Just over a month ago WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Joe Noynay (18-2-1, 7) scored the biggest win of his career, stopping 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡]. Following the fight Shimizu under-went some pretty notable surgery following fractures in both orbital bones.
Today, a little over a month since that loss, Shimizu returned to full scale training at the Ohashi Gym in Yokohama, though obviously isn't back to sparring yet.
Speaking to the Japanese press Shimizu revealed he was getting better day by day and that his return to the ring is dependent on his recover, though it does appear that he's looking for a ring return sooner rather than later.
Although was explicitly mentioned it would seem like he is hoping to be recovered by October to potentially prepare for a return bout on the WBSS Bantamweight final card in November, headlined by promotional stablemate Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]. If that's not possible the second likely date for his return would be late December as part of the next big Fuji TV year ending show.
In Osaka today fight fans had a trio of title bouts. On paper the least interesting of those was a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title, with Filipino champion Joe Noynay (18-2-1, 7) looking to make his first defense, as he went up against Japanese challenger Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡]. For Shimizu this was seen as a chance to dip his toes into the Super Featherweight division, before a potential world title bout at his natural 126lbs, whilst Noynay was looking to build on a small upset win over Kosuke Saka for the belt earlier in the year.
What few expected was for the bout to turn to out to be a stellar contest, with both men trading some vicious bombs, in a fight that stood out as being much more dramatic than the two world title bouts on the same show, even if it was rather one-sided.
The bout started in surprising fashion, with Noynay twice dropping Shimizu, who looked unable to take a clean shot during 3 minutes of hell for the 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner. Noynay, not a big puncher by any stretch, seemed to hurt Shimizu every time he landed and the 10-7 opening round for the visitor was huge. The issue for Shimizu wasn't just that he was being hurt when he was being hit, but that he was being hit so easily by Noynay, who's straight left hand and right jab couldn't miss.
Shimizu managed to recover somewhat from the nightmare start, and had a solid round 3, rocking Noynay with his touted "Diamond Left". It seemed like after the awful start Shimizu was beginning to turn the tide, show his class, and prove why those in Japan were excited about his potential.It was however a short lived success for the Japanese fighter, who was rocked again in round 4. By the end of the round it seemed like Shimizu's hopes were fading again. His right eye was closing quickly, his nose was bloodied and he was looking like a man who had began to lose all hope.
Shimizu's toughness got him through a rough round 5, but then it seemed like their was some concern for him, and in round 6 the referee seemingly tried to get the doctor to stop the bout, due to Shimizu's now closed right eye. The doctor had other ideas and let the bout go on, though it wasn't for long, with Shimizu being dropped a third time and the referee took the opportunity to stop the bout.
For Shimizu this loss is a huge setback. Whilst it did come at 130lbs, not his natural 126lbs, it was a damaging defeat and may well leave him with serious questions about his future. At the age of 33 he may well have missed the bout, and missed out a career defining professional win.
For Noynay however the win is a huge, and continues his good form in Japan. A rematch with Reiya Abe, who he lost a close decision to at Featherweight in 2017, would be interesting but there are copious other good options for him at 130lbs if he intends to build on his two recent wins in Japan. Noynay against someone like Hironori Mishiro, Takuya Watanabe or Masaru Sueyoshi would certainly be very interesting contests, and with today's big win those are bouts that would certainly be very sell-able to a Japanese audience.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Osaka fight fans will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6) defending his title against Japanese challenger Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡].
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men looked in good shape, and hungry to make a statement.
On the scales both men were 129.6lbs, comfortably under the 130lb limit. For Shimizu this is much heavier than usual, and the OPBF Featherweight champion is clearly testing his toes at the higher weight before a potential Featherweight world title bout later in the year.
The champion, who won the belt in Japan earlier this year when he stopped Kosuke Saka, stated that he though Shimizu was a good fighter, but that he would defend his belt and return to the Philippines as the champion. The challenger on the other hand sounded confident in his power, even at a higher weight, and seemed to suggest he was fighting with the intention of continuing his stoppage run.
Sadly this bout doesn't appear to have any live TV coverage, but there is hope that it will be aired down the line on delay.
Related - Noynay takes on hard hitting Shimizu in regional title defense!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Unbeaten Japanese prospect Shokichi Iwata (2-0, 1) [岩田翔吉] made his Japanese debut in May, when he easily beat 2018 Light Flyweight Rookie of the Year at Daiki Kameyama (7-3-1, 2) [亀山大輝]. We now been informed that he will be back in a Japanese ring in July.
The talented former amateur standout has become the latest fighter to find himself added to the July 12th card in Osaka, headlined by Ryota Murata's (14-2, 11) [村田 諒太] rematch with WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Rob Brant (25-1, 17).
At the time of writing his opponent for the show hasn't been announced, though we have been told the bout will be a 6 round bout at Light Flyweight, with the possibility that this will be his last bout over the 6 round distance before he moves onto 8 rounders.
Iwata's inclusion on the card gives the show a solid under-card bout to go with the three title bouts. Those include the Brant Vs Murata bout as well as the WBC Light Flyweight title bout, pitting unbeaten champion Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] against mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1, 22) and a WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title bout between Filipino champion Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6) and Japanese challenger Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡].
In 2018 we saw 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] fight 3 times, defending the OPBF Featherweight title in all 3 bouts and. His activity for the year consisted of just 15 rounds of action and unfortunately he's yet to fight this year.
Thankfully we now know that the hard hitting southpaw will return to the ring this coming July, and will be doing so at Super Featherweight, as he looked to open up new possible avenues to an eventual world title fight.
Earleir today Shimizu, along with promoter Hideyuki Ohashi and trainer Koji Matsumoto, held a press conference to announce his next fight will see face Filipino fighter Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6), in a bout for Noynay's WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title on July 12th, as part of a card headlined by Ryota Murata's (14-2, 11) [村田 諒太] rematch with WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Rob Brant (25-1, 17).
The press conference began with Mr Ohashi revealing that the bout isn't a sign of Shimizu abandoning the Featherweight division, but instead expanding options for a world title fight, suggesting that Shimizu can make weight with out issue. Given his frame it's not hard to believe this.
Although Shimizu has been inactive since December he revealed that there hasn't been any problems and he has been sparring, correcting issues, especially with his balance, and feels comfortable that his power will career up to Super Featherweight.
Although the Japanese fighter is seen as the puncher it is worth noting that Noynay really shined earlier this year, when he blitzed Kosuke Saka to win he WBO Asia Pacific title. Whist Noynay has lost twice both were ultra close decisions, coming to Richard Pumicpic and Reiya Abe, and he has certainly grown, matured and developed since then.
On paper this should be a very, very interesting tests, and adds a third notable bout on to the July card, which will also feature WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] defending against mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1, 22), giving us a trio of very notable title bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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