob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (15-4-1, 6) [高橋竜平] battle against Korean Jin Wook Lim (10-6-5, 3) [임진욱], in what will be Takahashi's first bout since losing to TJ Doheny earlier this year.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men weighed in just under 122lbs for the bout, whilst looking in pretty good shape.
Despite both making weight, it should be be noted that the Korean was originally quite a bit over the limit and needed to step on the scales to make weight for the contest.
Takahashi revealed that he had thought about quitting the sport following his loss to Doheny, but revealed that had he done so he would have gone on to regret it. Instead he is aiming to win a national title and, in the future, return to fighting on the big stage.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
We've known for a while that there was plans to put on a card at Korakuen Hall on June 11th, though the full line up hasn't yet been announced. What we are hearing though are that their may be two former world title challengers in action on the card, as well as a fighter who is part of a very famous Japanese boxing family.
Sources in Japan and Korea have both stated that Ryohei Takahashi (15-4-1, 6) [高橋竜平], best known for losing in an IBF Super Bantamweight title fight to TJ Doheny earlier this year, will be on the show. The tough Takahashi is set to take on Korean Jin Wook Lim (10-6-5, 3) [임진욱], in what is a bit of a must win for both fighters.
Takahashi's shot at Doheny was an unexpected one, and despite losing he did show great fighting spirit and gave a solid effort against a man several levels better than himself. That loss to Doehny, an 11th round TKO, saw the end of a 5 fight winning run from Takahashi. Lim on the other hand was stopped last time out by Jess Rhey Waminal, who stopped him in 9 rounds in a bout for the "interim" WBA Asia Bantamweight title. That was his second stoppage loss, following a 2016 defeat to the then OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo.
The other former world title challenger pencilled in for the show is said to be Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (34-9-1, 12), who has previous fought Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue for world titles. Samartlek is pencilled in to face Naoki Mochizuki (15-4, 8) [望月直樹].
For Mochizuki the bout will be his first since losing to Junto Nakatani in a Japanese Flyweight title bout, back in February, Samartlek on the other hand has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, and is a long way removed from the fighter who went 11 rounds with Inoue back in 2014.
It should be noted that only 1 site has reported the Samartlek bout at the moment, and no site has reported both bouts, so it seems like there is still some confusion on the full line up. We do have have confirmation that 20 year old Kyonosuke Kameda (3-1, 2) [亀田京之介], the cousin to the 3 fighting world champions who share his surname, will be on the show. He will be up against Ryugo Ushijima (3-0, 2) [牛島龍吾], who impressed us earlier this year with his win against Shota Ogasawara. This is a tough bout for Kameda.
Last week we saw Ryohei Takahashi (15-4-1, 6) [高橋竜平] challenge IBF Super Bantamweight champion TJ Doheny (21-0, 15), and suffer a stoppage loss in the 11th round. Despite the loss his profile improved significantly, and he did put in a very solid effort for a bout that he took at short notice, so far away from home.
This morning Japanese sports paper Sports Hochi reported that Takahashi has decided to continue his career after that loss, following some rumours that he may walk away from the sport.
He quoted as saying "I will do my best to think that I did not give up at that time." (Translated) Making it known that he hasn't given up the sport, and it seems like the 28 year old will be looking to bounce back from the loss and get himself back into the title mix, rebuilding from the setback and moving forward.
At the moment there is not suggestion of when he will be back in the ring, but we suspect it'll be after a lengthy rest. He took a lot of punishment against Doheny and it's in his best interest to rest before getting back in the ring, though we are very glad to know that he will return, and will likely inject himself in the very exciting Japanese domestic scene at Super Bantamweight!
Later today Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平] will battle IBF Super Bantamweight champion TJ Doheny (20-0, 14), in what is a career defining fight for the little known Japanese challenger.
Originally the betting markets in the UK opened with only a "To Win" market, as we've approached fight time however there has been more markets opening up.
As with the opening odds Doheny is still the betting favourite. The Irish-Australian Opened at 1/50 though with more bookies having the bout listed the odds with some are now 1/25, whilst Takahashi is still a 14/1 under-dog, the same price as he opened at. The draw is currently available as high as 33/1.
Now, as well as the "To Win" market, we now have options such as the "Method of Victory" market to look at.
The favoured result for the bout is a TKO/KO/DQ win for the champion, with odds of 1/2 for this to be the result. A Doheny decision win has been best priced at 13/8. For those giving the under-dog a chance it should be noted that a decision win for Takahashi is available at 22/1 whilst a stoppage win for Takahashi is a massive 40/1. Sadly for Takahashi history is against him, and we need to go way back to August 1980, when Yasutsune Uehara v Samuel Serrano, to find a case of a Japanese fighter dethroning a world champion on American soil.
With Doheny being 1/2 to score a stoppage it is strange to note that you can get 8/15 on the bout not going the distance, better odds than you actually get on a stoppage for Doheny. As for the bout going the distance that's available at 7/4. There are a number of over/under on the length of the bout, but it does appear that most are expecting the bout to go into the middle rounds. The bout is 1/4/7 to go over 6.5 rounds and 8/5 to not go over 6.5. Others have the bout evens to go over 8.5 rounds and 8/11 for it no last that long.
Related- Preview: Doheny Vs Takahashi
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