Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got a triple header of title fights.
One of those bouts saw former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一] claim his second professional title, as he stopped former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23) in a very hard fought contest. With Funai suffering cuts but digging deep to stop the heavy handed Filipino slugger.
Parrenas started the bout well, pressing the action and landing some good body shots, whilst forcing Funai on to the back foot and really putting the pressure on. Funai through seemed to know that Parrenas's assualt wouldn't last forever and fought his way into the bout smartly, avoiding exchanges with the Filipino when he could.
In the middle rounds Parrenas started to tire and Funai began to turn the fight around, despite suffering a cut from a clash of heads. Funai could smell blood, and not just his own, and he began to take the fight to Parrenas with growing intensity. A series of body shots eventually dropped Parrenas and he was unable to beat the count as Funai took one of the buiggest wins of his career, and moved a huge step closer to getting a WBO world title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Ryuichi Funai (29-7, 20) [船井 龍一] battle against former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-7-1, 23) for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. That match up is a really exciting one on paper and should see the winner being boosted towards a WBO world title fight.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men looked in great shape for the bout, whilst making the 115lb limit.
On the scales Funai was 114.64lbs, comfortably under the limit. The former Japanese champion is fighting for the first time since vacating the title at the turn of the year, a title that he defended twice. He vacated the Japanese title to focus on getting a world title fight and will know that a win here will open the door to such an opportunity.
Parrenas on the other hand was 114.2lbs, well under the weight. The Japanese based Filipino is best known for his loss to Naoya Inoue in a WBO world title fight and he'll be hoping that a win here will help him secure a second world title fight. Interestingly this is the lightest he has been since the loss to Inoue in December 2015.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Just over a month ago we saw two title bouts being announced for a June 14th card at the Korakuen Hall. One of those bouts was announced as a Japanese Lightweight title bout between defendoing champion Shuichiro Yoshino (7-0, 5) [吉野修一郎] and under-rated challenger Genki Maeda (6-2-1, 2) [前田絃希] and the other was a WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title fight between champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (16-2-2, 9) [勅使河原 弘晶] and former 2-time IBF Super Flyweight title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (26-2-1, 9) [位帝里 木下]. Now it's been announced that that card will actually be a triple header, with another title fight being announced for the show.
That bout will see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Ryuichi Funai (29-7, 20) [船井 龍一] battle against former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-7-1, 23) for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title.
Funai was last seen in the ring back in December, when he stopped Shota Kawaguchi in 2 rounds to retain the Japanese title and record his second defense. He vacated the title at the start of 2018 to focus on getting a world title fight, and it seems that he been over-looked for now, but will view the WBO Asia Pacific title as a chance to shoot up the WBO rankings and keep his name in the mix for later in the year.
Parrenas is best known for his 2015 loss to Naoya Inoue in a WBO Super Flyweight title bout. He would be out of the ring for almost 2 years following that loss but return last December to beat a Thai foe, as he began to work as a trainer at the Morioka gym. Parrenas notched his second win since the loss to Inoue back in April, when he stopped another Thai visitor. The hard hitting Filipino will know that a win here puis him in the mix for a second world title fight, whilst a loss here will likely end his dreams of ever winning a world title.
Former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-7-1, 23) was in action today, though it was only really a cameo as he took on a very over-matched Thai foe at the City Gym, Kawanishi.
Parrenas, fighting in the chief support bout to Hinata Maruta's [丸田 陽七太] against Arega Yunian, needed just 135 seconds to pick up the win,though it could have been shorter had the referee felt like a sense of mercy on the visitor.
The Thai was down from left hook after just a minute of the bout. He got back but was quickly dropped for a second time. The Thai's fighting mentality saw him rise off the canvas again, but his lack of skills were the issue and he was dropped a third time, from a hard right hand, with the bout being stopped.
Whilst the contest was always supposed to be a stay busy fight for Parrenas, who was who was fighting for just the second time since his December 2015 loss to Naoya Inoue, it didn't really keep him busy. It was more of a cameo than a stay busy fight, and the 34 year old will have had much harder sessions in his role as a trainer at the Morioka gym.
Saying that however he looked at his destructive best and hopefully this result will lead to bigger and better bouts in the near future, as Parrenas does have the potential to be a nightmare for those just on the fringes of world class and it'd be great to see him in that level of fight once again.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known since mid-February that Hinata Maruta (6-1, 5) [丸田 陽七太] would be making his Japanese ring return on April 22nd, having his first bout in Japan since his November loss to Hidenori Otake.
Sadly until the last few days there was no opponent named for Maruta, and when an opponent isn't named until close to the bout we tend to not expect anyone too testing. That has proven to be the case again here with Maruta's opponent being named as Indonesian foe Arega Yunian (6-9, 1).
Yunian will be best known to Japanese fight fans for his 2013 loss to a then 8-0 Ryo Matsumoto, a 2nd round KO, and his 4th round loss to Takashi Igarashi in 2015. He has also suffered stoppage losses on the road to Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Mike Tawatchai and most recently Singsayan CP Freshmart. Given those losses it's hard to imagine Maruta having any issues with Yunian, in what will hopefully be nothing more than a stay busy bout for the Moriaka gym prospect, who is too good to waste much time fighting at this level.
Sadly it seems like Warlito Parrenas (25-7-1, 22) and Naoto Iwai (4-2, 2) [岩井尚斗] will also be in rather straight forward bouts, as both men take on Thai visitors who look like they won't be much of a test for either of the Morioka pairing. It's a shame that the 3 main bouts will all be mismatches, though it does seem like both Maruta and Parrenas will be stepping up in class later in the year.
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