At the Korakuen Hall, and shown live on Boxingraise , earlier today fans saw Shuya Masaki (11-1, 5) [正木脩也] against Izuki Tomioka (5-2-1, 1) [富岡樹]. On paper this looked a compelling match up, but in reality it was a frustrating one to watch, especially given the fact it had followed two sensational all action bouts.
Straight away you could tell this was going to be a technical affair, with Tomioka looking to box at range, use his speed and length and control Masaki. As a result Masaki was very conservative, picking his shots well and not really chasing Tomioka, or walking into his shots. The pattern of the fight became rather tiresome, rather quickly, with Tomioka holding on the inside, and regularly creating too much space to be effective. There were clashes of excitement, but for the most part the bout was a awkward clash, with little intensity from either fighter.
In round we had a rare moment of drama, as Tomioka suffer a cut to his left eye, and it seemed to bother him whilst spurring Sasaki on the following round. With Sasaki smelling blood he showed more fire and intensity, and managed to drag Tomioka into a fight in round 6 as the bout finally began to catch fire. The fire was lit but in round 7 it cindered more than flamed and the bout went into the final round with a lot of fans in the audience looking fed up.
The final round was again a poor one, with neither man taking a great of risks or landing much of note until the final minute, when Masaki finally found his range, but couldn't keep up the intensity needed to really excite the wider audience. There was noise from the crowd, the fans their to support one fighter or the other, but on the whole many of the fans had zoned out by this point, whilst awaiting the main event.
What should have been a fun, high skilled and tactical bout, really ended up horribly under-delivering and turned into a bit of a draining an dull 8 round contest. In the end the judges were split, with scores of 77-75 and 77-76, to Masaki whilst the third judge felt Tomioka deserved the win 77-76. The only hope now is that we don't see these two in a rematch, as the styles didn't gel at all.
One of 4 notable bouts at the Korakuen Hall tomorrow is a show down between former amateur standout Shuya Masaki (10-1, 5) [正木脩也] and recent OPBF title challenger Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹], in what looks likely to be a high skilled contest that will put the winner in a great position as we head towards 2019.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men came in under the Super Featherweight limit.
On the scales the taller Tomioka was the heavier man, weighing in at 129.4lbs. Despite look in great condition, and being the taller man, it is worth noting that Tomioka's OPBF title fight came at Lightweight, and he really did hold his own with Masayoshi Nakatani, in a surprisingly competitive contest.
Masaki on the other hand was 129.6lbs and yet he looked the smaller man, in what his team will see as a must win bout.
Both fighters seemed confident of picking up the win by boxing their fight, but it's clear that both are under a lot of pressure to pick up the win here, in what both will see as a Launchpad for the new year and for a future title fight.
For fans unable to make their way to the Korakuen Hall this bout will be shown live on Boxingraise.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the brilliant Boxingraise revealed their scheduled for November, which will include 7 shows in total, one of which will be live.
The live show will be on November 10th and is a really good show headlined by Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一] fighting in an IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator against Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-2-1, 7). As well as that bout the card will also feature a strong support including Shuya Masaki (10-1, 5) [正木脩也] against Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹], a Japanese Youth Lightweight title bout between Shawn Oda (9-0, 8) [小田翔夢] would face off with Seiryu Toshikawa (10-4, 6) [利川聖隆] and a Japanese Youth Minimumweight title bout between Yuga Inoue (7-0-1, 1) [井上夕雅] and Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開].
The tape delay cards, which are usually put up 1 to 7 days after they take place, will include the November 16th card headlined by Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], defending against Akihiro Toya(8-4, 1) [戸谷彰宏]. The November 20th card "Victoriva Vol 3", which is headlined by Ayaka Miyao (22-7-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香] having her third bout with Nao Ikeyama (18-4-3, 5) [森脇恵子], for the WBA "interim" Atomweight title, and the November 25th show, headlined by Richard Pumicpic (21-8-2, 6) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight against unbeaten teenager Musashi Mori (7-0, 5) [森 武蔵].
Whilst none of these shows are the jaw dropping things that the end of year cards are set to be, they are solid shows for what is a genuinely busy month in Japan!
(Image courtesy of boxingreaise.com)
Earlier this month it was revealed that Shawn Oda (9-0, 8) [小田翔夢] would face off with Seiryu Toshikawa (10-4, 6) [利川聖隆] for the Japanese Youth Lightweight title on November 10th at a Dangan card. It's now been revealed that the card will feature another Japanese Youth title fight, and a bout featuring a notable former Japanese champion.
The second youth title fight will see Yuga Inoue (7-0-1, 1) [井上夕雅], the 2017 Rookie of the Year, taking on the heavy handed Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開] for the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title. This is a really stunning match up with Inoue, no relation to the likes of Naoya Inoue, looking brilliant in his Rookie of the Year win and recently scoring a decent domestic stoppage win over Daisukle Sudo back in May. The 21 year old Ishizawa debuted last year and has looked brilliant since then, despite having had a bout against Daiki Tomita fall through earlier this year.
The former Japanese champion on this card will be Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一], who is scheduled in a 12 round bout and we suspect will be defending his WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. At the moment his opponent for the bout hasn't been named, though he has been slated to be in the main event.
It's worth noting that this card will have one other great bout, as Shuya Masaki (10-1, 5) [正木脩也] takes on recent OPBF title challenger Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹].
At the moment it's unclear if this bout will be shown live on Boingraise or not, but it really does look like a card to make a note of, with 3 very solid bouts and a potentially exciting 4th, depending on who Funai will go up against. If it's not live we are at least glad that the show will be on Boxingraise and their video on demand service.
Earlier today we learned that Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall would get an absolute treat on November 10th as Shuya Masaki (10-1, 5) [正木脩也] takes on Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹].
That match up might not excite those outside of Japan but the fans in Tokyo will know that they are in for a highly skilled contest here, that could well be one of the most technically excellent bouts in a Japanese ring in 2018.
Tomioka, from Saitama, debuted in December 2016 and impressed straight away. In 2017 he became the Japanese Youth Lightweight champion and earlier this year he challenged OPBF champion Masayoshi Nakatani, giving Nakatani a real scare before being stopped in the 11th round. Despite the loss to Nakatani we were very impressed by Tomioka and suspect the 21 year old will bounce back stronger than ever, learning from that experience.
Masaki was regarded as a top prospect when he turned professional with Teiken and his career showed some real promise with notable wins against Vergil Puton and Shingo Eto. He would lose his unbeaten record in January, losing to Hironori Mishiro who later went on to claim the OPBF Super Featherweight title. Since that loss he has bounced back well, defeating Hyun Je Shin in May.
At the moment no other details from the show are known, but we'll be honest and admit we're very excited about this match up, and suspect the winner will find themselves in the title mix in the near future.
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