Earlier today fight fans at the Differ Ariake, and those watching on Boxingraise, had the chance to see Hironori Mishiro (6-0, 2) [三代大訓] claim his biggest win so far, as he claimed the OPBF Super Featherweight title with a split decision win over Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12).
The bout was a huge step up in class for Mishiro but he looked calm and confident early on, but had to cope with the aggressive pressure of Magali before finding his rhythm. The aggression of Magali made life uncomfortable, but after 4 rounds the men were level on the scorecards, which were all 38-38.
Mishiro had looked to create some distance, using his significant height and reach, and had had success with his jab and straight, but was holding his own in the trenches with some nasty uppercuts which had bust Magali's nose and caused notable facial swelling on the champion.
In round 5 it was Magali who had a huge break through, rocking the Japanese fighter and pressing him hard. The round was the clearest of the fight and saw Mishiro look ready to drop at one point as he went on the retreat, hands down, and looked like he had forgotten everything he had trained for. Thankfully for him Magali failed to close the show and in round 6 Mishiro seemed to clear his head, before have a small surge in rounds 7 and 8, as Magali began to look tired. Those rounds saw Mishiro sneak his nose ahead on two of the cards, 77-75, whilst the third was even, 76-76, when the scores were announced after 8 rounds.
Magali then knew things were up against him going into the final 4 rounds, the first two of which were razor thin, with Magali looking to up the pressure and Mishiro holding his own. The could have gone either way, but the final two had Magali really put it all out there, as if he knew it was in the balance. Mishiro on the other hand took his foot off the case, looking to avoid another big scare in the final moments.
In the end Mishiro's decision to play safe proved to be a smart one, with the Japanese fighting edging the decision with scores of 115-113 in his favour, twice, whilst the third judge had the bout 115-113 in Magali's favour.
On the under-card there was a bit of a mixed bag for notable fighters. the hard hitting Riki Hamada (7-2, 6) [濱田力] was stopped in 2 rounds by China's Xiao Tao Su (6-1, 3) [苏晓涛], in what was a pretty brutal KO after having already dropped Hamada. Hamada had been sent through the ropes earlier in the round, and Su had got himself deducted a point as he followed up on the prone Japanese. Hamada never really recovered before being laid out only moments later. Shuma Nakazato (7-1-2, 6) [仲里周磨] saw his fight with late replacement Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) come to an early conclusion after a clash of heads forced the bout to be stopped after just 2 minutes 30 seconds, resulting in a technical draw.
The real highlight of the supporting card was a thrilling, yet relatively one sided, battle between Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] and the insanely tough Yujie Zeng (11-8-1, 6) [曾玉洁]. The aggressive Zeng came out with serious belief as he pressed Nagamine from the off, but the Japanese fighter saw out the early pressure and ended up giving Zeng a real beating until the fight was finally stopped in round 7, by a referee who had seen enough punishment for the Chinese fighter. Given his performance we'd like to see a lot more of Zeng, maybe against more competitively matched opponents, as he was really good value here. As for Nagamine he'll be looking for his second title fight shortly, after having lost in a Japanese title fight earlier this year.
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
Earlier today saw news being revealed of a Dangan card set for June 20th at the Differ Ariake, in Tokyo. The show had been rumoured earlier this year as the next in the Japan Vs China series of shows that Dangan are holding though until today nothing had been announced for the show. Thankfully that changed with several bouts being announced, including a really good looking main event, and two very notable bouts in the Japan Vs China rivalry.
The main event will not be a Japan Vs China bout, but will instead feature a Filipino against a Japanese fighter as OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-9-3, 12) makes his next defense of the title, and finally returns to the ring after January's win over Masatoshi Kotani [小谷 将寿]. The champion has seen bouts with Yoon Sung Kim [김윤성] and Miguel Berchelt fall through already this year but won't be expecting similar issues from Japanese prospect Hironori Mishiro (5-0, 2) [三代大訓], who takes a huge step up up from fringe Japanese domestic level to OPBF title level. Obviously Magali has the huge edge in experience but will be the older, smaller man and Mishiro is a highly accomplished amateur, who seemed really confident of using his amateur pedigree and size to over-come the champion.
For Magali this bout will be his second defense of the title and see him looking to secure his fourth straight win. The 31 year old is going through a bit of an Indian summer at the moment and will be fully aware that if he's to get a shot at a world title, as he came so close to getting against Berchelt, he has to win here. Mishiro on the other hand will know the pressure isn't really on him, but the 23 year old from the Watanabe gym will see this as a massive chance to put himself on the verges of a world ranking, and fast track him to a potential showdown for a world title fight.
In supporting bouts fans will be able to see recent Japanese Flyweight title challenger Katsunori Nagamine (14-2-1, 10) [長嶺克則] take on a visitor from China as well as a bout featuring former Mishiro foe Shuma Nakazato (7-1-1, 6) [仲里周磨]. Sadly we don't currently have the names of the two Chinese fighters, but given that Nagamine and Nakazato are both always worth watching we're already excited to see them both in the ring.
The Japanese domestic scene is arguably the best on the planet, with all-Japanese bouts often delivering in the best possible ways. That was seen again today, with the main event of a card at the Korakuen Hall standing out as being a little special.
The bout in question saw touted former amateur stand out Hironori Mishiro (4-0, 2) [三代大訓] battle against the 2015 Rookie of the Year Featherweight runner up Shuma Nakazato (6-1-1, 5) [仲里周磨], and they delivered.
Within seconds of the bout starting the men warmed to their task, boxing and moving, keeping just on the edge of their range whilst trying to land power shots. The bout wasn't a brawl from the off, but was a highly skilled and thrilling bout between two men who were willing to work their openings then go for them, testing each other's durability.
The pace gradually quickened and in round 3 Mishiro's durability showed cracks as Nakazato detonated with a huge right hand. Lesser fighters would have been down and out but Mishiro quickly got back to his feet and saw off the follow up assault from Nakazato. Nakazato attempted to jump on Mishiro in the following round but Mishiro had recovered well and late in round 4 he landed a sweeping hook that sent Nakazato down.
Although Nakazato had moments in the final 2 rounds Mishiro's more varied attack and better defense was enough to earn him the win, taking the decision on all 3 cards, but both men grew their reputations in a bout that really gave the fans more than they had ever expected and will go down as one of the ever growing number of great bouts that fans at the Korakuen Hall have seen this year.
The win for Mishiro sets up a January encounter with Shuya Masaki (9-0, 5) [正木脩也] in what is a really mouth watering match up!
On the same card there was also notable wins for Coach Hiroto (13-2-1, 4) [小内義人], Kenshin Oshima (3-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] and Ryo Sagawa (2-1, 2) [佐川遼], who are all expected to move into bigger bouts in 2018.
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