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.
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see a number of notable Japanese prospects in action on a stacked under-card for the WBO Minimumweight title bout between Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) and Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆].
One of the interesting bouts on that show will see unbeaten Japanese hopeful Shu Utsuki (3-0, 2) [宇津木 秀] battle with Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-5, 5), in an 8 round bout at a contracted 60KG's.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men looked great.
On the scales Utsuki was 60KG's, 132.277lbs, which was bang on the contracted limit, whilst Castroverde was 59.8KG's, around 131.84lbs.
Sadly it seems unlikely that this bout will be made available to watch, but it is a really interesting bout and a great test for the unbeaten Utsuki, who is tipped as a serious promising Japanese prospect.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
At the moment Takayama's opponent hasn't been named, and neither has Shigeoka's, but they are expected to be named shortly.
Just a few short days ago we reported the news that Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) would be defending the WBO Minimumweight title against Japan's Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆] on February 26th at the Korakuen Hall. At the time of that announcement there was no details on the under-card. Today however we were informed of a number of fighters on the under-card, including several top prospects from the Watanabe Gym.
As previously predicted we will see teenage sensation Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗] in action on the show. He will be involved in a 6 round bout at Minimumweight, though his opponent for the bout hasn't been announced. He's expected to be in the ring in again in April, as part of a show in Fukuoka, so we're not expecting to see this bout be too much of a test for the 19 year old.
In a major supporting bout Shu Utsuki (3-0, 2) [宇津木 秀] will be up against Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-5, 5), who will be fighting under the promotion of Nobuhiro Ishida for the second time, following a loss in December to Tae Il Atsumi. This will be an 8 round bout at a contracted 60KG.
Another big supporting 8 round bout will see the 2017 Rookie of the year Fumiya Fuse (7-0, 1) [富施郁哉] take on Naoto Mizutani (5-5-1, 2) [水谷直人], in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight. We're expecting to see really big things from the 20 year old Fuse this year, and this is a decent way to kick off the year, following an impressive outing in Daejeomn back in October.
We also believe that the show will feature the debut of former amateur stand out Suzumi Takayama (0-0) [高山 涼深], though details on his bout are unclear at the moment, other than being a 6 round contest.
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