Earlier today fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典] defeat Shun Wakabayashi (9-4, 2) [若林駿] in eye catching fashion.
The fight started with Wakabayashi boxing brilliantly. He was fully aware of Ohashi's power and made sure to neutralise it with smart movement, using his jab and foot work to win the first 4 rounds with no problems at all. It looked less like Ohashi was a former champion and more than he was a crude domestic journeyman, hoping that Wakabayashi would make a mistake.
Ohashi, who lost the national title last year to Taiki Minamoto, was following Wakabayashi around the ring. He was being reactive to Wakabayashi's movements, rather than cutting off the ring or being proactive and this clearly cost him the first 4 rounds.
In round 5 the judges finally gave Ohashi a round. It did however seem like Wakabayashi was almost taking the round off whilst Ohashi was stepping up his out put and connecting with his jab. Despite Ohashi looking good in round 5 he didn't really shine in rounds 6. He was better than he had been but wasn't looking particularly sharp, accurate or destructive.
When you are blessed with lights out power looking and winning rounds isn't needed and that was shown in round 7, when Ohashi's heavy hands bailed him out, ending the fight with a truly brilliant uppercut. The shot left Wakabayashi flat on his back, and undid all his good work, forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
Following the bout Ohashi spoke about wanting to fight for title, though on this performance that probably wouldn't be the best idea right now, given how strong the Featherweight and Super Featherweight title scenes are in Japan, and the wider Asian scene.
For Wakabayashi this will be a loss that's hard to swallow. He looked so good, so talented and was in control, despite being cut in round 5. He showed what he could do, but had all his good work erased and will be wondering what went wrong, and what he could have done to avoid Ohashi's uppercut, and today's loss.
If you're a fan wanting to watch this bout, it is now available on boxing raise.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the Kadoebi Gym announced their next big show, "Slugfest 9", which will take place on May 8th at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event of the card will see former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] battle in a 10 round bout. The bout will be Oguni's second contest since returning to the ring last year, with a win over Arega Yunian, having been out of the ring for almost 15 months following the loss to Ryosuke Iwasa in September 2017. His opponent hasn't been announced but we'd expect a big step up from Yunian.
The chief support bout will be an 8 round bout featuring former Japanese Flyweight and OPBF Super Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], who fights for the first time as a Kadoebi Gym fighter, and Hideyuki Watanabe (8-11-3, 6) [渡邉秀行]. This isn't just Kogawa's first bout as a Kadoebi fighter, but also only his second bout since the start of 2018. This should be a relatively safe bout for the veteran given that Watanabe has gone 0-5 since the start of 2015.
Another former Japanese champion confirmed for this card is Takenori Ohashi (16-5-2, 10) [大橋健典], who gets a tough assignment as he takes on Shun Wakabayashi (9-3, 2) [若林駿] in an 8 round bout. This will be Ohashi's second bout since he lost the Japanese Featherweight title to Taiki Minamoto last April, whilst Wakabayashi will be looking to score a 6th straight win, building on victories over Taichi Ueno and Xian Qian Wei.
Others now confirmed for this show include the hard hitting Ryoji Fukunaga (10-4, 10) [福永亮次], the talented Yuichiro Kasuya (11-2-1, 3) [粕谷雄一郎] and very promising prospect Yuki Nakajima (1-0, 1) [中嶋憂輝].
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (16-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] return to the ring for his first bout since being dethroned earlier in the year by Taiki Minamoto. In the opposite corner to Ohashi was teenage hopeful Ruito Saeki (7-2, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗], seeking his biggest win to date.
The bout, an 8 rounder, headlined the Kadoebi promoted "Slugfest 6" and turned out to be a solid bout, but one where experience and know how over-came youthful energy.
Ohashi managed to box well to begin with, using his jab well and building off it despite some hunger from Saeki in the early going. Saeki's fire was damaged when he suffered a cut around his right eye in round 4 and the cut spurred on Ohashi. To his credit however Saeki gritted his teeth and fought back though was dropped in the final round as Ohashi finally broke through the resistance of Saeki.
Saeki did manage to get back up and hear the bell though was the clear loser, with Ohashi taking the decision thanks to scores of 79-72 and 78-73, twice.
After the bout Ohashi spoke about returning to title level and reclaiming the Japanese title, or fighting for the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles. He'd be the under-dog in bouts for any of those titles, but a live under-dog all the same.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On October 1st the Kadobei Houseki Boxing Gym will host their next card under the "Slugfest" banner, "Slugfest 6" at the Korakuen Hall. The main event of that card has been known for a while, and will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] battle against once beaten teenager Ruito Saeki (7-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗].
Whilst the main event had been known about for weeks what wasn't so well known was the under-card, which had a number of talented Kadoebi prospects scheduled to fight on it, but none of them had their opponents. Thankfully that has changed and now we know a number of the match ups for the card. We have to admit that in some cases the bouts look underwhelming, but it's great to see prospects being active.
One of the prospects in action on the card will be the debuting Yuki Nakajima (0-0) [中嶋 憂輝], the younger brother of Ohashi gym prospect Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝]. The touted Nakajima, who went 52-21 in the amateurs, will be facing off with Thai 21 year old Somphon Banyaem (3-1, 3), who's only loss actually came in Japan to then debuting Takamori Kiyama back in May.
Another youngster on this card is the fast rising Ryota Yamauchi (3-0, 3) [山内涼太], who is ranked by both the OPBF and the JBC. Sadly after back-to-back notable opponents Yamauchi will be facing a notable step backwards as he takes on Indonesian visitor Rio Nainggolan (4-8, 3). This is a pretty disappointing contest, given that Yamauchi has stopped Lester Abutan and Yota Hori in his last 2 bouts, but we suspect that the plan will be to move him into title fights next year.
Notably the show will also feature the ring return of Kazuki Saito (5-1, 5) [斎藤一貴], who will be taking on Filipino foe Rey Ramos (8-9-2, 3). This will be Saito's first bout since a shock upset loss earlier this year against Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas. The touted Saito had looked excellent at times prior to that loss, but had question marks about his durability, which Amphol certainly answered. It seems clear that this is an easy comeback for Saito, but there will be serious questions hanging over his head going forward, and how he reacts to being tagged, and having a fighter put it on him.
As with the previous Slugfest cards we expect this card will be uploaded to both Boxingraise and to youtube, in full, for fans wanting to watch it.
Over the weekend we saw the news break that former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] would be returning to the ring on October 1st, in the headline bout of Slugfest 6.
Ohashi, who lost the Japanese Featherweight title to Taiki Minamoto [源大輝] in April, will be up against once beaten 19 year old Ruito Saeki (7-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗] in what looks like a very interesting 8 round bout. For Ohashi it is a real must win, whilst Saeki is stepping up in class, but will know that a win will open a lot of new doors and essentially secure him a Japanese and OPBF ranking, if he wins.
Others set to take part on this card include super-prospect Ryota Yamauchi (3-0, 3) [山内涼太], who hasn't had his opponent announced but we are aware that he will be in an 8 round Flyweight bout, and given his competition so far we are expecting him to face a notable opponent. And also the debuting Yumaki Nakajima (0-0) [中嶋憂煇], who will be looking to make quick impact in his maiden professional bout. Nakajima will be involved in a 6 round contest against a yet to be announced opponent.
The card will have other notable bouts announced in the coming weeks and will likely be added to youtube by the brilliant team at the Kadoebi gym.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!