Earlier today in Kobe fans saw local hopeful Ryoki Hirai (12-6-1, 4) [平井亮輝] claim his latest win and move one step closer to a potential title fight.
The talented Hirai set off with a great gameplan as he took on Koki Ono (12-6, 5) [小野晃輝]. The plan saw Hirai firing off the jab, a lot, and using his footspeed to get away from Ono before his foe could respond. It was a gameplan that Ono had no real answer for, and even when Ono did come forward the foot of Hirai was too much for him and he just re-established his range and control.
After 8 rounds there was no doubting the winner, with Hirai taking the decision, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 79-73.
After the bout Hirai spoke about being a first class fighter and it's clear he has got eyes on getting his second title fight. He looked like a totally different man to the one who lost twice last year, including in a Japanese title fight against Shin Ono, and there seemed to be real spark here. Ono on the other hand will have real questions to answer and this is a third straight loss for him.
(Image courtesy of boxmopb.jp)
The latest Senrima Kobe show took place earlier today at the Tokiwa Arena in Kobe, and although it wasn't a big show it was a pretty interesting one, with three notable fighters on the card.
The first of those in action was 2017 Rookie of the Year runner up Hiroki Tokuyama (8-1-1, 2) [徳山洋輝], was scored his third win since losing to Fumiya Fuse in the Rookie of the Year competition. The talented Tokuyama was up against the often under-rated Tatsuya Terada (7-5-2, 1) [寺田達弥], and it was clear that Terada was up for this one. Tokuyama looked to world the body but was caught by right hands from Terada, who seemed to feel confident that he could stop his man. The bout wasn't the tidiest but was exciting, with big shots and thrilling exchanges through out the contest. Tokuyama was under pressure early, following a cut caused by a head clash, and had to pass several doctors inspections during the bout. He'll be glad he did pass those inspections as it saw him taking an 8 round split decision.
Another man who picked up a decision was #3 ranked JBC Minimumweight Ryoki Hirai (11-6-1, 4) [平井亮輝], who over-came Takayuki Teraji (9-18-1, 4) [寺次孝有希] over 8 rounds, and ended a 2 fight losing run. The talented Hirai looked sharp in the early stages, with his speed, accuracy and timing all on point. Teraji however proved that he knew his role, and didn't just allow Hirai to have things all his own way, instead moving through the gears to take a few of the later rounds from Hirai, who was cut from a head clash in round 7.
Despite the wins for Tokuyama and Hirai it wasn't all good for the Senrima Kobe gym, as their stablemate Giraffe Kirin Kanda (14-3, 8) [神田亮] was surprisingly stopped by Fumisuke Kimura (9-4, 6) [木村文祐]. Kanda, fighting for the first time since his up and down thriller with Takuya Matsusaka last December, rocked his man with a right hand early on and had him in trouble in round 3 as well. Sadly for Kanda he then began to look tired and Kimura sensed something, taking the fight to Kanda who was put firmly in survival mode. Kanda held, spoiled and did everything he could to survive, but in round 7 he was cornered and the referee came in to save him. This ends an 8 fight winning run for Kanda, who's previous loss came in the 2015 All Japan Rookie of the Year final to Yuki Nagano. As for Kimura this is easily his biggest win to date, and should see him put into the JBC rankings.
Earlier this year we saw Ryoki Hirai (10-6-1, 4) [平井亮輝] come up short in a Japanese Minimumweight title fight, suffering a decision loss to Shin Ono [小野 心]. Today Hirai returned to the ring for the first time since that loss, and unfortunately for him it wouldn't be a triumphant return.
The former national title challenger, who carried a Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific ranking into today's bout, was up against fellow Japanese fighter Yuto Takahashi (9-4, 4) [高橋悠斗] and it seemed like the hunger and desire of Takahashi was too much for Hirai.
Takahashi fought well behind his jab early on, though Hirai kept with him well with some good body shots. In the middle rounds however Takahashi began to press forward, and landed his own body shots. Those took a toll on Hirai who seemed to slow down and was unable to trade blows with Takahashi who did enough to convince all 3 judges that he deserved the win, with scores of 77-76, twice, and 78-75.
The loss for Hirai sees him going 0-2 so far this year, following a good 5 fight winning run that had included notable victories over Takuma Sakae and Ryoya Ikema. As for Takahashi the win sees him rebounding from a loss to former world champion Tatsuya Fukuhara.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
At the turn of the year Reiya Konishi [小西伶弥] vacated the Japanese Minimumweight title leaving it vacant for the 2018 Champion carnival. The top two ranked fighters, Ryoki Hirai (10-5-1, 4) [平井亮輝] and Shin Ono (22-9-3, 5) [小野 心], fought to fill that vacancy.
The man coming out on top was the more experienced Ono who showed his experience through out the fight to finally claim a Japanese title, in what was his 4th shout at the title.
The Watanabe gym fighter controlled the bout for the most part by using his technical skills, boxing well behind his southopaw straight and his body shots and moving smartly. Hiraim the younger man, was looking to box his way in behind his jab, but struggled to ever control the distance. Hirai had moments in those early stages, enough to arguably be even, but looked like he was working much harder for less success than Ono.
After 5 rounds one judge had managed to have Hirai in the lead whilst the other two had Ono in the lead as the scores were made public. That was as close as it ever really got for the local fighter, with Ono essentially controlling the second half as he stepped uo the pace and swept all the rounds on 2 of the judges score cards, losing just a single round on the other card. The only thing that didn't go for Ono was a point deduction in round 8 for headclashes.
At the end of the bout there was no doubting the winner, with Ono getting the decision thanks to scores of 97-94, 97-92 and an awfully close 96-95. The win sees him winning a Japanese title 5 years after he won the OPBF Light Flyweight title and it's clear that he was a man who knew this would be his last chance. He pulled out one of the best performances of his career and at 35 years old will maybe have 1 more shot at a world title. For Hirai the loss will be a hard pill to take. He was very complimentary of Ono, admitting that Ono was better in every area, but the loss does end his 5 fight winning streak, and will be a major set back for the man from Hyogo.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A few months ago Reiya Konishi [小西伶弥] vacated the Japanese Minimumweight title, to pursue a dream of becoming a world champion. That vacancy will be filled later tomorrow when Ryoki Hirai (10-4-1, 4) [平井亮輝] and Shin Ono (21-9-3, 5) [小野 心] battle for the title in a Champion Carnival bout.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both looked in great shape whilst making weight for the contest.
On the scales both men came in at 104.5lbs, well under the limited.
The 27 year old Hirai was the lightest he's been in year, having been 104.75 or highter in every fight since the start of 2013. Despite this he's not much lighter than he has been, and he's regularly been 105lbs. Saying that however he has dipped his toes as high as Super Flyweight and has clearly not been suited to the higher weights. Coming in to this bout he's riding a good 5 fight winning run including notabe wins over Takumi Sakae and Ryoya Ikema
Ono is a 2-time world title challenger, having fought the likes of Katsunari Takayama and Knockout CP Freshmart. At the age 35 this is likely to be his last big fight and he's got himself into great shape following set backs at domestic level against Kenichi Horikawa, Tatsuya Fukuhara and the aforementioned Konishi. As with Hirai he's lighter than he's been in years and has clearly done all he can to get into the shape of his life for this bout.
Related-Hirai and Ono face off to crown new champion!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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