Over the last few days OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara (14-5, 12) [栗原 慶太] has taken to social media to announce his next contest. It won't be a title bout, but will still be a very, very notable contest as he takes on a world ranked opponent at the Korakuen Hall on November 15th.
The hard hitting Kurihara will be up against Thailand's Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10, 16), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, who is ranked #4 by the IBF at Bantawmeight.
For those who haven't seen Kurihara he's an aggressive fighter with a very fun to watch style and is riding a 5 fight winning run following a 2017 loss to Hiroaki Teshigawara. His winning run has seen him stopping the likes of Ryan Lumacad, Kazuki Tanaka and Warlito Parrenas, and beating Yuki Strong Kobayashi, in a controversial and dramatic fight with numerous knockdowns.
The 31 year old Sukkasem is a 10 year veteran who has had middling success at times, but faced a genuine who's who. He had a bad run in 2014 and 2016, suffering 4 straight losses, as he fell to 13-6. Since then he has gone 11-4 with a number of very close losses to the likes of Kazuki Tanaka and Qiu Xiao Jun. His ranking is a hard one to explain, but he did claim the IBF Pan Pacific Bantamweight title last time out with a win over Hamson Lamandau.
At the moment the under-card for the bout hasn't been announced, but we're expecting to see at least one other notable bout on the show, which will be announced in the coming days.
Tickets for this are available straight from Kurihara courtesy of https://keita0110.boxing-ticket.com/
Earlier today fight fans at the legendary Korakuen Hall, as well as those who subscribe to Boxing Raise, were able to see former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載] battle against Thai foe Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-10, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth.
On paper this looked like a mismatch in favour of the talented Japanese fighter. He had the better record, was naturally bigger and was more accomplished. In reality however Oguni didn't look good today at all.
The former world champion looked unsure of himself, backing off from the smaller man. Although Oguni did find a home for his jab, with regularity, there wasn't really a lot on it, and it didn't stop the smaller Thai from coming forward, marching his man down. Their was a lack of general success, at times, from Sukkasem, but he was the man trying to make the bout into a fight, and he really had success in rounds 3 and 4.
The Thai's biggest success came in round 4, when he dropped Oguni in what was a rather messy assault. Oguni wasn't hurt, but it did secure the Thai a 10-8 round, at a time when Oguni's shots looked really poor, with his straight right looking like he was just pushing the shot out.
Thankfully for Oguni he did do enough in the second half of the fight, mostly boxing and moving, to rack up the points and take a clear decision against the slower Thai. After 10 rounds Oguni got the decision with scores of 97-92, 97-93 and 96-93, though he really didn't look like a former world champion.
Despite the win this wasn't a performance that will worry any of the top Super Bantamweights and it's clear that Oguni is a long way from fighting the likes of Danny Roman, Rey Vargas, Emanuel Navarrete or Tomoki Kameda. As for Sukkasem this was another credible performance on the road and we wouldn't be surprised to see him back in a Japanese ring later this year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans will get the chance to see former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] battle against IBF top 10 ranked Bantamweight Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth.
Today those two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made weight.
At the weigh in Oguni looked the much bigger man, and that was shown in his weight. He was bang on the 122lb limit, and he looked big and strong at the weight. The Thai on the other hand was 121lb. Despite only being 1lb lighter the Thai looked significantly smaller, both in terms of height and natural size, and will clearly go into the bout as the under-dog.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be made available on demand on the Boxing Raise service.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We've known since very early March that former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] would be in action on May 8th, in a 10 round bout. Until today however we weren't sure of who he would be facing.
Today his opponent was named as IBF top 10 ranked Bantamweight Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, from Thailand.
The Japanese former world champion will be fighting for the second time since losing the IBF title to Ryosuke Iwasa, way back in September 2017. The bout is a huge step up from his last outing, against limited Indonesian Arega Yunian, but should be a winnable bout if Oguni is 50% of the fighter he once was.
The 31 year old Thai is 1-7 outside of Thailand, and 22-2 at home, with losses in Japan to Yusaku Kuga and Kazuki Tanaka. Despite not being a world beater he does have a good IBF ranking and Oguni will certainly be wanting to take a win and a ranking of his own.
This past Saturday in Thailand fans had the chance to see the latest show in the IBF Silk Road tournament. It was a show that was streamed by the IBF, free over Youtube, but the stream was nigh on unwatchable. Sadly. However it was a good show, with several very good bouts.
The tournament bouts began at Super Bantamweight, where Pipat Chaiporn (45-12-2, 28), aka Mike Tawatchai, and Filipino Eugene Lagos (15-5-3, 10) fought to a 10 round majority draw. It was a hotly contested bout, and had it not been in Thailand there's a good chance Lagos would have got the nod. Sadly with the bout taking place in Thailand it did seem like the local got the benefit of the doubt and got the draw as a result.
The second bout saw former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-3-1, 11) [竹中 良] take a TKO win over Filipino Lorence Rosas (9-2-2, 3), in a Super Featherweight bout. Rosas unfortunately pulled out of the bout after round 5, giving Takenaka the win. This was the first time Rosas hadn't been stopped, though questions need to be asked as to why he was fighting at 130lbs here, especially in such a notable tournament.
The third bout saw local veteran a contest between Komsan Polsan (36-10-1, 22), aka Patomsuk Pathompothong, suffer a decision loss to unbeaten Uzbek Dostonbek Turdiev (7-0, 5) over 10 rounds. Turdiev was too active and too hungry for the Thai, who really has been incredibly disappointing the last few years, and we do wonder what his career has left to offer.
Thankfully the locals did get a reason to celebrate as Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, took a close decision win over the previously unbeaten Filipino Joseph Ambo (8-1-1, 6) to progress to the next round of the tournament.
We're hoping that when the next round of the tournament is held the IBF will provide a much more stable stream than they gave us here, as it really was terrible.
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