Earlier today we got the semi-finals of the inaugural Knockout Dynamite Tournament, with 6 bouts taking place across 3 divisions, with each of the bouts scheduled for 5 rounds. The competition, is designed with financial rewards for scoring early stoppages so is expected to deliver short but exciting fights. We got several of those short thrillers, along with some prolonged action.
The first weight class to be covered was the 60KG one, and began with an all slugfest between OPBF ranked Filipino Marvin Esquierdo (15-2-1, 9) and Japan's very own Koichi Ito (11-8-3, 10) [伊藤弘一]. This bout very much fit the script of what we were expecting from the tournament and from the off the two men just traded bombs in a short but thrilling war. That war came to an end when Ito was dropped, and although he beat the 10 count he was still wobbling when the referee waved it off.
The second bout, also at 60KG's, saw Mongolian novice Tsendsuren Bat-Ireedui (0-1-1) take on 40 year old veteran Ribo Takahata (16-8-1, 6) [高畑里望]. The Mongolian came out swinging, looking to claim the full bonus, whilst Takahata played the longer game. After trying to score a stoppage in the first 2 rounds the Mongolian looked tired and hurt in round 3, as Takahata's body shots began to pay dividends. Tsendsuren would however bounce back in round 4. The best round of the fight was the 5th round with both letting shots go on the inside, in what was a really good round to watch, but neither man could stop the other leading to a decision. After the 5 rounds the judges gave the decision to Takahata, in a decision we're not totally behind, and now he will face Esquierdo in the weight class' final.
The second weight class to be covered was the 56KG one, and began with a bout between the hotly tipped Yuki Yamauchi (4-0, 3) [山内祐希] and veteran Ryuta Wakamatsu (12-15-1, 9) [若松竜太]. The first round was almost a plain boxing round, with neither man going for the bonus money, but the pace did pick up in round 2 and Wakamatsu was dropped and cut midway into the round. The following round saw Yamauchi continue to press and record a 3rd round TKO to pick up his bonus.
The second 56KG semi final saw 2017 Rookie of the Year winner Ren Sasaki (10-0, 6) [佐々木蓮] battle against Morihisa Iju (11-5, 9) [伊集盛尚]. Although not a noted puncher Sasaki went for the opening round KO with some very clean straight left hands as Iju came forward, though was dropped himself towards the end of the opening round. Iju continued to press in round 2, trying to get to Sasaki before the youngster could regain his composure. By the end of the round however Sasaki seemed to have regrouped, despite the continuing pressure from Iju. The pressure continued when Iju jumped all over Sasaki to start round 3. Sasaki took down Iju, in a desperation wrestling move, but only gave Sasaki a short respite before Iju was back on the offensive and refusing to give Sasaki any room to work with.
Round 4 was a better one for Sasaki, as Iju began to run out of steam a little bit, but in round 5 Iju was back full steam ahead and forcing the unbeaten youngster to get on his toes. Remarkably two of the judges gave it to Sasaki, with scores of 48-46, twice in his favour and once against. Meaning two of the judges gave Iju only the first round. For the second time in the card we were left with a very questionable decision, though it does lead to Yamauchi and Sasaki in the final.
The first of the two 65KG bouts saw Mongolian debutant Byambatsogt Tuguldur (1-0) go up against Shusaku Fujinaka (16-12-2, 11) [藤中周作]. This bout was hot from the off, with Tuguldur pressing Fujinaka straight away. Fujinaka was repeatedly backed up and Tuguldur made it very clear he wanted the top bonus for an opening round victory. The second round saw Fujinaka having more success and forcing the Mongolian on to the back foot, though Tuguldur managed to have moments of success himself. At times things got a bit messy as the fight went on, though it was hard not to be impressed by Tuguldur, with this being his debut, he did however show a bit too much of his amateur background and occasionally seemed too negative and too conservative.
When the Mongolian let his hands go he looked really good, but seemed to be happy fiddling his way through things, and was warned for numerous minor fouls through the bout, before leaving Fujinaka with a cut eye, from a head clash. The cut didn't risk an early conclusion to the bout and instead we saw the 5 rounds being complete before Tuguldur got his arm around for the decision win.
Tuguldar's win saw him move into the final, where he will face Vladimir Baez (26-5-2, 24), who took home the maximum bonus for an openign round win over Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-13-1, 9) [宮崎辰也]. Unsurprisingly this turned out to be a total mismatch with Baez all over Miyazaki form the off and dropping him in the opening seconds. Despite being down Miyazaki got up and ended up playing his part in a slugfest, firing back whilst eating heavy leather from Baez. After being dropped a second time Miyazaki was saved by the referee. With this win BAez netted himself a cool bonus, much like Esquierdo did in the first bout of the tournament.
A few weeks ago we saw a number of bouts being announced for the first round of the Knock Out
Dynamite tournament, set to begin on October 19th. Today we saw the poster drop for the card and bring with it some really interesting details, including the names of two of the "foreign fighters" who were set to be announced at a later date.
One of those will be debuting Mongolian fighter Byambatsogt Tuguldur (0-0), who reached the quarter finals of the Asian Youth Championships in Thailand. From what we understand Tuguldur will be up against Shusaku Fujinaka (16-11-2, 11) [藤中周作] and will be the 4th man in the 65KG tournament, which also features Vladimir Baez (25-5-2, 23) and Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-12-1, 9) [宮崎辰也].
Another is fellow Mongolian debutant Tsendsuren Bat-Ireedui (0-0), who appears to have had a short MMA career and has some amateur boxing background. He will be in the 60KG tournament, where he will face veteran Ribo Takahata (15-8-1, 6) [高畑里望] in his first tournament bout. Tsendsuren's amateur career really is hard to find much about, though he appears to have fought in the 2016 Genghis Khan Cup at 49KG's, though he does appear to have a 2-0 MMA record. Sadly it's still unclear who Koichi Ito (11-7-3, 10) [伊藤弘一] will be facing in the other semi final at 60KG's.
Of course the third weight covered here is 56KG, and that had all of it's fighters announced at a previous press conference, with Yuki Yamauchi (3-0, 2) [山内祐希] to face Ryuta Wakamatsu (12-14-1, 9) [若松竜太], and Ren Sasaki (9-0, 6)[佐々木蓮] set to battle with Morihisa Iju (11-4, 9) [伊集盛尚].
Earlier today a press conference was held in Tokyo, featuring former world champions Floyd Mayweather Jr and Takashi Uchiyama, to announce some more of the details for the upcoming Knock Out Dynamite tournament which will begin on October 19th with the first round of matches.
The announcement today revealed some of the fighters involved in the 2-stage tournament, which takes place across 3 weight classes and features a bounty-type prize for scoring KO wins, with larger prizes depending on how quickly a fighter secures a stoppage.
The announcement today saw a number of the bouts being announced, including 3 of the 4 competitors in the 65KG tournament. The men announced here were Vladimir Baez (25-5-2, 23) and Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-12-1, 9) [宮崎辰也], who have been matched against each other, and Shusaku Fujinaka (16-11-2, 11) [藤中周作], who's opponent hasn't been confirmed.
The 60KG tournament saw 2 of the 4 men being named, with Koichi Ito (11-7-3, 10) [伊藤弘一] and Ribo Takahata (15-8-1, 6) [高畑里望], neither of whom had their opponents name.
And the 56KG tournament had all 4 of it's competitors announced. This weight class will see Yuki Yamauchi (3-0, 2) [山内祐希] take on Ryuta Wakamatsu (12-14-1, 9) [若松竜太], and Ren Sasaki (9-0, 6)[佐々木蓮] battle with Morihisa Iju (11-4, 9) [伊集盛尚].
Interestingly the 3 opponents that are yet to be announced are all stated to be "foreigners", though none of them were named.
The event takes it's name from Uchiyama, who is a tournament ambassador, but will be essentially be co-promoted by TMT Japan, a business arm of Mayweather's wider TMT brand. The TMT Japan arm is expected to grow rapidly, with Mayweather talking about opening up integrated resorts in Japan, returning for exhibitions in the country and much more. In fact Mayweather is quoted as saying "I'm planning various projects in Japan. I want to call my friend Justin Bieber to do a concert and take it to the next level."
The plan seems to be to run this style of tournament, which was described as being a "bounty style tournament", on a regular basis in the future with Dangan and TMT Japan potentially working together on future tournaments of a similar style, though of course that would need this upcoming on to be a success and something following up on in the future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On January 10th the JBC, along with members of the Tokyo Boxing Press, announced the nominations for the 2018 Japanese boxing awards.
The highest award is the Best Fighter, or MVP, award. The nominations for this award are:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] - The current WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] - The current WBO Flyweight champion
Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] - The current WBC Flyweight champion
and Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] - The current WBO Super Featherweight champion
The Skills Award again includes Kenshiro and Tanaka but also:
Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20) [亀田和毅] - The current WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight champion
Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人] - The current WBC Light Flyweight champion
and Jorge Linares (45-4, 28)
The Special award sees Ito and Tanaka being nominated
The KO award see's Naoya Inoue being joined by:
Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] - The current OPBF Featherweight champion
and Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] - The current Japanese Middleweight champion
The Newcomer award has seen a nice number of candidates, the nominees here are, Takesako along with:
Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] - The current OPBF Minimumweight champion
Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶] - The current OPBF Super Bantamweight champion
Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] - The current Japanese Lightweight champion
Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] - The current Japanese Welterweight champion
The "strive", which appears to be an achievement type of award, has seen the following nominations:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] - The current OPBF Lightweight champion
Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] - The current Japanese Light Welterweight champion
Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] - The former Japanese Flyweight champion
and Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] - The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion
The best fight, at world level has seen 3 bouts being nominated:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] - WBO Flyweight title fight
Jorge Linares Vs Vasyl Lomachneko - WBA "super" Lightweight title fight
and Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] Vs Juan Carlos Payano - WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title fight
The best fight that wasn't at world level has 4 nominations:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾] - Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight
Valentine Hosokawa [細川バレンタイン] Vs Vladimir Baez - Japanese Light Welterweight title fight
Hironori Mishiro [三代大訓] Vs Masaru Sueyoshi [末吉 大] - OPBF / JBA Super Featherweight unification bout
Hikaru Nishida [西田 光] vs Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] - Japanese Middleweight title fight
The female Fighter of the Year nominations are:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ] - The current WBO female Light Welterweight champion
Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] - The current WBO female Minimumweight champion
Naoko Fujioka (18-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子] - The current WBA female Flyweight champion
The female Fight of the Year nominations were:
Tenkai Tsunami [天海 ツナミ] Vs Chaoz Minowa [チャオズ箕輪]- WBO female Light Flyweight title fight
Nao Ikeyama [池山直] Vs Mika Iwakawa [岩川美花] - WBO Atomweight title fight
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Irma Sanchez - WBA female Flyweight title fight
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子] - WBO female Minimumweight title fight
Voting will take place in January with the winners being awarded at a ceremony on February 8th.
In the chief support bout of a card at the Korakuen Hall today, Japanese fight fans had the chance to see Yusuke Konno (14-4, 7) [今野裕介] battle Vladimir Baez (24-5-2, 22), aka Destino Japan, in what looked like a must win contest for both men, who had both come up short in recent Japanese title fights.
The fight started at an deliberate and controlled tempo, with both men feeling like their power was going to be the key to victory, and in round 2 it seemed like both men were, momentarily, hurt. The action slowly picked up in round 3, as Konno began to dictate the action behind his heavy and accurate jab. The power of Konno wasn't being all put into the shot, but it was keeping Baez at range and taking it's toll on the Japanese based Dominican.
In round 4 Baez finally found a home for his power shots and rocked Konno, who immediately responded by trading with Baez, as a war broke out. It was thrilling stuff before both men seemed to realise that it wasn't the best idea. It was however something that showed Konno could stand up to the power of Baez who was beginning to look tired.
In round 5 Konno continued to press behind his jab but started to mix more variation into his work, landing a number of solid body shots, including one late on the belt that lead to a knockdown only moments later. Baez about the knockdown, but was looking like a tired fighter who's 34 year old legs weren't quite as strong as they had been earlier in the fight. Baez's exhaustion continued to worsen, as did his frustration, and in round 6 he was deducted a point for leading with the head, something he had been warned about twice in round 5.
Things went from bad to worse for Baez who was dropped only seconds after the point deduction, suffering a 10-7 round. The knockdown was a flash one from a counter shot, but still counted in a round that was already bad for him
Konno came out looking to close the show in round 7, and unloaded some huge shots in the first 30 seconds of the round. Baez saw off the heavy shots from Konno and tried to come back as the round went on, having some late success of his own. Sadly for Baez however his shots never really did the damage that he would have wanted.
The final round saw Baez needing a KO, but he looked too tired to really go for it, shaking his arms out and trying to get the blood slowing. The tired recklessness of Baez saw him take a shot very low whilst leaping in, giving him a few moments to catch his breath. Sadly for Baez it wasn't long enough, and he came out throwing wild shots on the restart, that missed in hilarious fashion. The final 30 seconds saw Baez being rocked before he put it all on the line and the two began to trade. By then it was far too little, far too late.
All 3 judges scored the bout to Konno, with scores of 77-74, 78-72 ans 77-72.
Sadly for Baez this is a second straight loss, following a defeat in a Japanese title bout to Valentine Hosokawa, Konno on the other hand has now reeled off good domestic wins against Kazuya Maruki, Takashi Inagaki and now Baez to put himself on the verge of a second title shot.
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