Every so often we get a bout that we just know will be something special, due to the men involved, their styles and their mentality.
Today we had one such bout, as former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-5-1, 6) [田村 亮一] battled against experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (26-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔] in a Japanese title eliminator.
On paper the bout wasn't anything special, but hardcore fans of the Japanese scene knew this would be something sensational, and that's exactly what we got, over 8 incredible rounds.
From the opening round this was just a violent war with both men standing their ground and letting their shots fly up close. Both men essentially ignored their jabs as they traded hooks and uppercuts up close. This was the style that suited Tamura.
Despite being the more physically imposing fighter Tamura seemed to falter in terms of variations, whilst Furuhashi managed to land some booming straight right hands on his way in, and as the fight went on Furuhashi started to move a little more, using his feet smartly to neutralise some of the pressure of Tamura and lure him onto shots.
Furuhashi would end up being dragged back into a toe-to-toe war again in the later stages as Tamura's pressure began to have the desired effect. By then however it was too little too late for Tamura in the eyes of the judges.
After 8 rounds the scorecards from all 3 judges favoured Furuhashi, with scores of 78-75, twice, and 77-76, as he secured his third Japanese title shot.
After the bout Furuhashi seemed incredibly excited about getting a third shot at the title. He will be the under-dog when he fights for the title, but he'll be a live under-dog. Tamura, on the other hand, stated that he thought he deserved the win and it's clear that despite the loss he will continue on and keep chasing his dreams of regaining the title that he lost to Yusaku Kuga earlier this year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow the Korakuen Hall plays host to a Japanese Super Bantamweight title eliminator, as former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔]. On paper this might not look like a great bout, but for those who have seen the men in action they'll know they are in for a treat. Both men have great styles and this should be an all action bout.
Just moments ago the two me took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men managed to make the 122lb weight limit, in fact both men came in on the divisional limit.
For Tamura this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title earlier this year, in a fight of the year contender against Yusaku Kuga. As for Furuhashi the bout will see him seeking an 8th win following a loss in a Japanese title fight to Yasutaka Ishimoto back in 2016.
Interestingly Furuhashi is pencilled in to fight again later this year, with a fight pencilled in for November in Taiwan. That bout is expected to take place win or lose tomorrow. Notably the winner of this bout will get a Japanese title fight early next year at the Champion Carnival.
Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We've known for a little over a month that former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-2-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] would be returning to the ring on September 13th. Sadly what we didn't know was who he would be fighting.
Today we finally saw his opponent for the being announced, and unfortunately it's not someone worth getting excited about.
The bout, which is a home coming for Ito following his title loss to Jamel Herring, will see the Japanese fighter take on Indonesian foe Ruben Manakane (25-18-1, 14).
The 26 year old Manakane turned professional in 2011 and has been a regional journeyman, padding his record in Indonesia and losing on the road to the likes of Billy Dib, Luke Jackson, Marlon Tapales and AJ Banal. It's almost a given he will pick up another loss here to the world class Ito.
Whilst the main event is disappointing the rest of the card is worth getting excited about, with a great Japanese Featherweight title bout between Reiya Abe (19-2-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] and Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4) [佐川遼], a Japanese Super Bantamweight title eliminator between Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] and Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔] and a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title bout, as Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] faces Shisui Kawabata (2-0, 2) [川端嗣穂].
Earlier this month we saw a press conference to announce that former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-2-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] would be in action on September 13th as part of an A-Sign card. Ito's bout was announced as the main event of the with a great a supporting bout between Reiya Abe (19-2-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] and Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4) [佐川遼] for the Japanese Featherweight title also confirmed for the show.
Other than those two bouts there was very little known about the show, though today it appears that changed with two bouts being announced by the A-sign blog.
The less interesting of the two, if we can say that, is a Japanese title eliminator at 122lbs between former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] and the always entertaining Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔]. Despite being the "lesser" of the two bouts announced today this should be a really good bout between two men who enjoy a tear up, lack a little but of thunder on their punches, but set aggressive work rate and look to make wars.
For Tamura the bout will be his first since losing the belt in his second bout with Yusaku Kuga, in what was one of the best Japanese bouts of 2019. Tamura, who is promoted by Hajime No Ippo creator George Morikawa, will be looking to end his year on a high after winning, and losing, the Japanese title this year. For Furuhashi on the other hand the bout will see him looking to earn his third shot at the title, following a draw with Yukinori Oguni in 2014 and a TKO10 loss to Yasutaka Ishimoto in 2016.
Earlier this months Tsuyoshi Sato (9-1-1, 5) [佐藤剛] was forced to pull out of a Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title bout against Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人], in what was really unfortunate news and scuppered what had looked like a genuinely amazing bout. Thankfully things have fallen into place for Shiba to now be matched with Shisui Kawabata (2-0, 2) [川端嗣穂], in an excellent match up, even if we did prefer the Sato one.
For both Shiba and Kawabata this is a huge risk, especially this early in their careers, but for the two former amateur standouts this is a fantastic fight to put one on the fast track, and to allow the other a chance to gather themselves and build going forward. Neither man can be written off with a loss this earlier, especially not to the other guy, and this is the sort of amazing match up the Youth titles can give us, and further shows how Japan is so much different to many countries in terms of how they bring young fighters through. We would never see two notable young amateurs with the pedigree these two have facing off this early in their careers.
We're expecting Ito's opponent to be announced in the coming weeks and whilst we don't expect someone too tough it's still going to be great to see Ito back in action in Tokyo, and we expect he will get a really warm welcome back at Korakuen Hall in his first bout since losing the WBO world title to Jamel Herring.
(Image courtesy of A-Sign Boxing)
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