Last year we had the chance to see Japanese youngster Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] claim the Rookie of the Year crown at Light Flyweight. This year he has remained busy and today he took a notable step up in class to face off with fellow 21 year old Toma Kondo (7-4, 1) [近藤冬真].
To begin the fight Kondo came out aggressively, as if he wanted to jump on his man. Sato seemed willing to fight fire with fire and quickly turned the tables, pressing Kondo backwards. Kondo continued to land some eye catching shots on the back foot but it was clear that that Sato was the one who was landing the more telling shots, including a straight left hand early in round 2 that dropped Kondo.
Although Kondo recovered from the knockdown Sato was beginning to bully him and it seemed Kondo was struggling with pressure, power and tempo of Sato. What didn't help Kondo was the fact Sato just walked through his shots whilst bringing the heat with solid body shots and a spiteful left hands to the head of his foe.
In round 5 the pressure would eventually become too much for Kondo who was sent down to the canvas. Although he got to his feet the referee refused to let him go on, rightfully stopping the bout at 1 minute 55 seconds into the 5th round, of a scheduled 8 rounder.
This was Kondo's first stoppage loss whilst Sato extends his winning run to 7 straight wins and we'll be honest we're really excited to see where Sato goes from here. He quickly impressed us and we see him having a very bright and exciting future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today former Japanese "interim" Welterweight champion Daisuke Sakamoto (14-9-3, 8) [坂本大輔] took to his blog to announce his next bout. In his blog post Sakamoto revealed that he would be returning on July 9th as part of a Kadoebi promoted "Sugfest 5" card.
The 36 year old Sakamoto, who turned professional back in 2007, announced that his opponent for the bout would be Koki Koshikawa (6-1, 4) [越川孝紀], who turned professional with high expectations but has so far failed to deliver.
Sakamoto stated the bout would be the final one of his career, and comes after a notable break from action, with the Kadoebi man last fighting in November 2017. That bout saw him lose in a bout to unify the Japanese and Japanese "interim" Welterweight titles, with Toshio Arikawa stopping him in 5 rounds.
Whilst not well known outside of Japan Sakamoto has had a pretty interesting career at hime, fighting a domestic who's who of the Light Welterweight and Welterweight diviison. He has shared the ring with Yasuhiro Okawa, Moon Hyon Yun, Cobra Suwa, Nobuyuki Shindo, Toshio Arikawa and Makoto Kawasaki.
As an amateur Koshikawa shined before signing with the Celes gym. Sadly his professional career which began back in 2014, has been a frustrating one. He looked to be on the fast track before losing in 2015 to Koshinmaru Saito. Following that loss he would be away from the ring for over 2 years before returning in August, and beating 2 over-matched Thai foes.
Also set to be on this card are Japanese ranked fighters Yusuke Konno (12-4, 6) [今野裕介], Cristiano Aoqui (12-7-2, 8) and Tsuyoshi Sato (6-1-1, 2) [佐藤剛], though none of them have had confirmed opponents announce for the card as of yet.
(Image courtesy of Sakamoto's blog)
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