Earlier this week we saw Seiya Tsutsumi (3-0, 3) [堤聖也] score his career best win, breaking down Junpei Inamoto (2-1, 1) [稲元 純平] to claim a B Class Tournament win and put the Japanese scene on alert.
At the time it seemed like Tsutsumi had made an impact, and could really rely on his laurels to the end of the year. He however seems to have a different idea, and after the fight he spoke to the press revealing that he still had plans for 2018.
Tsutsumi, who said he was comfortable fighting at either Super Flyweight or Bantamweight, stated that he was wanting to face off with a Japanese ranked fighter next time out, to build on the win over Tsutsumi and put himself into the Japanese rankings before the end of the year.
It's unclear which division he would prefer to chase his first title at but it's clear that the Watanabe Gym fighter is another in the ever growing line of Japanese fighters who want to prove themselves and do so quickly. In that manner he appears to be following the likes of his stable mate Hiroto Kyoguchi as well as Kosei Tanaka and Naoya Inoue, with all 3 having increased their profile internationally by showing drive and ambition to make a name for themselves. Something Tsutsumi certainly has the skills and style to do as well.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to see a number of B Class tournament final bouts.
The most interesting of those was the Bantamweight bout, which pitted unbeaten novices against each other, with Seiya Tsutsumi (3-0, 3) [堤聖也] battling against Junpei Inamoto (2-1, 1) [稲元 純平]. On paper the bout may not have seemed like much to those who don't follow the Japanese scene but both of these men were amateur standouts, tipped for big things and both had look fantastic in their each professional bouts.
Whilst we expected something special when Tsutsumi and Inamoto got in the ring together we didn't expect anything half as thrilling as what we got. From the opening seconds both men looked like they had a point to prove. Both circled at mid range, looking for opening before Tsutsumi began to the distance and land some thunderous hooks and powerful jabs. Inamoto looked to return fire and it wasn't long until the two men began to trade. Inamoto often looked like the one who wanted to back off, but kept getting dragged back in as the two found themselves up close and unloading on a regular basis.
In round 2 Inamoto was caught by a brutal right hand that sent him down. He got back to his feet, impressively, but began to fight more cautiously when he got back to his feet. He began to wrestling and attempted to clear his head for the remainder of the round. Tsutsumi however wasn't there to wrestler and he seemed to hurt Inamoto later in the round before Inamoto began to trade with him, seemingly realising that backing off was a terrible idea.
Inamoto did brilliantly to recover from the knockdown and fight back but was looking like a fighter who was fighting out of desperation as we finished the round and was badly swollen under the left eye. Tsutsumi on the other hand looked like a fighter who was enjoying himself in the ring, and went out for round 3 with a seek and destroy mindset. With destruction on his mind Tsutsumi managed to have some short aggressive bursts, which resulted in a cut around Inamoto's left eye. It was a bad one and as soon as the referee spotted it he took him to the referee who stopped the bout.
Given the performance Tsutsumi looks like he's on course to be a star. He's exciting, aggressive, and looks to be the sort of fighter than every fan can get behind. Inamoto looked like he simply came up against some one too. He's a talent himself, but he looked a level below Tsutsumi who looks like he's going to be a major star for the Watanabe over the coming years.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and subscribers to the excellent Boxingraise subscription service, had the chance to watch a trio of B class tournaments, all of which were excellent bouts and incredibly competitive bouts.
The first of the three tournament bouts was at Flyweight, as Yasuhiro Tanaka (5-3-2) [田中 康寛] out pointed Satoshi Tanaka (4-5, 1) [田中公士]. The bout was hotly contested, but Yasuhiro Tanaka was just that touch better than his namesake, and got the well deserved win, though did have to work incredibly hard for it. Notably this was Yasuhiro Tanaka's first bout since September 2015, when he was beaten by Tatsuji Kakumoto. With this win Yasuhiro Tanaka has sealed a place in the tournament final against former amateur stand out Rikito Shiba (1-0) [芝力人], in what should be an amazing bout.
The second of the 5 round tournament bouts saw Featherweights trade blows, with 22 year old Kanehiro Nakagawa (5-5, 3) [中川兼玄] claiming a split decision over Tasuku Nakagawa (7-4-1, 3) [中川祐]. This was more hotly contested than the Flyweight bout, and there was very little to seperate the two men who seemed to have been amazingly well matched and we'd love to see these two go at it again, especially given the exciting way the contest finished with the two men trading hard blows. Sadly for Kanehiro Nakagawa he's now got a very tough final against Ren Sasaki (7-0, 5) [佐々木蓮].
On paper it was the third bout that really had us excited as touted teenager Junpei Inamoto (2-0, 1) [稲元 純平] battled against the under-rated Taiga Higashi (5-3, 2) [東大河], and Inamoto was given a real scare when a solid right hook from Higashi landed clean and dropped Inamoto in round 2. The knockdown left Inamoto in trouble through out the round, but he would regroup and use his skills to take the win, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Whilst this was an excellent win for Inamoto, it does lead him to another tricky fight, as he takes on Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in his final, in what is a truly mouth watering novice match up.
For those wonfering, all the final bouts will take place on September 4th and will, like today's show, be promoted by the Dangan team.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We all know it can be easy to get over-excited about a young novice in their boxing infancy but was have rarely been truly blown away by a debutant. One of the very few who did make us instantly sit up and take note was youngster Junpei Inamoto (1-0, 1) [稲元 純平], who looked like in the making in his debut last December.
Although Inamoto was matched against a very weak Thai foe there was still something about the performance from the Japanese teenager that made us sit up and take note. It wasn't so much that he did what was expected of him, but more how he did it, and how he looked doing it.
Since his debut we have been waiting on news of his future and now we know that he will be back in action on June 7th when he takes on fellow youngster Taiga Higashi (5-2, 2) [東大河] in a B class tournament bout at the Korakuen Hall, in what is a consierable test for Inamoto.
The 22 year old Higashi has only lost competitive decisions to Matcha Nakagawa, who would go on to win the 2015 Rookie of the Year 1t Bantamweight, and Kazuki Nakajima, a touted former amateur standout who is currently fighting for the Ohashi gym. Knowing that it's clear he should give Inamoto a serious test, and a win for the younger man really would be a huge one in just his second bout.
Interesting the winner of the Inamoto Vs Higashi bout will then be matched with Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in the B class tournament final, leaving us with another excellent match up, regardless of whether Inamoto or Huigashi come out on top in June.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ealier this year Japanese Middleweight Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登] blasted away the tough Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田 光] to become the Japanese Middleweight champion. That bout was, sadly, only aired on an obscure regional channel in Japan, meanign that most fans in the country haven't seem Takesako since he stopped Shoma Fukumoto inside a round last year.
Thankfully fans in Japan will get the chance to see the exciting, and very heavy handed, Takesako in the ring in early June as he has been selected to headline the June version of Dynamic Glove on G+.
The hard hitting Takesako won't be defending his title however, instead he will be facing off with Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), who is fighting in his 50th professional bout.
On paper this is a huge mismatch in favour of the Japanese fighter, who has only fought for 3 minutes and 2 seconds, combined, in the last 12 months, but it's great to see that he will be kept active and will be returning to the ring less than 3 months after his title win.
Other fighters on this card include Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也], who will be up against Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], the debuts of Jin Minamide (0-0) [南出仁] and Takuma Takahashi (0-0) [高橋拓磨], as well as bouts featuring Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] and Junki Sasaki (19-3, 7) [佐々木洵樹] in decent domestic tests.
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