Tomorrow in China fans will be able to see WBO Youth Light Flyweight champion Xiang Li (7-2-1, 2) [李翔] defending his title against Japanese challenger Ryu Horikawa (2-0, 1) [堀川龍].
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 108lb limit for the bout.
On the scales the champion, who is looking to defend his title for the first time, was around 107.6lbs at the weigh in today and looked the shorter man.
Horikawa, who is fighting away from home for the first time in his professional career, was slightly heavier, at around 107.8lbs for the contest.
The bout isn't a high profile one, but the winner will certainly be ending the year with a huge boost to their career. A loss here isn't the end, given their ages, but the winner will certainly be expected to have a big 2020. Li is obvious the champion and the local favourite, but Horikawa is a very highly touted youngster and a win for the visitor would certainly not be a huge shock.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we saw confirmation of a Chinese card set for October 17th in Shanghai, China. The card isn't a huge one, but is a very interesting one with several bouts of note featuring at least one fighter who is worthy of attention.
The main event will see world ranked Chinese Flyweight Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3-1, 5) [乌兰] battle against Satoshi Tanaka (7-5, 1) [田中公士].
Tuolehazi, dubbed the "Tianshan Snow Leopard", will be making his second defense of the WBA International Flyweight title that he won back in March in a bout against Ryota Yamauchi. As for Tanaka this will be his first bout outside of Japan and first title bout, and obvious he enters as the big under-dog against a man who is ranked in the top 5 by the WBA and the top 15 by the WBO.
Another significant bout will see WBO Youth Light Flyweight champion Xiang Li (7-2-1, 2) [李翔] take on excellent Japanese challenger Ryu Horikawa (2-0, 1) [堀川龍] in a truly mouth watering match up.
Li won his title back in May, when he defeated Raymong Poon KaiChing in Hong Kong, claiming a number of minor titles including the one he will defend against Horikawa. He has looked promising but this looks like a major step up for him, given that Horikawa was a standout amateur who recently scored a fantastic win over Yuki Nakajima and is tipped to race to the top.
Another bout of interest here will see unbeaten Japanese fighter Hiroki Hanabusa (6-0-2, 2) [英洸貴] take on 23 year old Chinese fighter Ayati Sailike (7-8-2-1, 2) in an 8 round bout. There isn't much to say about the Chinese fighter however Hanabusa won the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year and should be regarded as a genuine prospect. A win for Hanabusa on Chinese soil would be a major boost to his fledgling career.
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall saw an excellent match up in a B class tournament final bout as standout amateurs faced off in a 6 rounder.
On paper the bout won't have attracted too much attention, but to hardcore fans of the Japanese scene the match up betwee Ryu Horikawa (2-0, 1) [堀川龍] and Yuki Nakajima (2-1, 2) [中嶋憂輝] had the hall marks of something very, very special. Both were legitimately well regarded prospects, following their days in the unpaid ranks and both had shown a lot of promise in their short professional careers so far.
Horikawa started the bout fighting well behind the jab, it was crisp and sharp and allowed him to open up his arsenal, landing some good body shots including a solid left hook. Despite being on the back foot Nakajima wasn't overwhelmed by the pressure and landed a really good rigfht uppercut on the inside as Horikawa took the first round. The second round saw Nakajima having success with his own left hook, but again the jab, and speed, of Horikawa caught the eye.
Horikawa continued to shine through rounds 3 and 4 as he moved even well ahead on the score cards, before Nakajima moved through the gears in an attempt to turn things his way from round 5. By then it was too little too late and Horikawa managed to avoid a tear up, whilst still having some notable moments of success. Horikawa's movement again kept him safe in the final round as he took the decision, with scores of 58-56 from all 3 judges to progress to the next round of the tournament.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had an interesting card, featuring a former world title challenger in the main event and a Japanese title fight in the co-feature.
The card also had a couple of really interesting under-card bouts.
The first of those saw Ryu Horikawa (1-0, 1) [堀川龍] make his professional debut, and stop Jun Ishimoto (5-7-1, 3) [石本純] in a Dangan B Class Tournament. Horikawa was aggressive from the off, and although he was punished by a good counter from Ishimoto he didn't change his gameplan and eventually forced Ishimoto's corner to save him, part way through round 3.
The other under-card bout of note saw the once beaten Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光] score a 5th round TKO win against Filipino Jules Victoriano (9-2, 6). The Filipino visitor had come to win, and put up a good effort in the early rounds, but Kimura's pressure, work rate and aggression was too much for the for the visitor who had to be saved by the referee after being rocked hard from a right hand. Kimura stated that he would like a title fight in the future and it's clear he and his team have big ambitions for his future.
The results from the two man bouts can be found below:
Obara stops Kefi at Korakuen Hall
Tanaka scores first defense of Japanese title!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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