Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced the award winners for the month of June, with 3 fighters winning award.
The highest honour, the MVP award, was won by Japanese Minimumweight champion Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]. The veteran managed to record his first defense, when he took a clear decision over Naoya Haruguchi (15-11, 6) [春口直也], and took his second MVP award of the year, after picking up the honour for his title winning performance against Shin Ono in January.
The fighting spirit award was won by fast rising hopeful Junto Nakatani (19-0, 14) [中谷 潤人], who began the month by blasting out Filipino foe Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-7-1, 4). The excellent Nakatani is heading on to big things and whilst a blow out against Cuerdo was somewhat expected the future is incredibly bright for the unbeaten Japanese youngster who will likely get a big bout before the end of 2019.
The Newcomer award was won by the very talented Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) [高山涼深], who impressed near the end of the month with a blow out win against Korean foe In Soo Jang (5-2-1) [장인수]. It's now expected that Takayama will take a big step up in class, and he's now got himself an A Class license.
The fighters will be able to accept their awards at a ceremony on August 8th at Korakuen Hall, as part of the Diamond Glove card that same day.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans saw a Japan Vs South Korea show, with 4 bouts pitting fighters from the two countries against each other. Sadly for the visitors from the Korean peninsula, it was a show to forget with all 4 visitors picking up losses.
The first bout saw Korean teenager In Soo Jang (5-2-1) [장인수] suffer an opening round stoppage loss to Japanese professional novice Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) [高山涼深]. Takayama took control very early on, catching the visitor coming in and dropping him after about 90 seconds. Takayama would then continue on the foot and force the referee to step in after just 2 minutes and 6 seconds.
The second bout went the distance as Mirai Naito (8-1, 3) [内藤未来] took a 6 round decision over Do Jin Lee (6-2-3) [이도진]. On paper this looked a competitive match up, but Naito proved to be far too good, shutting out the Korean on 2 of the 3 cards, whilst the third had it 58-56 to the Japanese local.
The bout that did end up being the most competitive came at Light Middleweight and saw Ran Tomomatsu (1-0) [友松藍], narrowly over-came the hard hitting Sang Geun Lee (6-1, 4) [이상근], over 6 hotly contested rounds. The Japanese debutant, a former All Japan national amateur champion, was in a war here with both men letting shots go in a fantastic back and forth. Lee, a big puncher, gave as good as he got, but just came up short against Tonomatsu, who got a baptism of fire and only just came out without being burnt. Given how Watanabe have fast tracked prospects a win here really is a sign that they will push him, and push him hard. Don't be surprised to see him in another tough bout later in the year.
The final bout pitting the two nations against each other saw Korean prospect Jeong Han Cha (5-1, 5) [차정한] will suffer his first loss, coming up short against Japanese puncher Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) [小林孝彦]. Cha was hurt in round 2 then dropped at the end of the round. Had the round gone on much longer the Korean could have been stopped there. He was hurt again in round 3, before being saved by the referee late in round 4.
Sadly this will be a show for Korean fighters to forget, whilst the Japanese will clearly have a reason to celebrate.
Over the last 48 hours BoxingM have revealed that there is a Korea Vs Japan show being put together for June 25th at the Korakuen Hall. At the moment the full details of the show haven't been officially announced, but there are some really interesting names already already linked the to card.
From the Korean side we're glad to hear that rising prospect Jeong Han Cha (5-0, 5) [차정한] will feature, with the 18 year old scheduled to face Takahiko Kobayashi (8-3, 6) [小林孝彦], in what could be a very entertaining and exciting match up.
Another Korean teenager on the show will be In Soo Jang (5-1-1) [장인수], who will battle Japanese professional novice Suzumi Takayama (1-0, 1) [高山涼深], who was a former amateur standout.
Also announced for the card is Sang Geun Lee (6-0, 4) [이상근], who is set to take on a debuting Japanese fighter from the Watanabe gym, and Do Jin Lee (6-1-3) [이도진] will face Japan's Mirai Naito (7-1, 3) [内藤未来]
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Suzumi Takayama (1-0, 1) [高山 涼深] make his professional debut, and score a stoppage win over Thai visitor Nirun Baonok (5-15, 4).
Takayama had gone 35-16 (10) as an amateur and, like most Japanese fighters with 50 amateur fights, began his career with a 6 round contest. He would, however, need just less than 3 rounds to stop Baonok.
Takayama was aggressive from the off, but the Thai did well to defend himself through the opening round, and tried to counter off the ropes. In round 3 however Takayama did get through and landed a clean and solid right hook that dropped the Thai hard. Baonok would get to his feet but the bout was waved off with him looking unsteady on his feet.
Although he got the win here that areas for Takayama to work on, and it seems clear that he and his team will have seen some of the issues that could cost him against a better fighter than Baonok. It's worth noting that this is the 9th time the Thai, who has fought as Rungniran Korat Sport School, has been stopped.
We've known for some time that Suzumi Takayama (0-0) [高山 涼深] would be making his debut on February 26th at the Korakuen Hall as part of the under-card for the WBO Minimumweight title fight between Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) and Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Today the Watanabe gym listed Takayama's opponent as Thailand's Nirun Baonok (5-14, 4), aka Rungniran Korat Sport School.
Whilst the Thai is experienced his record looks bad, and it is bad. He lost his first 11 bouts, all in Japan, before picking up a 5 fight winning run, against incredibly poor opponents. That winning run has now ended and he has lost his last 3, including an opening round KO loss to Tenta Kiyose last time he was in Japan. Despite losing 10 times in Japan he hasn't been matched easily, taking on Koki Eto, Kenji Oba and Teiru Kinoshita.
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