Over the last 24 hours or so we saw Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (13-0, 10) [浩樹井上] reveal his first defense.
The unbeaten Ohashi gym fighter, the cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue, revealed he would be defending his title on July 1st at Korakuen Hall against Ryuji Ikeda (14-5-3, 9) [池田竜司]. The bout will see Inoue look to build on his impressive title win against Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] back in April and he has suggest that this will be a more exciting fight than that one, where he seemed happy to box and move.
For Ikeda this will be his first Japanese title fight, though he did fight for a regional title in 2017, losing to Darragh Foley in Australia. Although he enters as the #8 ranked Japanese challenger it should be noted that he hasn't really shined on the domestic stage, going 1-1-1 in his last 3 bouts in Japan.
The card has had a number of notable fighters pencilled in for it. These include former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (22-3, 20) [松本亮], Japanese Youth title holder Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ], the very highly regarded Taku Kuwahara (4-0, 3) [桑原拓], the exciting Tsuyoshi Tameda (19-4-2, 17) [溜田剛士] and unbeaten prospect Katsuya Yasuda (3-0, 2) [保田克也]. At the time of writing none of these fighters have had their opponents announced.
This past Sunday Tsuyoshi Tameda (19-4-2, 17) [溜田剛士] scored a 6th round TKO win over Filipino Renerio Arizala (13-9-3, 5). Sadly after that loss Arizala was taken to hospital and it was discovered that he had suffered acute subdural hematoma, according to multiple sources.
Thankfully Arizala was treated quickly, and has had a craniotomy at a hospital in Yokohama.
So far we've not had any updates on his condition, though we are wishing him the best.
This is a series, and often career ending, injury. It was the same type of injury that ended Ryuya Yamanaka's career in 2018 and we wouldn't be surprised if Arizala struggled to get a boxing license going forward. That's if he would even want to continue to fight, and made a recovery of some kind.
Are thoughts are with Renerio at this time.
Every so often we get a match up that really excites us, despite their being no title or world ranking on the line. Today we had such a bout at the Korakuen Hall, as the highly touted Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] faced off with the big punching Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-4-2, 16) [溜田剛士] at the Korakuen Hall.
On paper the match up was brilliant, pitting two young Japanese prospects against each other, in a 10 round bout. On paper Tameda wasn't just the bigger puncher but also the naturally bigger fighter, whilst Maruta was seen as the more skilled and naturally more gifted fighter.
Maruta looked the sharper fighter, boxing well with his jab and his powerful right hand, but Tameda had success with his own jab, and looked the more imposing man. Sadly for Tameda he was always struggling with the speed and movement of Maruta who began to use his longer reach to land uppercuts and go around the guard with left hooks. Tameda had success in round 4, but the shots of Maruta were taking a toll, and it seemed like Tameda was going to need to find a plan B if he was to build on the success that he had had during the bout.
Before Tameda was able to change how he was fighting Maruta upped the tempo and dropped him in round 5 with a powerful straight. Tameda beat the count but a follow up soon forced the referee to step in and save Tameda.
After the bout Maruta revealed that he had done more road work this time than he had in the past, something that seemed to help him become more confident in his own stamina. It was also his first bout as a Featherweight, and it seems like the weight is the one that best suits him, in fact this is arguably the best he's looked since turning professional. This is possibly the weight that we'll end up seeing him peak at, and potentially challenge for titles at in the near year.
For Tameda the loss is a hard one. He was level on two of the score cards going into round 5, with scores of 38-38, but was down on the third card. He seemed to realise that he was caught, and was struggling to handle the distance of Maruta, who is an incredibly rangy fighter at the weight. Despite the loss he is young enough, hungry enough and powerful enough to bounce back in 2019.
(Image courtest of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get several fantastic match ups. In our opinion the best of the bunch is a contest between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士], who will fight in a 10 round Featherweight bout.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and medical checks, and both fighters managed to pass everything, with no issues.
On the scales both men were comfortably under the 126lb limit. Maruta was around 125.5lbs whilst Tameda, the shorter man, was 125.75lb. Notably this is a move up in weight for Maruta whilst Tameda has fought at 126lbs in a majority of his professional bouts.
This bout is expected to be aired on Fuji TV later in the month, on at least a highlights basis, though sadly there is not yet an announced date for when that will be broadcast. As a result it's only the fans in the venue who are going to be able to see this mouth watering clash in full, and they are incredibly lucky for the fighters and teams willing to take on such a big contest.
Related - Preview - Maruta and Tameda to fight on December 3rd!
(Image courtesy of the Morioka Gym twitter account)
Earlier today Ohashi gym held a press conference to announce the next defense of the OPBF Featherweight title by Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) [清水 聡].
The 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner was flanked by Ohashi gym president Hideyuki Ohashi and trainer Koji Matsumoto at the press conference as they announced Shimizu's next bout.
The fighter will return to the ring on December 3rd to face off with fellow unbeaten Takuya Uehara (16-0, 10) [上原 拓哉] , who held a press conference of his own at the Apollo Gym in Osaka to announce the contest.
For Shimizu the bout will serve as his 4th title defense, and is expected to be his final bout before on wards to a world title fight in early 2019. For Uehara the bout is his first at this level, though he is a former WBC Youth and Japanese Youth champion.
With this announcement we now know that the show, which will be the "66th Phoenix Battle", will be a double header with the card also featuring the mouth watering match up between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士]. We also know that the card will feature Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝] battling Yoshihiro Utsumi (15-8-3, 10) [宇津見義広] and bouts involving Sho Nakazawa (11-2, 5) [中澤奨] and Taku Kuwahara (2-0, 2) [桑原拓].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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