Former Japanese amateur stand out Shu Utsuki (3-0, 2) [宇津木秀] extended his winning run earlier today with an impressive knockout against aggressive, and wild, Chinese foe Da Xu (3-1-1, 1).
The opening moments saw Utsuki looking razor sharp behind his busy and accurate jab. Xu however showed no respect to the skills of Utsuki and got inside, making things messy as he worked the body up close. Xu seemed to realise quickly that his only chance was to get inside and take away the skills and speed of Utsuki and began wrestling, forcing Utsuki to the canvas several times. Although the action was messy Xu, to his credit, was landing some solid shots in the chaos, and it was clear he hadn't travelled to just roll and give Utsuki a win.
To begin round 2 Xu again brought the heat with wild shots that were thrown to disrupt Utsuki from using his skills. That had some success, but left Xu open and he was caught by a bomb about 70 seconds in. The shot sent Xu down, hard, and Xu seemingly had no idea where he was. Technically he got to his feet before the 10 count, but even being upright he didn't seem to have any control of his senses turning his back on the referee and Utsuki before the bout was waved off.
On paper this was a step up for Utsuki, and despite scoring his quickest win to date, he was given a genuine test from Xu, who clearly came to win. Xu was caught by a beauty but we'd love to see more of him. He looks like a nightmare to fight, throwing wild hayemakers that could well have beaten a lesser fighter than the very talented Utsuki.
On November 28th Dangan will promote their next Japan Vs China card, which features local prospects Shu Utsuki (2-0, 1) [宇津木秀] and Kaiki Yuba (3-0-1, 2) [湯場海樹] taking on opponents from China.
One of the bouts from this card not to be part of the Japan Vs China theme is a female bout between local hopeful Erika Hanawa (9-3, 3) [塙英理加] and Filipino veteran Jujeath Nagaowa (13-18-1, 8), who will be fighting for the OPBF female Minimumweight title.
Hanawa is a former OPBF "interim" champion but has come up short in her most notable bouts, losing in a WBO world title fight to Kayoko Ebata and losing in a bout for the full version of the OPBF title earlier this year to Saemi Hanagata. Despite those losses the 28 year old has shown promise, and will be hungry to get back to winning ways after a loss in September to Shione Ogata.
Nagaowa on the other hand is a true veteran of the ring, having debuted as a professional boxer more than 12 years ago. Her career has seen her face a real who's who but sadly the stiff competition has seen her score just a single win since the start of 2013. It needs to be noited that she hasn't fought in a boxing ring since June 2017, but she has remained active as a fighter with bouts in MMA, where she holds an impressive 4-0 record.
We're expecting more details of this card to be announced very shortly, with a poster image expected in the coming weeks.
One of the many exciting fighters who was scheduled for the September 25th show at the Korakuen Hall was Shu Utsuki (2-0, 1) [宇津木秀], who was scheduled to face Filipino Ivor Lastrilla (10-4-1, 5). Sadly however that bout has been cancelled due to issues with Lastrilla.
The bout was expected to be Utsuki's first test as a professional, and was scheduled to be fought over the 8 round distance.
As an amateur Utsuki was a real stand out, going 81-27 (23) and was looking to take a huge step up here. Lastrilla on the other hand was coming into the bout on the back of a 3 fight winning run, including a notable win in Japan against Takahisa Nayuki.
The match up falling through is a real disappointment for Utsuki and for fans, though those in attendance will still get to see a number of young and talented fighters, including former world champion Hiroto Kyoguchi's (10-0, 7) [京口 紘人], who takes on Indonesian foe Tibo Monabesa (18-0-2, 8), and the debuting Ginjiro Shigeoka (0-0) [重岡銀次朗].
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
Earlier today the Watanabe gym held a press conference to announce the next bout of Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) [京口 紘人], the former IBF Minimumweight champion who has vacated due to outgrowing the 105lb weight division.
As has long been rumoured he will be back in the ring on September 25tth at the Korakuen Hall but unlike many fighters when they move up in weight he will be taking on a top contender and a series threat immediately, with his return bout being set against world ranked Indonesian hopeful Tibo Monabesa (18-0-2, 8).
For Kyoguchi the bout will be his first as a fully fledged Light Flyweight and will serve as a tough tune up before a potential December show down with WBA Light Flyweight super champion Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10). Budler was the man who took the WBA title from Kyoguchi's stable mate Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一], who is expected to fight in December in a Flyweight contest.
As for Monabesa the bout will be his first outside of Indonesia and will serve as a massive test of what the Indonesian really has. So far Monabesa has looked like the best prospect in Indonesia with notable wins against the likes of Rene Patilano and Lester Abutan, but this will be his first bout outside of his homeland and his first against a former world champion.
At the moment the under-card hasn't been fully announced, but it is slated to feature a strong support including world ranked Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (19-1, 11) [藤本京太郎], former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (10-3-2, 4) [中山佳祐], fighting for the first time since losing the OPBF title to Jayr Raquinel in March and former amateur standouts Shu Utsuki (2-0, 1) [宇津木秀] and Ginjiro Shigeoka (0-0) [重岡銀次朗], with Shigeoka reportedly having only lost once in over 50 amateur contests. At the time of writing none of these supporting fighters have had their opponents announced for the card.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance to see two former amateur stand outs make their professional debuts, as both fighters kicked off their professional careers under the Watanabe gym banner.
One of those debutants was Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] who made an almost instant impact on the professional ranks, stopping Thai foe Alongkon Kaisi (0-1) in just 91 seconds. The win was no surprise for the 22 year old Japanese fighter, who went 84-17 (40 ) in the unpaid ranks with several wins coming over current WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa, but was a statement of intent from the Super Flyweight prospect. His intention continued in comments made after he fight, which suggested he wanted to be fast tracked, and kept busy, in a similar vein to stable mate Hiroto Kyoguchi.
The other was 23 year old Shu Utsuki (1-0, 1) [宇津木秀], who took 3 rounds to defeat Thai Meechaiya Kaewkwanresort (0-1). Us an amateur Utsuki went an incredible 81-27 (23) and although not quite as impressive today as his stablemate he two has high hopes, aiming to break into the domestic rankings this year and win a national title in 2019.
Utsuki was certainly forced to work harder for his win, but both men shined and both look like they are going to have very exciting futures.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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