The first local prospect was Okinawa based American Marcus Smith (5-0-1, 5), who took on his first none Japanese foe. The hard hitting Smith forced Filipino Joffrey Garcia (6-8-4, 5) to retire at the end of round 4. Smith had a break out as he went 3-0-1 (3) and with this win under his belt he's looking ike he's on the way to having another big year. At 32 years old Smith can't really waste time, so we're expecting to see him stepped up through the year and moved towards a potential title fight in an aggressive fashion. As for Garcia this is his 4th stoppage loss, and his third by retirement.
The those of those to fight today was 21 year old Ukyo Yoshigai (6-2, 5) [吉開右京], who was looking toput a nightmare 2017 behind him. Yoshigai had won the 140lb Rookie of the Year crown in 2016 but suffered losses to Giraffe Kirin Kanda and Andy Hiraoka last year totally destroying the momentum he had. Thankfully though today he got back to winning ways, as he blew out fellow puncher Takuya Matsusaka (6-7, 6) [松坂拓哉] in just 68 seconds. This bout was never really expected to go long, with Matsusaka only going beyond 2 rounds twice, but it's a good confidence booster for Yoshigai who can look to build on this win. Sadly for Matsusaka this was a third straight stoppage loss.
The most impressive prospect wasn't actually a local, as 21 year old Kanagawan puncher Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開] stepped up in class and stopped local hopeful Tatsuro Nakashima (7-1-1, 5) [仲島辰郎] in the 5th round of their scheduled 6 rounder. Prior to today's fight Ishizawa had only fought 5 career rounds but really stepped up here and showdd not only that his power was legitimate but that he could go and perform on the road, with this being his first fight outside of Tokyo. Sadly for the 23 year old Nakashima this will be a painful loss, but on the other hand he will have time to rebuild and bounce back. With this win Ishizawa moves a step towards fighting for the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title.