Earlier today fans at Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a really interesting card put on under the Dynamic Glove banner.
On of the most notable bouts saw big punching Minimumweight prospect Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] continue his rise through the ranks with his 6th straight stoppage win, stopping Indonesian journeyman Silem Serang (13-20-2, 1) in 4 rounds.
The hard hitting Ishizawa applied his trademark pressure from the off and seemed intent on seeing off the visitor as soon as possible. He would drop Serang early in the bout, showing his power, but failed to stop the Indonesian. Serang showed his bravery by getting back to his feet, but he couldn't handle the power of Ishizawa who drop him again and again. In total the Indonesian would recover from 3 knockdowns, getting applause from the crowd for his bravery, before being stopped after a 4th knockdown with just 8 seconds of round 4 remaining.
As well as Ishizawa there was a number of other notable bouts on the card. Among those a narrow decision win for the 2018 East Japan Featherweight Rookie of the Year Hikari Mineta (6-1, 3) [峯田光], who narrowly over-came Motosuke Kimura (3-2-2, 1) [木村元祐] in one of the most competitive bouts on the card. This 6 rounder was saw Mineta win with two scores of 58-57 and one of 59-56, though Kimura did have a strong argument for a draw, at the very least.
Another notable bout on the card Ryota Toyoshima (11-2-1, 8) [豊嶋亮太] score a 3rd round win over Korean Woo Min Won (10-2, 6), in a bout that looked really competitive on paper. Coming in to this Won had stopped 3 Japanese foes, to boast a 3-0 (3) record against Japanese fighters, but Toyoshima ended that run when he forced the referee to step in and save Won when he was trapped in the corner taking shots. The bout had started slowly but warmed up in round 2 and then Toyoshima got the big break through and secured one of the best wins of his career so far.
One other bout that took place here saw former Japanese and OPBF champion Charles Bellamy (28-4-2, 18) come up short against Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人], in an 8 round contest. These two had fought last year, with Bellamy taking a very hotly contested decision and this immediate rematch was equally as competitive as their first. Shimizu, at times, looked unorganised, off balance and sloppy,but out worked the hard hitting Bellamy to take the decision, and avenge his 2018 loss. It's worth noting that this leaves Bellamy's career in a worrying position, with the 37 year old Japanese based American likely considering retirement sooner rather than later. As for Shimizu the win puts him in the mix for a potential title fight later in the near future.
There are certain names we love to see fight, as we are assured of a fun contest. One such fighter is Moon Hyon Yun (18-7-3, 4) [尹文鉉] who took on Ryota Toyoshima (10-2-1, 7) [豊嶋亮太] at the Korakuen Hall earlier today and we got a real fun fight, with a potential Japanese round of the year.
The opening round had moments of excitement in the first minute but it was really the final 50 seconds or saw that the pace heated up and the two men began to brawl giving the crowd something special to get excited about. The second was again one that saw the two men fight it spots, but those spots were intense, with Toyoshima getting notable success with body shots, and when he pinned Yun on to the ropes and unloaded. Yun would however come back towards the end of the round and fought hard as the two men went head to head.
Yun tried to change his tactics in round 3, pressing the fight more. Toyoshima's crisp movement kept him out of harms way for the most part, though he was caught by a huge right hand. When he did stand his ground however Toyoshima landed the more impressive shots, including a brilliant combination late in the round. There was more pressure from Yun in round 4, as Toyoshima looked to slow slightly, but the younger man did find space to land some very eye catching blows and likely took the round. By then however it was clear that Yun was beginning to draw Toyoshima into his fight.
Toyoshima seemed to realise that Yun was building some momentum, even if he wasn't winning the rounds. In round 5 he looked to kill that moment, and began to back up Yun, before turning up the heat late and giving the tough Yun a pounding on the ropes. It was as if Toyoshima wanted to make an impression late in the round and take control as we entered round 6. Toyoshima continued to control the action for much of round 6 with his footwork, but did get dragged into a war late in the round as Yun showed he wasn't done yet and put on a great finish to the round as he looked to get things to swing back in his direction.
In round 7 we saw Toyoshima begin the bout on the move before choosing to trade with with Yun in the final moments, and he got the better of it, shaking Yun at one point. The trading to end round 7 continued in round 8 as the two spent close to the whole 3 minutes waling on each other, forehead to forehead in what was 3 minutes of pure, raw, violence. It wasn't what Toyoshima needed, with the Teiken man looking like he had the fight in the bag, but it was what he wanted whilst looking for a stoppage. Moon saw out the round, but the 34 year old tough guy took some serious punishment. It was the type of round that left fans with on the edge of their seats and was worthy of a rewatch time and time again.
We'll admit we were surprised by the score-cards which all favoured Toyoshima but two were closer than expected at 76-77 and 78-75, whilst the third judge had the bout much wider at 79-73. We had it 79-73, a clear win for Toyoshima.
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