Earlier today we saw the first Japanese card of 2020 and whilst it wasn't a sensational card, it did featuring some interesting match ups, and notable fighters.
Prior to the first punches being thrown the Korakuen Hall hosted a ceremonial pray, for the safety and success of the fighters. After that the card began to get under way.
The opening couple of bouts didn't feature anyone too notable, with the first notable names being former Japanese Lightweight champion Shuhei Tsuchiya (23-5, 18) [土屋 修平] and current OPBF, WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎], who took part in a 2 round spar. This exhibition, which was put together at late notice against Tsuchiya's original opponent failed to secure a visa in time.
After that we saw former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平] stop Filipino Danny Tampipi (9-11-2, 5) in the 5th round. This was expected to be a blow out, but credit to Tampipi who took his shots like a champion and stayed in their until the final round. He was punished by the much bigger Omori but showed how game he was until the referee had finally seen enough.
We then moved onto the main section of the show, the Knock Out Dynamite Tournament finals.
Unfortunately the first of the finals had been cancelled, when Yuki Yamauchi (4-0, 3) [山内祐希] pulled out of his bout with Ren Sasaki (10-0, 6) [佐々木蓮]. Sasaki became the winner by default and collected his award in the ring.
We then got the first of two tournament finals, and action suddenly heated up. The final, at 60KG's, saw Filipino slugger Marvin Esquierdo (16-2-1, 10) stop Japanese veteran Ribo Takahata (16-9-1, 6) [高畑里望]. in the 4th round. Takahata had been dropped hard in round 2, but had fought back well until going down a second time late in round 4, and forcing the referee to wave off the bout. This win netted Esquierdo a very nice bonus for scoring a stoppage.
The final bout was less explosive, but even more interesting as Mongolian novice Tuguldur Byambatsogt (2-0) defeated Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (26-6-2, 24) in the 65KG final. Byambatsogt out boxed Baez easily in the first 3 rounds, fighting behind his jab and footwork, but seemed to slow down in the 4th round as Baez began to mount something of a comeback. Baez's comeback was however short lived with Byambatsogt showing a more aggressive side in round 5, dropping Baez to secure a clear decision win. The young Mongolian looks like a real potential star, and has shown he can box and fight, but he will need to temper his negativity if he's to become a big name. Despite the negativity Byambatsogt has the talent to go a very long way.
Give that financial bonuses were on the card for early stoppages this wasn't the explosive event we were hoping to see. Despite that there was enough to take away from the card to be entertained, with out being thrilled. Fingers crossed next weekend's Dynamic Glove card is a little bit more explosive and exciting than this was.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow we'll see former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-3, 15) [大森 将平] in action as he takes on Filipino Danny Tampipi (9-10-2, 5), who is a replacement for Chinese fighter Leshan Li (16-4-2, 9) [黎乐善].
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both came in under the Featherweight. On the scales Omori was 125.5lbs whilst Tampipi was 123.7lbs.
For the popular Omori the bout will be his first since being stopped in an OPBF title fight last year by fellow Japanese fighter Hiroaki Teshigawara [勅使河原 弘晶]. As for Tampipi he will be looking to build on a win over Robin Dingcong, for the Philippines Boxing Federation Featherweight title back in September.
The bout will be a 5 round bout with Prize Match rules, meaning that a bonus will be available if a fighter scores a stoppage, with a bigger prize for a quicker win,
For fans wanting to watch this it will be shown live on Boxing Raise on Sunday.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Back in November former Japanese Lightweight champion Shuhei Tsuchiya (23-5, 18) [土屋 修平] announced that he would be returning to the ring, ending a retirement that followed a 2017 bout against Shota Suito [水藤 翔太]. Sadly however his return bout was cancelled earlier today.
The plan had been for Tsuchiya to take on Chinese fighter Yangyang Li (8-1-2) as part of the January 12th Knock Out Dynamite Tournament final, the first Japanese show of 2020.
Sadly however Li has been unable to secure a visa in time for the bout, forcing it to be cancelled.
At the moment it's unclear what the plan is for Tsuchiya, who may fight in an exhibition on the card or may delay or even cancel his comeback all together.
Unfortunately this cancellation is the second on the card, which has also seen a bout between Yuki Yamauchi (4-0, 3) [山内祐希] and Ren Sasaki (10-0, 6) [佐々木蓮] being cancelled, as Yamauchi pulled out of the contest several weeks ago. It's also worth noting that a third bout on this card, Shohei Omori (20-3, 15) [大森 将平] facing off with Leshan Li (16-4-2, 9) [黎乐善], had to be changed when Li was stopped in late 2019, and has been replaced by Danny Tampipi (9-10-2, 5).
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)
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