We've long known that Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] had signed to fight IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22) on New Year's Eve however until today the venue of the boyut was a total unknown.
Today Oguni, dressed in a full body Attack on Titans cosplay outfit, announced that the bout would take place in Kyoto.
It's still unclear which speciic venue would be hoesting the bout, but it does seem to strengthen the idea that the bout would on the same card as Kazuto Ioka's (20-1, 12) [井岡一翔] WBA Flyweight title defence against Thailand's Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม].
The announcement from Oguni was made in the ring today during a show put on his his promotional team, headlined by his stablemate Hiroki Okada defending the Japanese Light Welterweight title.
At the show we also saw Suyon Takayama (24-2, 8) [高山 樹延] officially announce his retirement to the fans, confirming his decision from September, when he first announced his retirement on social media.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
Earlier today former Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (24-2, 8) [高山 樹延] took to his social media account on Ameblo to announce his retirement from boxing, at the age of 30.
Takayama posted that he had decided to retire from active duty ending a 9 year career that saw him become the Japanese Welterweight champion and the OPBF "interim" champion as well as challenge for the OPBF title, whilst thanking fans and admitting that he felt his form had struggled in recent bouts.
Takayama debuted back in July 2007 and won his first 12 bouts before losing a split decision to Yuichi Ideta in February 2011. That loss was soon put behind him and Takayama would then run up another 12 fight winning run. During that second streak he claimed the Japanese Welterweight title, defeating Koshinmaru Saito for the vacant title in December 2012, and recorded 6 defenses of the belt before focusing his attention on the OPBF crown.
After vacating the Japanese title Takayama claimed the interim OPBF title, stopping Joel Dela Cruz in 6 rounds before facing Jack Brubaker for the full title this past July. Unfortunately Takayama was out boxed by Brubaker who retained his title with a split decision, despite being dropped late in the bout. That bout seemed to sum up a feeling in Takayama that he had slipped from what he had been and lead to today's retirement.
Whilst Takayama was scarcely known outside of Japan he was popular among those that frequent the Korakuen Hall, where he fought 25 of his 26 bouts, including wins against Saito, Moon Hyun Yun, Cobra Suwa, Tetsuya Suzuki and Nobuyuki Shindo.
Although it's not yet clear what Takayama will be doing post-retirement he didn't seem to suggest a clear cut break from boxing and we wouldn't be surprised to see him staying involved in the sport in some way, even if it is just as a fan.
Earlier today Japanese fans had an intriguing card from the iconic Korakuen Hall. The card was streamed live via the brilliant www.boxingraise.com website, as their second live show since beginning earlier this month, and was headlined by a brilliant back and forth war for the OPBF Welterweight title, in a bout that saw the “regular” and “interim” titles being unified.
In one corner was Australian Jack Brubaker (11-1-1, 5), the “real” champion and in the other was “interim” champion Suyon Takayama (24-2, 8) [高山 樹延], a popular fighter in Tokyo where he has fought every one of his bouts. Between them there was only going to be one man finishing with a title.
The fight started fast for Brubaker who seemed to clearly take the first round by starting off in second gear whilst Takayam had to warm up through the round. By the end of the opener however both men had found their groove, both were letting their shots go and both seemed to enjoy the competition of the other man, with their styles gelling almost immediately. Takayama was a straight ahead come forward fighter whilst Brubaker moved around him and used his faster hands, with the two regularly engaging in small skirmishes.
Through the first 4 rounds there was very little to separate the two, men overall. It seemed that round 1 was clearly Brubaker's and round 2 was razor thin either way. A case could be made however for Takayama to have swept rounds 3 and 4 as he unleashed a body based assault that was likely aimed at taking away the Australian's legs in the later rounds. The body really did seem to be the key target for Takayama who knew that Brubaker's speed was going to be an issue.
After 4 rounds the judges were split with scores of 39-37, 38-38 and 37-39.
In round 5 Brubaker seemed to regain some control of the proceedings with a fast start and some solid right hands in the later part of the round. Takayama continued his assault on the body during the round but it was certainly a better one for the Australian who looked to slow in the later part of the round. Following a a competitive, but clear, round for Brubaker we expected to see Takayama start round 6 hot but it was a really competitive round and one that could have gone either way, with Takayama continuing his body attack whilst Brubaker tagged the head of the local favourite. Takyama did have have some genuine success in round 7, as he seemed to stiffen Brubaker's legs for a moment, and the body assault continued to come from the Japanese fighter.
Sadly for Takayama he struggled to build on his success and although he put up a great effort in round 8 Brubaker landed some eye catching, albeit slappy, right hands that left a memorable impression in the later stages of a round that he quite possibly stole. We thought it was a Takayama round but certainly have no arguments about it going the way of the Aussie who finished the stronger.
After 8 rounds the judges cards put Brubaker in the lead with scores of 78-74 and 77-75 whilst the dissenting judge had been impressed by Takayama's body attack and had him up 78-75.
The open scoring should have driven on Takayama, with the Japanese fighter at least aware he was behind going into the final 4 rounds. Instead however it seemed to dishearten him and spur on Brubaker who fought round 9 full of confidence and had one of his best rounds, leaving Takayama with a near his right eye. Had round 9 been one of Brubaker's best his very best was to following as he had a dominant round 10, with Takyama returning fire just enough to make the referee hold back on stopping the contest.
Going into the final 2 rounds it looked like Takayama was going to fail to hear the final bell. However the moment shifted in his favour in round 11, his best round, as he upped the tempo and went for broke, dropping Brubaker in the final part of the round after previously having staggered him. It was a round that summed up the Japanese warrior spirit. Despite the knockdown Brubaker did quickly recover to his feet and looked fine as he saw out the remaining seconds of the round.
With the knockdown giving Takayama some hope we'd expected him to come out firing in the final round. Instead however it was Brubaker who started as the livelier man and he had Takayama cornered at one point. It was then that Takayama tried to turn things around, and he turned Brubaker before unloading, the Brubaker returned the favour unloading on Takayama as the tempo increased through the final minute. Sadly though Takayama could never do enough to drop Brubaker again.
At the final bell it seemed the fighters had done their maths and Brubaker celebrated whilst Takayama looked disconsolate. It was as if they both knew the result, and both knew the same thing. Takayama hadn't quite done enough. The judges agreed with Brubaker edging out a split decision.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fans in Tokyo, and those who have paid for this month's BoxingRaise, will get the chance to see former Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (24-1, 8) [高山 樹延] challenge Australian Jack Brubaker (10-1-1, 5) for the OPBF Welterweight title. The bout is brilliant one for this level and is a genuine intriguing bout for fans through Oriental and Pacific region.
Today those two men took part in their weigh in and on the scales it was Takayama who was the heavier man, weighing in around 146.8lbs for the bout. Although the shorter man Takayama did appear to be strong looking at the weight and looks the "thicker" fighter.
Brubaker was slightly lighter weighing in at 146.4lbs though surprised the Japanese fighter by being taller than expected at today's weigh in.
For Brubaker the bout will be his second defence of the title and he, like Takayama, seemed confident of scoring a win tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall.
Takayama looks to claim OPBF title from Brubaker
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today we were informed that former Japanese amateur star Kazuki Saito (0-0) [斎藤 一貴] would be making his professional debut on July 25th as part of a notable card from Kadoebi, who will be his promoter going forward.
The talented 23 year old will be taking part in a 6 round bout against a Thai opponent and will be looking to turn his amateur success into professional glory.
As an amateur Saito went 83-14 and competed not only at the top of the domestic scene but also internationally,including representing Japan at the 2013 World Amateur Championships, where he was beaten by Frenchman Abdel Malik Ladjali.
The youngster will be fighting at 140lbs and is tipped as a potential star.
Whilst Saito's addition to the show is a good one it is worth remember that the headline bouts for the card are a pair of title bouts, with Suyon Takayama (24-1, 8) [高山 樹延] facing Australia Jack Brubaker (10-1-1, 5) for the OPBF Welterweight title and Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (12-0, 10) [岡田 博喜] defending his title against Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (11-4-2, 7) [青木クリスチャーノ].
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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