Whilst much of the Japanese boxing attention on Saturday was on the action in Tokyo there was also also a show in Ibaragi, headlined by a contest between Tatsuya Takahashi (31-9-6, 21) [高橋竜也] and Renoel Pael (23-11-1, 12).
Although on paper this doesn't look like a bout to get too excited bout, it turned out to be an absolute humdinger of a back and forth war. Those who have seen Takahashi before won't be surprised to hear this was rough, tough, hard hitting and brutal. It wasn't pretty, but it was fantastically competitive and truly exciting.
From the opening round this was competitive, with both looking to get behind their jabs. As it went on though the pace increased and Pael managed to get some sustained success, leaving the local with bloodied face. Takahashi fought through the blood and managed to rack up rounds, but was never able to look comfortable.
The bout had massive drama in the final round as Takahashi was dropped and in all sorts of trouble before surviving to the bell.
The knockdown almost proved game changing on the scorecards, though Takahashi's overall work was just enough to earn a split decision, with scored of 77-75 and 76-75 in his favour, whilst the third judge gave it to Pael with a score of 75-76.
After the bout Takahashi stated he wanted to fight for a title next year. Sadly we don't think he'll to win a belt, even if he does get a title fight at some point during the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This past Sunday golf fans saw the legendary Tiger Woods complete a remarkable career comeback, after having come through a variety of off the course issues. The win for Woods will go down as one of the best feel good sports stories of the year. He isn't alone however, in having had a huge comeback in the last few days.
Today at Korakuen Hall fans saw Masayasu Nakamura (7-3-1, 6) [中村 誠康] return to the ring after almost 3 years out, and and not only did he return but he also picked up a career best win, beating former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-9-5, 21) [高橋竜也], who entered the bout with a JBC ranking.
Nakamura was last seen losing a 5 round decision to Ken Kodama back in May 2016, that was his third loss in 6 fights. Today however he looked like a man who had never been out of the ring, pressing Takahashi from the opening round, putting him under intense pressure and taking the fight to him in a manner that showed real belief and fire. Takahahsi tried to respond, but was often the man forced to give ground, unable to keep with the energy and tempo set by the driven Nakamura.
The energy and drive saw Nakamura getting scors of 78-73 from one judge and 77-75 from another, whilst one judge, somehow, saw the bout for Takahashi, 76-75.
After the bout Nakamura spoke about wanting to win a title for the Team 10 Count gym and wanting to win for his child, who was born around the same time as his last fight.
Sadly for Takahashi, who has always been fun despite his limitations, this is a third loss in 7, following a loss in 2017 against Jetro Pabustan and in 2018 to Ikuro Sadatsune.
Recently we were informed of an interesting Japanese card set for April 15th with several notable names involved on it.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-8-5, 21) [高橋竜也] take on hard hitting domestic foe Masayasu Nakamura (6-3-1, 6) [中村 誠康]. On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, given Takahashi's experience, but the veteran hasn't looked great in recent bouts, taking a narrow win over Gaku Aikawa and losing last year to Ikuro Sadatsune and Nakamura will know a win here will put him on the map domestically.
Hard hitting Welterweight Yuki Beppu (18-1-1, 18) [別府優樹] will be in the co-feature, looking to bounce back from his 2018 defeat to Yuki Nagano. He will be up against Filipino foe Jason Egera (24-20-2, 11), and will be seeking to bounce back from that defeat here.
Also on this show will be Japanese ranked Minimumweight Desierto Nagaike (11-4-2, 2) [長池拓] and promising Super Bantamweight prospect Tetsuya Watanabe (4-1, 3) [渡部哲也].
Earlier today Japanese fans were treat to a thriller at the Korakuen Hall as Tatsuya Takahashi (30-8-5, 21) [高橋竜也] and Gaku Aikawa (9-7-1, 3) [相川学己] put on an 8 round war that left both men looking like swollen, bruised messes.
Aikawa set the early pace, landing good body shots and forced Takahashi to respond, this hot start saw Aikawa using his speed well in round 2, a really good round that a saw both men landing plenty of shots in what was an action start. Takahashi would manage to just out land Aikiawa in rounds 3, but round 4 saw Aikawa swing things back his way as the momentum swung back and forth.
The action saw both needing to take big shots, on a regular basis, with the second half of the fight slowing down slightly, but becoming no less violent, as both dug deep trying to get over the winning line.
The fight was hard to judge and the way both kept up a hectic pace didn't make things easy, and it seemed like every judge saw things different to each other. The general feeling however was that Takahashi had done enough in the second half of the fight to take a narrow win.
In the end Takahashi would get the nod, just, taking a split decision with scores of 77-76 and 78-76 in his favour, whist the other judge has the bout 77-76 to Aikawa.
Takahashi is looking for another title fight, but given today's bout it is hard to see him beating any title holder on the regional or domestic scene. Aikawa, who accepted the loss, seemed happy to have fought a fighter like Takahashi, and he certainly sounds like he will develop from this bout, despite losing such a close contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (29-8-5, 21) [高橋竜也] battle against Gaku Aikawa (9-6-1, 3) [相川学己]. The bout between the two men will be the main event of the "Dynamic Young Fight" show and is set to be an entertaining bout, given the styles of the two men involved.
Today those two men took part in their weigh in and on the scales both men made weight for the bout, which was set a contracted 54KG's, of 119lbs.
On the scales Takahashi was bang on the 119lb limit and looked in good shape. He is turning 30 shortly and given his style his prime won't last for much longer. Aikawa on the other hand was slightly under the limit, at 118.8lbs, and seemed full of confidence following the recent win of stablemate Norihito Tanaka, who won the Japanese Minimumweight title earlier this month.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!