Today's main event at the Korakuen all was a really highly anticipated OPBF Super Bantamweight title bout pitting exciting and tough champion Hiroaki Teshigawara(20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-3, 15) [大森 将平]. On paper this had the ingredients to be a special bout for fans at Korakuen Hall, with two aggressive, confident, hard hitting fighters against each other, both viewing the OPBF title as their key to getting a bout against a world champion.
Given the styles of the two men this was never going to be a boxing classic, but amazingly we did see some real intelligent boxing at times, as well as the war we all expected.
Early on it was the skills and movement of Teshigawara that really played a key part in the fight. The movement of Teshigawara seemed to really upset the rhythm of Omori who struggled, despite his southpaw stance, to land anything of note on Teshigawara, other than an occasional straight left hand. Even when Omori did land he seemed to get tagged himself by the more eye catching blows, especially in the second round when he started landing 1-2's as he came in. Round 3 was more competitive, with both landing straights, but it wasn't long until Teshigawara's timing and movement saw him take the edge again, taking round 4 and then cutting Omori in round 5 around his right eye.
Knowing he down, with the scores being 40-36, twice, and 39-37 after 4 rounds, and now being cut as well Omori knew he had to try to turn the bout around. He tried to do just that in round 6, one of his most successful rounds by far, but had his good work undone at the end of the round. He bounced back with a great 7th round, and then continued to have success, winning rounds 9 and 10 it began to feel like a huge comeback could be on the cards.
Sadly for Omori his effort in the middle rounds took a toll on him and by round 11 he was really starting to look slopping, and like a man who had given everything. Teshigawara had take the best Omori had to offer and still had something left in the tank as he hunted a big finish, a finish that came with just 24 seconds of the bout left when the referee rushed in to save Omori.
Following the bout Teshigawara publicly thanked Hozumi Hasegawa and Yoshihiro Kamegai, who he had been training with in recent weeks.
Notably it was a really emotional day for Koichi Wajima, who promotes Teshigawara. The former world champion not only saw his man win, and retain his title, but also took part in a special ceremony for the recently deceased Hitoshi Misako, who guided him to a world title.
For Omori it's really hard to see where he goes from this loss, but he summed it up by essentially telling members of the press "this is boxing". He then added that he couldn't get his distance and rhythm
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we’ll see Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] and Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平] battle for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title, in a highly anticipated showdown between two exciting and hard hitting fighters, each with aspirations of winning world titles.
Today, ahead of tomorrow’s bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made weight for the 122lbs contest.
On the scales both men came in bang on the divisional limit for the bout, and both men looked in tremendous shape at he weigh in.
Teshigawara revealed that in the build up to the bout he had spent 10 days with Hozumi Hasegawa, learning technical skills from the former 3 weight world champion, and a week with Yoshihiro Kamegai. He explained the time with Hasegawa has helped him prepare for southpaws whilst Kamegai helped with more general practice.
Omori on the other hand spoke confidently about the result, and stated he was going to stop Teshigawara in 5 rounds, proving how good he was. Given that Teshigawara has never been stopped it would be a huge statement from the WOZ boxing man. He also stated that Teshigawara was smaller than expected and seemed to have struggled to make weight, whilst he himself had made it with no issues.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be aired on tape delay over the weekend on Fuji TV.
Related - Teshigawara and Omori set for OPBF war!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] would make his second defense of the title in August, with the veteran set to fight against Ryuto Oho (12-5-1, 4) [大保 龍斗] on August 8th.
The bout will be Horikawa's third of the year following title win in February against Satoru Todaka and his first defense this past May. The 39 year old champion has more wins than any other active Japanese born fighter and is still reeling off victories at his advanced age.
As for Oho, aged 24, the bout will be his the bout will be his first Japanese title bout, but follows a Japanese Youth title win for the youngster. It's worth noting that he was stopped last time out, but that loss had come at Flyweight, to Masamichi Yabuki who actually damaged his hand in the win.
The bout, which will serve as the chief support bout to the highly anticipated OPBF Super Bantamweight bout between Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] and Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平] and rounds off an interesting card which will also see the very promising Masahiro Suzuki (2-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] face off with Japanese ranked Lightweight Kosuke Arioka (9-3-1, 8) [有岡 康輔].
Over the last few years we've seen fewer and fewer OPBF title fights that really get the juices flowing, but today we had one of those incredible bouts being announced.
The match up in question will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] take on former Japanese Bantamweight champion Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平], in what is a truly mouth watering clash.
The fight, which is scheduled to take place on August 8th at the Korakuen Hall as part of a Diamond Glove show, will be Teshigawara's second defense of the title. He won the belt in October 2018, stopping Glenn Suminguit in 5 rounds, and successfully defended it in February against Yuki Iriguchi, with an 8th round TKO. Those wins have extended Teshigawara's current winning run to 7 wins, with 6 by stoppage. During that winning run he has not only stopped Suminguit and Iriguchi but also Keita Kurihara, the current OPBF Bantamweight champion, Jason Canoy and former 2-time world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita.
Omori on the other hand is best known for his losses, both to Marlon Tapales including a loss in a world title fight to the Filipino. Despite those losses he has remained a fringe contender, and is still seen as a man with very high potential, especially at 122lbs, with both of his losses coming at Bantamweight. Since losing to Tapales for the second time, in April 2017, we've seen Omori blitz both Brian Lobetania and Takahiro Yamamoto, and a win here against Teshigawara would be his best win to date, and potentially opens the door to a second world title fight.
Given the styles of the two men, who are both aggressive and heavy handed despite having very different approaches in the ring, we're expecting an absolute barn burner when the two men get in the ring.
As with all Diamond Glove shows this will be shown on tape delay on Fuji TV, and we'd expect at least 1 other noteworthy bout to be added to the show in the coming weeks.
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans had the chance to see former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平] impress, as he stopped former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (21-6, 17) [山本 隆寛] in 3 rounds.
From the opening round Omori was too quick and too sharp for his foe. Yamamoto was tagged at range, and despite having the occasional connect of his own he really was coming off second best time and time again.
After just 2 rounds it seemed like Yamamoto as depending on his toughness to survive, and hope that Omori would slow down. Sadly for Yamamoto his toughness ran out before Omori slowed down, with Omori moving through the gears in round 3, landing the right hook, rocking Yamamoto and unloading until the referee stepped in at the 2:28 mark of round 3.
After the bout Omori revealed that he had sparred with Naoya Inoue and had learned from that sparring, and although it wasn't explicitly stated it does seem like he will be hunting a second world title fight sooner rather than later. As for Yamamoto he seemed very clear that he was coming off second best and that he lacked the tools needed to defeat Omori, who really looked good today.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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