Earlier today fight fans in Tokyo saw two notable Japan Vs Philippines bouts, as part of a stacked Dangan card.
The first of those Japan Vs Philippines bouts saw the exciting Kenya Yamashita (13-4, 10) [山下賢哉] battle against former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-12-3, 5).
Yamashita set off at a million miles per hour, as he always does. He struggled to get through the guard of Apolinario but made it clear that he didn't want to hang around dragged the Filipino into his fight.
The second round was a better one for the Filipino fighter, who managed to control the distance a bit more and slow Yamashita's pressure. That success however was short lived for Apolinario and within seconds of round 3 he was hurt. Yamashita jumped on him and just unloaded until Apolinario was down, and was stopped by the referee.
The second bout pitting the two countries saw former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (17-3-1, 10) [竹中 良] battle against the tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-11-1, 8). This was Takenaka's first bout in over a year, following his OPBF title loss, and it was clear he had some doubt in his mind. Puton on the other hand came to fight and he was all over Takenaka at times, pressing the Japanese fighter and landing shots on the inside. To his credit Takenaka stuck to his boxing, looking for straight shots and fighting back in the pocket.
In round 6 Takenaka landed a thunder bolt of a right hand and seemed to shake Puton. A follow up left Puton up right bout out on his feet against the ropes and forced the referee to stop the contest. There was no complaint from Puton or his team, who had to help their man across the ring to his corner.
Whilst this was certainly a disappointing show for the Filipino fighters it was good to see the excitement and aggression of Yamashita and the return to the ring of Takenaka, who really had to work hard for the win.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today Boxingraise added a new slide to their homepage to reveal some rather exciting news...and that is that they will be live streaming Dangan 216 for their subscribers.
The card isn't a massive card stacked with world title fights, but it's an amazingly interesting one with a number of fantastic match ups that really does make it one worth tuning in for.
The card is a double championship show. The nominal main event is an IBF Atomweight title fight as Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] and Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] face off for the third time in their careers. These two ladies fought in June 2016, with Hanagata taking a decision win, then rematched in December that year, fighting to a draw. Since then both have established themselves as world class fighters. Kuroki had a 3 and a half year reign as the WBC female Minimumweight champion, recording 5 defenses before losing the title last December to Momo Koseki. Hanagata on the other hand would go 0-1-2 in her 3 world title bouts since that loss, twice drawing with Nao Ikeyama.
For us the real main event is the other part of the double championship banner, and will see OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹]. This is a truly mouth watering clash between two top young talents in a division that is often over-looked. For the heavy handed Koura the bout will serve as his third defense, and he has made it clear that he's wanting to fight in world title bouts sooner rather than later. For Tomita 20 year old Tomita the bout is a big step up from his recent competition, including Desierto Nagaike, but he was the 2016 All Japan Rookie of the Year, and has shown impressive talent. This could be something special.
It would be easy to just be excited about the two main events but the reality is that the card is deep. One of the under-card bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] battle against the always testing tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) whilst the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉] will face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5). These are two really solid match ups, given that Takenaka has been out of the ring since losing the OPBF title and that Yamashita is a never in a bad fight, even if that does come to his detriment at times.
Potentially the most attractive of the supporting bouts is the chief support bout, which is a mouth watering clash between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4). This will be a serious test of Yabuki's boxing ability and Matellon's chin. Neither of these are big names, even domestically, but that shouldn't take away from what looks an interesting contest, and allows Yabuki to build on his recent win over former world title challenger Gilberto Pedroza.
The remaining bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
Given that a lot of shows this month in Japan will be on tape delay this looks like an amazing way for Dangan to finish the month, and the card really is set to be something fantastic for subscribers of Boxingraise
It's fair to say we've been drip fed the match ups for Dangan 216, on September 29th. First came an interesting contest between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4), in what looked like a really good match up a solid test for the hard hitting Yabuki. A week or so after that announcement we saw two title bouts being added to the card, with Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] taking on Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] for the vacant IBF Atomweight title and OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹].
At the time of the title bout announcements we saw Dangan confirm that the under-card would also feature former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] and the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉]. Despite the confirmation neither man had their opponents announced.
Now however we have seen both of those men having their opponents named.
Takenaka, who will be fighting for the first time since suffering a gruesome facial injury in his title loss to Sa Myung Noh [노사명], will now be matched against the always tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8), who will be fighting in Japan for the third successive time, following a TKO loss to Masayuki Ito in March and an opening round technical draw to Shuma Nakazato in June. Despite his record Puton is always a good test and should give Takenaka a genuine fight here, especially given that Takenaka hasn't fought since June 2017.
As for Yamashita he will be stepping up in class to face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5), who the likes of Drian Francisco, Hernan Marquez, Roberto Vasquez and Koki Kameda. The experienced Filipino debuted back in December 2006 and is certainly experienced at a higher level than Yamashita, but will certainly be the under-dog against the incredibly aggressive and hard hitting Yamashita.
One other under-card bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
Earlier today fight fans at the Differ Ariake, and those watching on Boxingraise, had the chance to see Hironori Mishiro (6-0, 2) [三代大訓] claim his biggest win so far, as he claimed the OPBF Super Featherweight title with a split decision win over Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12).
The bout was a huge step up in class for Mishiro but he looked calm and confident early on, but had to cope with the aggressive pressure of Magali before finding his rhythm. The aggression of Magali made life uncomfortable, but after 4 rounds the men were level on the scorecards, which were all 38-38.
Mishiro had looked to create some distance, using his significant height and reach, and had had success with his jab and straight, but was holding his own in the trenches with some nasty uppercuts which had bust Magali's nose and caused notable facial swelling on the champion.
In round 5 it was Magali who had a huge break through, rocking the Japanese fighter and pressing him hard. The round was the clearest of the fight and saw Mishiro look ready to drop at one point as he went on the retreat, hands down, and looked like he had forgotten everything he had trained for. Thankfully for him Magali failed to close the show and in round 6 Mishiro seemed to clear his head, before have a small surge in rounds 7 and 8, as Magali began to look tired. Those rounds saw Mishiro sneak his nose ahead on two of the cards, 77-75, whilst the third was even, 76-76, when the scores were announced after 8 rounds.
Magali then knew things were up against him going into the final 4 rounds, the first two of which were razor thin, with Magali looking to up the pressure and Mishiro holding his own. The could have gone either way, but the final two had Magali really put it all out there, as if he knew it was in the balance. Mishiro on the other hand took his foot off the case, looking to avoid another big scare in the final moments.
In the end Mishiro's decision to play safe proved to be a smart one, with the Japanese fighting edging the decision with scores of 115-113 in his favour, twice, whilst the third judge had the bout 115-113 in Magali's favour.
On the under-card there was a bit of a mixed bag for notable fighters. the hard hitting Riki Hamada (7-2, 6) [濱田力] was stopped in 2 rounds by China's Xiao Tao Su (6-1, 3) [苏晓涛], in what was a pretty brutal KO after having already dropped Hamada. Hamada had been sent through the ropes earlier in the round, and Su had got himself deducted a point as he followed up on the prone Japanese. Hamada never really recovered before being laid out only moments later. Shuma Nakazato (7-1-2, 6) [仲里周磨] saw his fight with late replacement Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) come to an early conclusion after a clash of heads forced the bout to be stopped after just 2 minutes 30 seconds, resulting in a technical draw.
The real highlight of the supporting card was a thrilling, yet relatively one sided, battle between Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] and the insanely tough Yujie Zeng (11-8-1, 6) [曾玉洁]. The aggressive Zeng came out with serious belief as he pressed Nagamine from the off, but the Japanese fighter saw out the early pressure and ended up giving Zeng a real beating until the fight was finally stopped in round 7, by a referee who had seen enough punishment for the Chinese fighter. Given his performance we'd like to see a lot more of Zeng, maybe against more competitively matched opponents, as he was really good value here. As for Nagamine he'll be looking for his second title fight shortly, after having lost in a Japanese title fight earlier this year.
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
Earlier today fight fans in Japan had the chance to see WBO #1 ranked Super Featherweight contender Masayuki Ito (23-1-1, 12) [伊藤 雅雪] battle against teak tough Filipino visitor Vergil Puton (17-10, 8) in what was a good work out for Ito.
The bout started slowly, with both men looking to establish their jabs. It wasn't long until Ito took control, fighting at range, and using his right really well to find his way through the guard of Puton. The Filipino regularly ate some hard looking right hands but shook them off, as he showed the toughness he is known for.
Sadly for Puton the shots were taking a toll, and a jab in round 2 to the body dropped the Filipino. It was the body that seemed to be his weak point, and he was dropped again in round 7 as Ito's consistent shots slowly broke him down.
As the fight went on Puton began to have success of his own as he began to rough up Ito, fighting up close. It was however a mixed tactic, with Ito finding a home for his uppercuts, and taking the best Puton had to offer, whilst controlling the bout at range with his right hand.
In round 9 Ito hurt his man and followed up with a brutal assault that dropped Puton. It was the third knockdown of the fight, and whilst Puton certainly didn't looked damaged goods the referee stopped the contest, realising that Ito was a long way in the lead and beginning to do more damage than he had earlier in the bout.
With the win Ito is now looking to get a world title fight, with a shot at the WBO title expected to come later in the year, likely for a title vacated by Vasyl Lomachenko. For Puton the loss will be a painful one, but he has stated he wants to return to Japan to fight again, and given his effort here few fans will complain if he does return to the country later in the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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