Earlier today saw the announcement of 3 Japanese Youth title eliminator bouts, as the JBC title pictures at Light Flyweight and Super Bantamweight get sorted out.
The Super Bantamweight division had one eliminator announced, a bout between Arashi Iimi (7-1, 7) [飯見嵐], the 2017 East Japan Rookie of the Year winner, and Kenta Nomura (5-2, 2) [野村健太]. These two youngsters will battle on April 1st at the Diamond Glove show. The winner of this match up will then face Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] for the vacant title later in the year.
The Light Flyweight division will have two bouts taking place, in what are essentially tournament semi-final bouts for the vacant title, with the winners fighting for the belt later in the year.
One of those bouts will take place on the April 1st Diamond glove card, and will see Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] battle Hizuki Saso (10-5-1, 3) [佐宗緋月], in a really interesting contest. Shiba was a former amateur standout, who has really exciting since turning professional Saso is much more experienced, and comes into this bout on the back of solid wins over Jeffrey Galero and Desierto Nagaike.
The other Light Flyweight semi-final bout will see the exciting Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] take on the big punching Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] in what should be a real war. Sato has a really fun, aggressive style whilst Tomioka is a stop or be stopped fighter, who has only lost to highly regarded fighters in the form of Junto Nakatani, Katsunori Nagamine and Ryuto Oho. This bout will be held on April 6th.
Both of these bouts at 108lbs are really hard to call, though any combination in the final should give us something really special.
In the last few weeks we've seen a number of notable draws. The fight fans in Osaka also got the draw treatment today, as judges were totally unable to split Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] and Daisuke Watanabe (7-4-1, 4) [渡部大介], with all 3 judges scoring their 8 round bout 76-76.
The bout saw Watanabe coming forward early on whilst Shimomachi boxed well off the back foot, making the most of his southpaw stance. The southpaw boxing of Shimomachi worked well, in terms of accuracy, but Watanabe managed to cut inside quite regularly, especially late on.
At the end of the 8 rounds it seemed clearly that neither man had done enough to clearly win. Watanabe had started and ended well, but Shimomachi had real success in the middle of the fight, and the draw does seem rather fair here, though is obviously disappointing for both fighters.
For Shimomachi this result ends a 7 fight winning streak, but now sees him extend his unbeaten run to 9 bouts. For Watanabe this sees him ending the year with a bit of momentum with this draw following a low key win in July, following a decision loss in March to Reiya Abe.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Green Tsuda held a press conference to announce their next big show "Crash Boxing 19", and revealed that it would be a triple title show, with a very good non-title supporting bout as well.
The main event will see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) [矢田良太] make his second defense of the title, as he takes on Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 10) [藤中 周作]. This promises to be an explosive contest but one where the champion will be heavily favoured to retain his title.
A better looking national title fight will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] defending his title against the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義]. Okumoto won the title earlier this year, outpointing Hiroyuki Kudaka, and will be favoured here given his experience. Hashizume was highly touted a few years ago, following success in the Rookie of the Year, but hasn't really built on that early success, and this is a big step up for him.
A Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout will see Ryosuke Nasu (9-3-3, 2) [那須亮祐] take on Yuto Nakamura (8-5, 7) [中村祐斗]. This is a really interesting match up between talented youngsters. Nasu comes into the bout following a good decision win over Kenta Matsui, and he has been hard matched through his career with bouts against the likes of Masamichi Yabuki and Naoto Iwai. Nakamura on the other hand is 2-3 in his last 5, but did score a huge win last time out over Futa Akizuki and this could be a really exciting fight.
Another potentially thrilling match up will see Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) [下町俊貴] battle Daisuke Watanabe (7-4, 4) [渡部大介]. The once beaten Shimomachi is on an 8 fight unbeaten run with 7 straight wins. Those wins saw him claim the Rookie of the Year title in 2017 at Super Bantamweight and has scored a couple of wins already this year, including a good one over Renan Portes. On the other hand Watanabe has been matched incredibly hard, facing the likes of Sho Nakazawa, Gakuya Furuhashi and Reiya Abe in his short career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in May Japanese fight fans in Wakayama got the chance to see former female amateur stand out Kasumi Saeki (2-0, 1) [佐伯 霞] defeat Filipino foe Floryvic Montero. Today she returned for her second professional bout, a scheduled 8 rounder contest against a Thai foe in Hirakata.
The talented Saeki made it clear she was the better fighter almost immediately, as she pressed forward and put the Thai on the back foot. The visitor managed to get a point deducted in round 3, as she began to hold in desperation as she became more and more out classed. In round 5 Saeki finally managed to break through the spoiling and defense of the visitor, with body shots taking their toll on the visitor. In round 6 the Thai was trapped in the corner with Saeki letting her shots go until the referee stepped in and stopped the contest.
At the moment it's unclear what Saeki's plans are for her next contest, but an OPBF title fight does seem like it will be just around the corner for the 22 year old talent.
A Another fighter who picked up a win on this show is 21 year old Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) [下町俊貴], who defeated Filipino visitor Renan Portes (10-7, 6) with a clear decision after 6 rounds.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!