Back in April Japanese Light Welterweight slugger Shinya Iwabuchi (26-6, 22) [岩渕 真也] stated on his blog that he was retiring from the sport of boxing. Despite making that statement he it appears that he was keeping the door open to consider a return until this week when he officially handed in a retirement notice to the JBC.
The exciting and heavy handed Iwabuchi had stated early in the year that the wear and tear on his body was forcing him to walk away from the sport and that was the same reason as he gave to the JBC recently as he essentially asked them to revoke his licenses.
It seems that whilst Iwabuchi had retired from active competition he was unclear on exactly where he was going in life, though we now know that he's going to become a full time physical trainer, a great idea given the fact he was always in incredible shape as a fighter.
Sadly, though like so many, Iwabuchi will be better known for his losses than his wins and actually ended on his career on a loss, a 1-sided beat down at the hands of current OPBF champion Al Rivera, who battered him into submission earlier this year. That loss, along with ones to Keita Obara and Min Wook Kim, saw Iwabuchi come up short for the OPBF title, but he was the Japanese champion and a man who will be remembered for the excitement he provided in the ring.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday Japan's Shinya Iwabuchi (26-6, 22) [岩渕 真也] announced, through his blog, that his career was over following his recent loss to and Filipino banger Al Rivera (15-2, 13).
The wonderfully exciting Iwabuchi debuted back in 2004 as an 18 year old Super Featherweight and suffered back-to-back defeats to begin his career. Following that poor start he moved up in weight and carved 10 straight wins as a Lightweight before suffering a narrow defeat to Daiki Koide in 2008.
Follow the loss to Koide Iwabuchi moved up again, settling at 140lbs where he fought the rest of his career.
At 140lbs Iwabuchi claimed the Japanese title, stopping Yuji Wauke for the title in 2012, and defended it 3 times before making the first, of 3, unsuccessful challenges for an OPBF title, coming up short in a thriller with Min Wook Kim. Sadly the loss to Kim was the start of the end for Iwabuchi who would subsequently go 5-2 (5), with stoppage losses to Keita Obara and Al Rivera following.
Despite being best known for his losses Iwabuchi did score numerous wins of note, including an opening round KO of Koichi Aso, an 8th round TKO of Valentine Hosokawa, and a 7th round TKO win.
Whilst the retirement was partly down to the loss to Rivera it was also, in part, down to recurring injuries which have plagued Iwabuchi's career in recent years.
We'd like to thank Iwabuchi for the excitement he's given us over us career and wish him the best for the future. He may not have been the best fighter but he was very rarely in a dull fight and really did give his all every time he was in the ring.
Video's below show Iwabuchi's bouts with Koichi Aso and Al Rivera.
(Image courtesy of Iwabuchi's blog)
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance to see an OPBF Light Welterweight bout between local favourite Shinya Iwabuchi (26-6, 22) [岩渕 真也] and Filipino visitor Al Rivera (15-2, 13).
On paper the bout looked like an explosive, exciting and competitive bout, in the ring however the bout was the total opposite and ended up looking like a total mismatch.
Rivera looked strong, determined and aggressive from the off, taking the fight to Iwabuchi, who was made to look small by comparison. The Japanese fighter tried to fight back and kept himself alive in the opening couple of rounds but seemed like he's need to change tactic if he was to over-come the Filipino, and claim an OPBF title on the third time of asking.
Things went from bad to worse for Iwabuchi who was dropped twice in round 4 as Rivera looked for the early finish. To his credit Iwabuchi hung in tough, but looked like a man who was going to need to do something very special to do more than just survive.
After 4 rounds the cards were all in favour of Rivera, with scores of 40-34, twice, and 39-35, with one judge some how finding a round to give to Iwabuchi.
Iwabuchi did manage to have some success in the rounds that followed as the Filipino slowed down slightly, but that success was very limited and in round 7 the gutsy Iwabuchi was finally stopped.
Sadly for Iwabuchi this is the third time he has come up short in an OPBF title bout, having previously lost to Min Wook Kim, back in 2013, and to Keita Obara in 2014. This however was the most humiliating of those loses as Rivera simply battered him. It seems that whilst Rivera was excellent Iwabuchi's hard career of wars has caught up to him and the 30 year old should perhaps consider retirement. For Rivera however this win was a second successive upset, following a win late last year over a then unbeaten Adones Cabalquinto, and really helps put him on the map in many ways.
With the win Rivera does become a target for fighters like Chalermpol Sinwancha [เฉลิมพล สิงห์วังชา] and Hiroki Okada [岡田 博喜] though given this performance he woild likely fancy his chances against either man.
For those interested in watching this, it will be aired on tape delay this coming Saturday.
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo get a treat as Shinya Iwabuchi (26-5, 22) [岩渕 真也] faces off against Filipino banger Al Rivera (14-2, 12) in an OPBF Light Welterweight title bout.
Today the two men weighed in for the bout and both made weight for the contest whilst looking in tremendous shape. Notably Rivera was the taller man at the weigh in, though he is a man who grew into the weight and has fought in a much lower division, whilst Iwabuchi is a career 140lber.
Iwabuchi has told the media that he suspect this will be his last chance to claim an OPBF title, having come up on two other occasions, however for Rivera this is unlikely to be a one off given that he's a very young fighter and will be able to come against.
The contest, which headlines at the Korakuen Hall tomorrow afternoon, looks likely to be an all action contest with both men having real power and aggressive styles. For those unable to be at the "Hall" tomorrow it will be televised on Fuji TV over the weekend.
Iwabuchi and Rivera meet for OPBF gold!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the weekend we saw an interesting picture being posted online by former Japanese 140lb champion Shinya Iwabuchi (26-5, 22) [岩渕 真也]. The heavy handed, and always fun to watch puncher, posted a picture of himself from the Watanabe gym where he had been sparring with former JBC/OPBF Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (26-6-1, 16) [荒川 仁人].
Although details of the spar weren't made too public Iwabuchi did say that he felt the spar taught him new things and he made the most of Arakawa's extra experience.
Iwabuchi will be in the ring on February 11th, as he takes on Filipino slugger Al Rivera (14-2, 12) in a bout for the OPBF 140lb title whilst Arakawa will be in action himself on April 16th against Japanese Lightweight champion Kota Tokunaga (17-2, 11) [徳永 幸大].
Incidentally Iwabuchi also explained that the camera had gone cloudy due to the hot air in the gym, which is why the image isn't perfectly clear, yet it is still an interesting picture.
(Image courtesy of Iwabuchi's blog http://ameblo.jp/shinya20120213)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!