Earlier today WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion Yusuke Sakashita (19-8-3, 14) [阪下優友] made his first defnese, and successfully avenged a previous defeat to Naoki Mochizuki (16-5, 8) [望月直樹] in what was a very rough and tough bout.
The two men had fought back in 2016, when Mochizuki had taken a decision over Sakashita. He was hoping for a repeat victory, but Sakashita had other plans, and wanted to build on a great win earlier this year Masahiro Sakamoto.
It was Mochizuki who got off to a great start, he was boxing and moving, racking up points behind his sharp punching and hid clean body shots. It was a smart gameplan from the challenger, who was quickly building his momentum against a slow starting Sakashita.
It wasn't until round 5 that Mochizuki seemed to begin slowing down, letting Sakashita finally get a toe hold on the bout. The champion used the slowing down of Mochizuki to mount a charge through the middle rounds. The fight back from Sakashita began to grind down Mochizuki, who did what he could to try and fight Sakashita off.
In round 10 the wheels finally fell off for Mochizuki who was caught by a bomb from Sakashita. The shot dropped the challenger who beat the count but was very much out on his feet when the referee stepped in and waved off the bout, giving Sakashita the 10th round KO.
The win for Sakashita came at a cost however, with the champion having a a huge hematoma over his left eye and that is gonna be painful for a while. That will be easy to ignore however thanks to the title win today.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will see WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] take on Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹]. This is not only a rematch of their December 2016 clash, which Mochizuki won, but also the first defense of the title by Sakashita.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men made the 112lbs weight limit with no problems at all, and looked in good at the weigh in.
The champion came in bang on the 112lbs limit and looked stronger and bigger than the challenger, who was only slightly lighter at around 111.75lbs.
Since their first bout the careers of the two men have gone in different directions. Mochizuki has struggled to pick up wins, whilst Sakashita has scored some of his biggest, including his title win last time out against former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto.
For fans interested in watching this it will be shown on delay on Boxing Raise.
Related - Sakashita looks to defend title and gain revenge in Mochizuki rematch!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fans had the chance to see the talented and heavy handed Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎] become a triple crown winner, as he blast out Filipino foe Harmonito Dela Torre (20-3, 12). With the win Yoshino unified his Japanese national title with the previously vacant OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles.
Dela Torre looked to come forward to begin with but landed on the guard of Yoshino who managed to land a good jab early. Dela Torre wasn't put off by the by the jab off Yoshino and got on the front foot, seemingly landing the better blows and coming forward more aggressively. That was a mistake and a counter left hook connected clean with the Filipino who was dropped. The referee stopped the bout with Dela Torre still down, after just over 2 minutes of the first round.
It's unclear what's next for Yoshino, but it's hard to see him having much competition in the region. A fight with Masayoshi Nakatani would have been interesting, had Nakatani not recently retired. As a result there's very few regional foes who would be worthy of his time, and hopefully he won't look to hold on to the titles too much given he has the ability to go further.
As for Dela Torre this is his 3rd loss in 4 bouts and it's hard to imagine him bouncing back from this type any time soon. It us worth noting however that prior to the finishing blow he looked really up for this, and if he can get some confidence building wins under his belt over the near year or two he could end up getting more regional title shots.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow in Tokyo fans will see Shuichiro Yoshino (10-0, 8) [吉野 修一郎] battle against Harmonito Dela Torre (20-2, 12) in a bout for the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles, with the winner essentially becoming the undisputed Asian champion at 135lbs.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters managed to make weight with no issues at all. In fact both men looked in great shape and both sounded confident of picking up what would be the biggest win of their career.
Yoshino stated that Dela Torre wasn't as tall as expected though still seemed to be aware that the Filipino had long arms and reach. Despite the reach of the Filipino Yoshino sounded very confident and seemed to suggest that he was going to fight his fight. He also revealed that in his preparation for this fight he took part in a US training camp, which had left him with awful jet lag, though that was a few weeks ago and isn't expected to be any kind of an issue for tomorrow's bout.
As for the Filipino he suggested that Yoshino was a good fighter, but was confident he'd pick up the win.
For fans no able to get to Korakuen Hall tomorrow this bout will be aired on tape delay over the weekend on Fuji TV as part of their Diamond Glove series of shows.
Related-Yoshino and Dela Torre battle for regional domination
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The chief support bout of Dangan 227, which was shown live on Boxing Raise, was a contest for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title and saw Tsubasa Murachi (4-1, 3) [村地翼] and former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) fight for the vacant title.
On paper this promised to be something really entertaining, however the early stages of the bout weren't great as both seemed to be looking to fight at range and land single blows. For Murachi the opening round was about his jab, which speared into Saludar's face a number of times, but wasn't used regularly. For Saludar it was the right hand, that thudded against Murachi's head, but seemed to do little damage. The most notable single punch of the round was, however, a right hand from Murachi, that caught Saludar clean and sent him to the canvas. He wasn't hurt, but did secure Murachi a 10-8 opening round.
The pace remained slow in round 2, though appeared a little more action packed than the previous round with round 3 also feeling slightly better than the second, notably due to a huge 1-2 from Saludar than snapped back the head of Murachi. The real highlight early on however was round 4, a round that saw Saludar let loose, dropping Murachi and really going for him as he seemed to feel he had a big chance at an early win. Murachi seemed more embarrassed than hurt by the knockdown, but the follow up after the bout continued did seem to shake him as Saludar, for the first time, let his shots fly in a something more sustained than just a 2-punch combination.
The main talking point from round 5 was a low blow from Murachi which left Saludar in agony, it was a rare moment of Murachi landing something that had effect on Saludar, despite being an illegal punch.
Saludar stuck to his game plan of boxing and moving, keeping the tempo slow in round 6, as he did little but did more than Murachi. At the end of round 7 Saludar again let his hands go with bad intent and dropped Murachi for the second time in the bout, with just seconds of the round left. This time Murachi was hurt and wobbled to his corner, he looked like a man who needed more than a minute to recover.
Sadly for Murachi he wasn't to be so lucky, and early in round 8 Saludar landed 2 huge rights hands and sent him crashign hard to the canvas. This time the he stayed down, the referee quickly rushed, waving the bout off and Murachi's team, and medical personal, came to assist him, before he was stretchered out of the ring. It seemed more a precaution than a necessity, and it did seem like Murachi was conscious when removed from the ring.
The ending was dramatic, and with 4 total knockdowns the bout had highlights, though overall the bout will not be remembered fondly for much other than the frightening finish.
For Saludar this was a huge win, not only netting him the WBO Asia Pacific title but also keeping his career alive and putting him in the mix for another world title fight. For Murachi we really he has a swift recovery. He looked competitive at times, but was unable to avoid the right hands and took a lot of them clean through the fight. If we see Murachi in action again we really hope his defenses tightens up, or his career will be a very short one.
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