Earlier today fight fans in Osaka saw the long awaited ring return of former world title challenger Shohei Omori (19-2, 14) [大森 将平], who looked at his very best as he destroyed recent OPBF title challenger Brian Lobetania (13-6-3, 11) in just 2 rounds!
Omori, who's last bout came in April 2017 when he was stopped by Marlon Tapales in the 11th round, showed next to no ring rust as he avoided the big shots of Lobetania and smartly got a read on the free swinging Filipino in the opening round. He used his jab well but looked cautious, and not like a fighter wanting to be caught by something wild.
In the second round he turned it on, and forced Lobetania in to the ropes with two solid straight left hands before forcing the referee to save the Filipino.
This is a second straight stoppage loss for Lobetania, who was stopped in 10 rounds in an OPBF title fight back in March by Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake, but given the speed with which Omori did it it's hard not to be impressed by the result. For Omori the performance, and result, were just what he needed go rebuild his confidence and begin his climb towards a second world title fight.
At 122lbs we expect to see a stronger, more solid looking Omori than we did at 118lbs, and the youngster looked very impressive today.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this week we were expecting to see the ring return of Shohei Omori (18-2, 13) [大森 将平], who has been out of the action since losing to Marlon Taples in a WBO world title fight last year. Omori's return bout was supposed to be against domestic foe Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人], though Hiroto failed to make weight for the contest and forced the bout to be cancelled.
Following the inability to make weight Hiroto has been essentially kicked out of the gym that he fought for, with Kadoebi announcing that they had banned him from March 28th. The gym stated that failing to make weight severely damages the social credibility of boxing, which is based on a weight class system.
Whilst fighters have been punished by the JBC for failing to make weight, as we saw recently with the JBC giving Luis Nery an indefinite ban, it's very rare for a gym to punish their fighters like this, though it does now seem like Japanese boxing is taking weigh ins very seriously.
It seems like the JBC will themselves punish Hiroto for missing weight, and may also punish Kadoebi, though the gym's stance is something that is admirable here, and could help set the mark for how gyms treat fighters who fail to make weight going forward. Sadly it does seem like we're having more and more fighters failing to make weight, and it's becoming an all too common occurence in boxing around the globe.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaka Kuga (16-2-1, 11) [久我勇作] record his second title defense, as be blitzed mandatory challenger Ryo Kosaka (15-4-1, 7) [小坂遼] in just 133 seconds.
Kosaka looked like he was there to win and started looking for body shots, but had no answer to Kuga's power, and was dropped after about 90 seconds. Kosaka got back to his feet but was down again only moments later with a left , forcing the referee to stop the bout with Kosaka back on his feet but lookihookng like a fighter who needed saving before Kuga got the chance to land another bomb.
Having blown away his over-matched challenger Kuga's attention turned towards the future and he's now being linked to his third defense, which is looking likely to take place in Summer and could be against former world title challenger Shingo Wake (23-5-2, 15) [和氣 慎吾]. That bout would essentially act as not only a Japanese title fight but also a worldtitle eliminator, with both men holding a number of world rankings.
Interestingly before Kuga's bout Wake was involved in a public exhibition with another former world title challenger, Shohei Omori (18-2, 13) [大森 将平] who was supposed to fight on the card, before his opponent Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人] failed to make weight, resulting in the exhibition bout.
(Image coutesy of boxmob.jp)
Last year we saw Shohei Omori (18-2, 13) [大森 将平] suffer an 11th round TKO loss to Marlon Tapales in a bout for the WBO Bantamweight title. That loss saw Omori suffer a broken jaw and take a long break from the ring to recover. His recovery is complete, thankfully, and he was scheduled to return to the ring tomorrow to battle fellow Japanese fighter Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人] at the Korakuen Hall.
Sadly that bout won't take place after Hiroto failed to make weight at today's weigh in.
Hiroto sadly came in 1.8KG's, or 4lbs, over the aagreed limit. Even after a 2 hour grace period Hiroto was unable to lose the weight forcing the bout to be cancelled, and essentially costing himself the biggest opportunity of his career so far. Given that he was nowhere near the limit serious questions will have to be asked.
Omori made weight with room to spare, and looked sensational, but instead of fighting tomorrow he'll take part in a bit of a work out for the fans, with reports suggesting he do a 2 round spar for the fans at the venue.
Sadly we'll now need to wait to see Omori's ring return, though given the shape he was in today there is a good chance his return will be sooner rather than later and he really did look in amazing condition.
(Image, of Hiroto, courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last year we saw Shohei Omori (18-2, 13) [大森 将平] and Hinata Maruta (6-1, 5) [丸田 陽七太] both suffer notable career set backs, with Omori suffering a stoppage loss in a WBO Bantamweight title bout to Marlon Tapales and Maruta losing in an OPBF title bout to Hidenori Otake.
Now both men are preparing to kick off their 2018's, with Omori returning to the ring on March 27th to face off with Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人] and Murata back in action on April 22nd, against ayet to be named opponent.
Ahead of their bouts the two men recent shared a sparring session, with Murata travelling to the WOZ boxing gym to share the ring with Omori, and learn from the talented southpaw hopeful. Whilst Murata would have been getting good quality ring time with a southpaw Omori would have been getting ring time with a good, fast and skilled Super Bantamweight, ahead of his bout which will take place at 122lbs.
Both men are young and very talented and despite their recent losses neither should be written off going forward, with both men looking to bounce back to title before the end of 2018.
(Image courtesy of Hinata Maruta's blog)
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