The final of the 4 Japanese title eliminators at the Korakuen Hall today was at Welterweight, and saw former world title challenger Keita Obara (22-4-1, 20) [小原 佳太] face off against Toshiro Tarumi (12-4-3, 6) [垂水稔朗], with the two men battling for a place at the 2020 Champion Carnival.
For Tarumi this was the biggest bout of his career, by far, whilst Obara, who has competed at world level and won Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific title bouts,was facing his first domestic foe in almost 2 years.
The levels in experience and competition were huge going in, and they proved to be only part of the problem for Tarumi, with Obara also having the much heavier hands.
Tarumi tried to cut the distance early but struggled to have much success, at least not telling success, due to his power really effecting Obara, who has always been a touch chinny but wasn't in any trouble here. Obara on the other hand looked heavy handed when he landed a big right hand in round 1.
Tarumi continue to pressure and push the bout in rounds 2, 3 and 4 as he tried to constantly back up Obara. It was a high risk strategy from Tarumi but one that certainly saw him having moments, in fact several times in round 4 he had Obara cornered.
The risky tactics of Tarumi cost him though and in round 4 a huge right from Obara dropped his man. Tarumi got back up but was sent down down against not long afterwards with Obara jumping on him before he before he could recover.
That was it. Tarumi's good effort was done, in the blink of an eye whilst Obara has been pencilled in to face Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano next year.
Tomorrow in Tokyo we'll see a number of Japanese title eliminators, as we take the next step towards finding out who all the challengers will be, at the 2020 Champion Carnival.
Among the bouts tomorrow is an interesting Welterweight bout between former world title challenger Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and the rising hopeful Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗], who will be getting the biggest bout of his career, by far.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout.
On the scales Obara weighed in at 146.6lbs, and looked in great shape. He seemed to be well up for this bout, despite dropping back down to Japanese domestic level after competing at, and around, world level.
Tarumi on the other hand made weight by coming in at 147lbs, and also looked in great shape. He spoke about the sparring the two men had done years ago but admitted there wasn't a set gameplan for facing Obara here.
Related - Hard hitting Obara takes on little known Tarumi in Japanese eliminator
(Image courtesy fo boxmob.jp)
Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The Strongest Korakuen tournaments might have ended a few years ago but the Champion Carnival has continued on, with the Japanese national champions defending their belts in mandatory title fights in the first half of the year. At the moment we're not totally sure who will be defending, or challenging, for titles in early 2020 though that will change in the coming months, especially October.
Today we were given the details of a monstrously significant show on October 26th featuring 5 Japanese title eliminators, with the winners all set to become the mandatory challengers for next year's Champion Carnival. What's even better than having 5 eliminators is the quality of those bouts and the fighters involved, with some barn burners set for the card.
In a Flyweight bout we'll see Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] look to build on his recent win over world ranked Filipino Alphoe Dagayloan as he takes on Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也]. This should see Yamauchi enter as the clear favourite, but Fujikita is no push over and his 2018 war with Naoki Mochizuki showed just how tough he was, despite the close loss. This should be all action, given the styles of the two men, though obviously we do favour Yamauchi to get the win.
In the Bantamweight eliminator we'll see the hard hitting Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] take on the highly skilled Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介], who is riding a 14 fight unbeaten run following back to back losses to begin his career. This is a real 50-50 bout and a hard one to call, and should be one of the most interesting bouts on the card. The winner is likely to face Yusuke Suzuki in the new year, in what should be a tremendous bout it's self.
At Featherweight we'll see touted youngster Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] take on former champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典]. Maruta has yet to live up to his promise, but has shown touches of brilliance and a win here will be a huge chance for him to show what he can do on the big stage. On the other hand Ohashi, despite being technically limited, is a huge puncher and his KO win in May over Shun Wakabayashi is still one of the best KO's this year. The winner of this will likely face either Reiya Abe (19-2-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] or Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4) [佐川遼], who fight for the vacant title in September.
The Lightweight division will see Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] battle against Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹]. Of the two men Saito has proven to be the more aggressive, hard hitter and and crisper looking professional, however Tomioka is an awkward fighter, and he gave Masayoshi Nakatani real fits in an OPBF bout back in 2018. Saito should have the edge, but has shown real issues with his chin, whilst Tomioka is solid, but lacks power. Sadly the winner of this is likely to face the excellent Shuichiro Yoshino, in what would be a huge ask the for the challenger, who ever that ends up being.
The highest weight being fought at on this show is Welterweight, which will see Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] battle Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. Coming in to this Obara is, clearly, the bigger name, and is the most well known fighter on the show. Despite that he is now heading towards his 33rd birthday and has taken punishment through his career. Tarumi on the other hand is a relative unknown outside of Japan, but is riding a 7 fight winning streak since a 2016 loss to Yuki Nagano, who has since gone on to win the Japanese title.
At the moment the broadcast details of this show are unclear, though the hope is that Boxing Raise will carry it, like they did with a similar show in 2018.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans had a war, with Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗] and Shusaku Fujinaka (16-11-2, 11) [藤中周作] throwing down in 8 pulsating rounds to cement his place in a Japanese title eliminator later in the year.
The bout, the main event of a Kaneko promoted card, didn't look the most amazing of fights on paper but given the styles of the two men we did expect fireworks, and we got them in an ultra exciting and competitive contest!
In the opening moments Tarumi looked the better boxer, with a sharp jab, and the edge in straight punching. It didn't take long however for Fujinaka to force his style on the fight, bringing the heat and forcing a war on to the battle. Although Tarumi wasn't fighting his fight he was certainly doing more than just holding his own in a brilliant back and forth war.
Neither man really backed down from the war, though it seemed like Tarumi was landing the cleaner, better shots, whilst Fujinaka tried to bring the extra aggression but was a touch clumsy and wild.
After 8 rounds it was tough to call, though the judges all scores it to Tarumi, with scores of 77-76, twice, and 77-75, giving him a very close unanimous decision win.
Another noteworthy result from this card was a Heavyweight win for JBC #2 ranked Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍], who stopped Yamato Fujinaka (7-6, 3) [藤中充紀] in the 6th round.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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