Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fan were given another stellar performance from former Japanese amateur stand out Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) [宇津木秀], who made light work of Thai foe Somphot Seesa (4-3, 4).
From the opening seconds it was clear Utsuki was in business mode, pressing the action from the off with aggressive footwork and smart pressure. Utsuki used his jab to set the table and unloaded big shots on Somphot when the Thai was in range, landing some very solid body shots and right hands over the top.
Somphot, to his credit, tried to walk off, create space and catch his breathe, but Utsuki never gave him the time or space to recover, and kept the pressure going in the second round, whilst upping the power shots. Somphot's toughness kept him upright, but it was only a matter off time before the hard blows were going to get too much. A combination midway through the round forced Somphot to take refuge by taking a knee. He got to his feet but was under pressure again soon afterwards. A second knockdown followed and then a third, from an excellent uppercut
Somphot was too tough for his own good, getting to his feet again before the referee waved off the fight.
After the fight Utsuki stated he wanted to fight for a title next year. Whilst kicking off the year with a title fight would be too much too soon, he has the talent to win a belt, but does need a couple of bouts against top domestic level fighters first.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall former Japanese amateur stand out Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀] will take on Thai foe Somphot Seesa (4-2, 4), in what will likely be Utsuki's final bout of 2019.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout, and both men made the contracted 62KG weight limit.
The weight limit, around 136.7lbs, was exactly what Utsuki hit the scales at whilst Somphot came in slightly lighter, at around 136.5lbs.
Whilst this is viewed as little more than a stay busy bout for Utsuki it is his third bout this year and comes after solid wins against Jerry Castroverde and Omrri Bolivar. It's assumed that 2020 will be the year that he makes a big splash and we're expecting him to get his first title fight next year.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be shown, on delay, on Boxing Raise.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On October 30th the Watanabe Gym will hold a small but notable show at Korakuen Hall. The card, which will be feature the retirement ceremony of former world title challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-8, 22) [船井 龍一], hasn't been fully announced but a number of fighters involved on the show have been announced including the several former amateur outs.
One of those former amateur standouts is Yudai Shigeoka (0-0) [重岡優大], who will make his debut on the card. The 22 year old Shigeoka is the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗], and had planned to compete at the 2020 Olympics, until his weight class was removed the games.
At the moment the full details of Shigeoka's bout have yet be announced, though it's expected to be a 6 rounder fought just above the Minimumweight limit against an imported opponent.
Another amateur standout set for the card is Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀], who is listed as being in the main event. Utsuki's opponent hasn't been named yet, but we do know his bout will be an 8 rounder. So too will be a bout involving Motoki Osanai (4-2, 1) [小山内幹], who is looking for his 4th straight win as looks to build some momentum with his career.
One bout that has been confirmed for the show will see former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-4-2, 5) [中山佳祐] battle against Akio Furutani (7-4, 3) [古谷昭男]. This bout is also schedule for 8 rounds and is a must win for Nakayama who has struggled massively in recent bouts.
Full details of this show are expected in the coming week or two as Watanabe look to bring on their next wave of promising fighters.
Right now there's a big card taking place in Chiba, Japan. The card is a very good one, with 3 world title bouts, but before those the fans in attendance have had the chance to see two notable Japanese prospects in action.
The first of those prospects was Shisui Kawabata (2-0, 2) [川畑嗣穂], who faltered on debut but shined today as he stopped Mongkol Kamsommat (5-5, 4). The talented Kawabata, who has sparred with a number of top Japaneses professionals, was dropped back in his debut, by Natchaphon Wichaita at the end of March, but had no such troubles here.
The youngster from the Watanabe gym found the range for his straight shots, whilst making the Thai visitor miss with his wild, yet heavy looking blows. In the second round uppercuts from Kawabata cut the eye of the Thai. The cut was a bad one and despite passing one doctors inspection he was stopped by the doctor on a second inspection.
The other was the very highly touted Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀], another rising hopeful of the Watanabe gym. Utsuki was stepping up to take on his first Japanese ranked opponent, Japanese based Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (8-2, 3), and stopped him in 3 rounds.
Bolivar started well, having a good opening round but Utsuki began to turn it on from the second round, cutting the distance and working the body really well. By the end of the second round Bolivar looked like a beaten man, with the bell seemingly saving him. Sadly for Bolivar the bell didn't so much save him, as just delayed the inevitable, and he was down very early in round 3, taking the 10 count afterwards.
With the win Utsuki is expected to get a JBC and OPBF ranking, and be put on the road to his first title bout. Sadly for Bolivar second stoppage loss in 5 fights.
As we write this the main event of the Korakun Hall show, a WBO Minimumweight title bout between Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) and Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆], is just about to start. The chief support bout has however just finished and saw former amateur standout Shu Utsuki (4-0, 3) [宇津木 秀] retain his unbeaten record with a late stoppage over Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-6, 5).
The bout was an exciting one, with both men letting their hands go at mid range from the early stages. On paper Utsuki was the bigger puncher but he he was taking as good as he was giving, and Castroverde was certainly not playing the role of the happy under-dog, instead he was there to win.
As the bout developed Castroverde began to show smart defenses, taking shots on the guard before firing back with counters. It was a tactic that was able to frustrate the Japanese fighter, but not break his rhythm, as continued to come forward and landed a brilliant combination towards the end of round 5.
Utsuki would keep up the aggression, though prove he could fight at range as well began to beat up the Filipino in the later stages, forcing the towel to come in and save Castroverde in the final seconds of the bout.
The official stoppage was at 2:02 of round 8.
Bigger tests are expected for Utsuki in future, though he and his team will be pleased by his stamina here and although he didn't have things all his own way he certainly showed he could fight 8 rounds, at a good pace and looks to be a real prospect to follow.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!