Earlier today we had the chance to see Japanese Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (28-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] successfully defend his title as he over-came Yudai Arai (8-4-3, 4) [新井 雄大] in a less than spectacular bout that saw both men struggle with balance, distance and timing. Although the bout wasn't a spectacular war it did headline an otherwise entertaining and interesting card.
The chief support bout was a genuine thriller as Japanese #1 ranked Flyweight contender Yuta Matsuo (12-2-1, 6) [ユータ松尾] and Ryuto Oho (9-3-1, 2) [大保 龍斗] had an all out 8 round war. The bout started fast and barely slowed as the two men just spent the fight unloading on each other in a contest that would have have scribes raving about it had it been on American TV. We'll admit we thought Oho just nicked it but the judges all favoured Matsuo who will get a Japanese title fight in 2017.
Another really entertaining under-card bout saw Masaru Sueyoshi (13-1, 8) [末吉 大] score an 8th round TKO win over the aggressive Kazuma Sanpei (12-4, 4) [三瓶 数馬]. Sanpei set a hectic pace from the off, and hurt Sueyoshi several times in the early stages, but failed to see off his man, who established his jab and fought excellently off it, neutralising Sanpei's aggressiveness. Sueyoshi was dropped in the middle of the bout was in no danger and came back, eventually forcing Sanpei's corner to throw in the towel and save their man.
A less memorable 8 rounder from the card saw Yuichiro Kusaya (9-0-1, 1) [粕谷 雄一郎] fight to a draw with veteran Masaki Saito (13-11-6, 4) [斉藤 正樹]. Th bout was lacking in drama but was thoroughly competitive with a high level of skills being shown by both fighters, sadly with just a combined 5 stoppages in 38 combined bouts it always seemed like this one was going the distance, and their was no surprise to see the scorecards play a factor in the contest. Coming in both men had Japanese rankings, which they will likely keep due to the draw.
The first of the show's 8 rounders saw Dai Iwai (19-4-1, 7) [岩井 大] take a decision win against the heavy handed Takehiro Shinohara (7-5-2, 7) [篠原 武大]. Iwai's more rounded skills and superior speed were his keys, but he did get tagged repeatedly and the first 5 rounds were very competitive, before Iwai's experience took hold and he out boxed a tired Shinohara. Despite the loss Shinohara certainly didn't embarrass himself and could find himself getting other notable match ups in the future.
Before the 8 rounders the card kicked off with a few 4 rounders, these saw wins for Taichi Ueno (4-1, 2) [上野 太一], Ryosuke Ota (1-1) [太田 椋介] and Shogo Sakai (6-5-1, 4) [坂井 祥吾],all of whom impressed and we can't wait to see Ota as he had a really fan friendly style.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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