The chief support bout in today's Japanese card from the Sumida City Gymnasium saw the all action Koichi Aso (23-9-1, 15) [麻生興一] battle against Tatsuya Yanagi (16-5-2, 6) [柳達也] in what looked almost nailed on to be a really fun fight. And it delivered!
We've been treat to some amazing fights recently, and this was another with Yanagi fighting Aso's fight, and holding his own in an inside war where both men threw a huge number of shots. From the opening round to the final bell this was high tempo action and near none-stop punching, with one man, or the other, or both, throwing at any moment.
The inside stuff, of which we saw a lot of did, was expected to favour Aso, who has made his career out of banging away up close and fighting on an opponents chest, however it really didn't. Yanagi proved he could do that too, and more than held his own on the inside often forcing Aso on to the back foot. What Yanagi also managed to do was create some space when he needed to, and work at mid range and catch his breath before resuming the up-close battle of attrition. That versatility showed there was more to him than there was to Aso, who really only had one game plan, albeit a very fan friendly one.
The tempo seemed to take a toll on Yanagi in the middle rounds, as he seemed to begin getting out worked by Aso during some totally incredible exchanges. Despite that he gutted things out and refused to let Aso dominate any round. That determined doggedness paid off big time for Yanagi in round 7 when he badly hurt Aso, seemingly breaking his nose. A different referee would have waved it off as Aso took shots on the ropes and seemed unable to escape. The toughness of Aso however saw him battling back as the round closed in what was a real showing of heart from the popular Aso.
Given the damage Aso had taken in round 7 it was a surprise to see him out for 8 though he went out tried to bring the fight but it was another really strong round for Yanagi, who seemed to have managed to get his second wind in the final 2 rounds putting to bed any late charge for Aso.
After 8 rounds it seemed like Yanagi had done enough to get the win, and the judges agreed with scores of 79-73, twice, and 78-74.
We think the cards were a touch harsh on Aso, but completely agree with the winner in what was a truly tremendous war well worthy of a watch on Boxing Raise.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the at the Kaikyo Messe in Shimonoseki, had the chance to see a Japanese Lightweight title eliminator. The match up was the third meeting between Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-3, 3) [アクセル住吉] and Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-2, 6) [柳達也], and much like their first bout there was nothing to separate the two fighters.
From the off there was little to split the two fighters, who seemed to find a weird pattern of alternating rounds. The first 5 rounds were scored identically on the scores cards, with Sumiyoshi taking rounds 1, 3 and 5 whilst Yanagi took rounds 2 and 4. Neither man could ever get the upper hand for long with the pace being an exciting one with both upping the tempo bit by bit, round by round.
In round 6 the pattern of alternating rounds finally ended with one judge scoring the round to Sumiyoshi, putting him in the lead on one of the scorecards. Yanagi seemed to realise he was behind and he took round 7, and round 8 on two cards with the third judge having it a 10-10 round.
At the end of a pulsating back and forth battle the judges turned in cards of 76-76, 76-76 and 77-76 to Sumiyoshi.
Due to the rules on how to decide a challenger in the event of a draw Sumiyoshi advances to the title shot in 2019. After the bout he revealed he had damaged his hand early in the bout, though we suspect that injury will be healed by the time his title shot comes around.
For Yanagi this is his second draw with Sumiyoshi, though he was stopped in the second bout between the two men, when he was hurt by a counter shot and was never allowed to recover. This is a setback for him, but he can certainly come again and showed he is equal to Sumiyoshi.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow we'll see a Japanese Lightweight title eliminator, as Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) [アクセル住吉] and Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) [柳達也] meet, in what will be their third contest. The winner of tomorrow's bout will get a shot at the time in the new year at the 2019 Champion Carnival.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men came in comfortably under the 135lb Lightweight limit.
On the scales Sumiyoshi, who won the second bout between the two men, was 134.5lbs on the scales. Yanagi on the other hand was 133.6lbs.
At the weigh in both looked in great shape, and will know each other well following their two bouts, the first of which was scored a draw after 10 rounds before Sumiyoshi took a victory in the second. Both know that a win here could see him facing Shuichiro Yoshino (8-0, 6) [吉野 修一郎] for the title in the new year, if Yoshino manages to defend his title as expected in December.
Related- Sumiyoshi and Yanagi finish off trilogy in Japanese eliminator!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
According to multiple Japanese sources Shuichiro Yoshino (8-0, 6) [吉野 修一郎] will return in December to make his third defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, as he takes on Kazumasa Kobayashi (10-7-1, 6) [小林 和優] at the Korakuen Hall.
The bout is set to take place on December 13th on a Diamond Glove card, so it will likely feature tape delay coverage on Fuji TV. We suspect the contest will be joined by at least 1 other notable bout, though at the moment the contest is the only one confirmed for the show.
Yoshino, a former Japanese amateur stand out, debuted in 2015 and claimed the Japanese title in October 2017, when he defeated Spicy Matsushita inn 7 rounds for the vacant title. Since then he has stopped Masasi Saito and Genki Maeda to score his 2 successful defenses, and extend his current winning run to 4 straight stoppage wins.
For Kobayashi this will be his first title fight and comes on the back of wins over Daiki Ichikawa and Noriyoshi Taki. Those wins did however follow a 5 fight losing run and are his only wins in the last 7 years. Given that type of form this looks very much like a stay busy defence for Yoshino ahead of the 2019 Champion Carnival, where he will be expected to defend the title against either Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) [アクセル住吉] or Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) [柳達也].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
An important part of the Japanese boxing calendar is the Champion Carnival, which takes place in the first half of the year. The fighters who compete in the Champion Carnival are the national champions and the leading domestic contenders.
In August we a number of bouts to decide the top contenders being announced, with 6 such bouts being set for October 12, on a stacked card at the Korakuen Hall.
For those missed that report those bouts on October 12th will be:
Light Flyweight - Kenichi Horikawa (37-15-1, 11) [堀川 謙一] Vs Koji Itagaki (18-12-3, 7) [板垣幸司]
The Super Flyweight - Yuta Matsuo (14-3-1, 7) [松尾雄太] Vs Rey Orais (20-17-2, 5)
Super Bantamweight - Mugicha Nakagawa (23-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] Vs Naoya Okamoto (13-6-1, 6) [岡本直也].
Super Featherweight - Ken Osato (14-2-1, 4) [大里拳] Vs Satoru Sugita (14-5-1, 9) [杉田聖]
Light Welterweight - Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] Vs Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6)
Light Middleweight Koshinmaru Saito (24-9-2, 13) [斉藤伸介] vs Hironobu Matsunaga (13-1, 7) [松永 宏信]
As well as the October 12th card we also, recently, saw the confirmation that the Flyweight bout would see Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battle against Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) [小坂駿], which that bout now set for October 6th as part of notable Japanese domestic card which is set to be televised on G+.
Today saw the rest of the bouts being announced.
On October 21st we'll have two of them take place in Fukuoka. One of those is the Minimumweight bout, which will see Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) [榮拓海] take on Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9) [田中教仁], in what could end up being one of the surprise contests from these eliminator style contests. On the same card will be the Welterweight clash between Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) [別府優樹] and Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野祐樹], in what we are expecting to be a very explosive and exciting encounter between two fighters with very solid power at this level.
A week later, October 28th, we'll get the Lightweight bout, which will see Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) [アクセル住吉] face off with Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) [柳達也]. This bout will take place in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture, which should favour Sumiyoshi but given the styles of the two men this has the potential to be very exciting.
On November 7th we'll get the Middleweight bout as former champion Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田光] takes on Shuji Kato (9-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], with this bout taking place at the Korakuen Hall.
The only bout with out a set date so far is the Bantamweight bout. Despite no set date we do know that Hayato Kimura (27-10, 18) [木村隼人] facing off with Seizo Kono (19-10-1, 12) [高野誠三], in what is a bit of an under-whelming contest given some of the Japanese domestic talent in the division. This bout is expected to have it's date and venue announced in the coming weeks.
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