For a second day running we've seen a notable retirement by a Japanese fighter.
Yesterday we saw Yasutaka Ishimoto (31-9, 9) [石本康隆] take to social media to announce his retirement, citing his eye injuries, and this morning we've seen Japanese Bantamweight champion Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] have his retirement reported.
Akaho, the Japanese Bantamweight championm was supposed to defend the national title this coming Saturday in a Champion Carnival at the Korakuen Hall bout against Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介], in a bout set to headline a live television broadcast on G+.
At the moment details are unclear on the retirement but suspicion is that the 2-time world title challenger has failed a pre-match physical and been forced to retire on medical grounds. This is yet to be confirmed but all sources are suggesting this is the most likely scenario, given the time frame.
As far as we're aware the show will still go ahead, just without the highly anticipated main event.
Akaho's retirement will likely allow Suzuki fight for the vacant title in early 2018, though sadly misses out on this high profile, televised contest.
According to multiple sources Akaho had fallen ill on Monday and was taken to the hospital with a "sudden illness", that seems to have been put down to weight loss. His team have stated that a doctor's opinion on Akaho's future as a fighter was unclear, though some have reported the comments to suggest that Akaho is now retired on medical grounds.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (31-9, 9) [石本康隆] took to social media to announce he was retiring and that his long and thrilling career was over, at the age of 36.
The all-action Teiken man stated that he had made his decision due to a combinatiuon of injuries and recent performances, likely accepting that he was on the slide and wasn't the fighter he had once been. That's despite being world ranked #9 by the WBC in their recent rankings and #1 by the JBC in their latest rankings.
Ishimoto made his debut way back in 2002 and has a very fun, exciting and memorable career, whilst facing a number of notable Japanese, and international opponents. During his career he scored notable wins over the likes of Shingo Wake, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, Yusaku Kuga and Gakuya Furuhashi, whilst coming up short against Yota Sato, Masaaki Serie, Chris Avalos Yukinori Oguni and, in their second meeting, Yusaku Kuga.
In 2013 he made an impact on the international stage as he upset former WBO world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, and claimed the WBO International Super Bantamweight title, though lost in a world title eliminator to Avalos the following year. He would later go on to claim the Japanese title, defeating Yusaku Kuga for the vacant title, but he lost that belt in a rematch to Kuga early last year. He had actually earned a third bout with Kuga, thanks to a win last November against Yuta Nakagawa but injuries saw him need to turn down that rubber match, before his retirement today.
In the ring Ishimoto was a battler, a man who lacked power but always made for exciting action fights and often seemed happy to brawl. Although he could fight a technical fight he often showed his willingness to trade blows with his foes, which made him a staple at the Korakuen Hall, where fans were regularly cheering him on. He will be missed by fans of the Japanese scene but his retirement makes sense and we'dlove to wish him all the best going forward with his post boxing life.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
ing Saturday we'll see an IBF Super Featherweight title bout, as former Japanese champion Kenichi Ogawa (22-1, 17) [尾川 堅一] takes on highly skilled American Tevin Farmer (25-4-1, 5) in a bout for the vacant title.
Today Ogawa, along with a home-made mini-version of the IBF title, set off for the US and the final stages of his preparations for the bout.
The fighter took a flight from Narita airport and seemed confident as he was leaving his homeland, for his bout on foreign soil and his first world title bout. If he wins he will add to the long line of champions that Teiken have had, and will likely use the experience of Teiken stablemates to help him here.
Staying with Teiken news it's been revealed that Yasutaka Ishimoto (31-9, 9) [石本康隆] will not compete in the 2018 Champion Carnival. The always fun to watch Super Bantamweight earned the right to challenger for the Japanese title in 2018 by winning a title eliminator in November, but sadly suffered a fractured orbital in that bout. Instead we'll see Ryo Kosaka (15-3-1, 7) [小坂遼] challenging champion Yusaka Kuga (15-2-1, 10) [久我勇作] in Spring next year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Fans in Japan today got a number of treats, one of which was the Japanese Super Bantamweight title eliminator between Super Bantamweight bout between the in form Yuta Nakagawa (21-5-1, 12) [中川勇太] and former champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (31-9, 9) [石本康隆]. The 8 round boutm, to decide the next challenger for the domestic title, looked like an interesting one on paper, especially for fans who had seen either man in action previously, and it proved to be a bout that lived up to expectations, if not exceeding them sligthly.
The bout saw Nakagawa use his speed and youth early on, and for the first two rounds he really made Ishimoto look like the 36 year old veteran that he is. It seemed like Ishimotohad slipped a lot from his best years, and that he was showing signs of not only being old but also a damaged fighter, unable to keep the pace of Nakagawa and being troubled by by the shots of the younger man, including a rather peculiar looking uppercut.
It wasn't until round 3 that Ishimoto finally found a foot hold in the bout, upping his energy, countering well and landing some solid right hands to the jaw of the younger man, who had put so much into the first two rounds that it looked like he was starting to feel the pace. There were moments where Nakagawa got the best of it, but it was certainly a turning point in the fight, which saw Ishimoto prove he could out work Nakagawa.
Rounds 4 and 5 again saw Ishimoto being the busier and more aggressive fighter as he seemed to turn the bout in his favour, despite bleeding from the nose. It was a great effort and on that took it's toll on Nakagawa, who was now looking like a man throwing mostly arm punches and losing his snap. Despite being younger Nakagawa had never faced someone as determined and hungry as Ishimoto and it showed as the desire of the veteran kept him firing, and arguably taking round 6 through sheer bloody work rate.
Nakagawa again found his success in round 7, as Ishimoto began to slow and tired himself. It was as if the previous few rounds of him surging had taken more out of him, though he gritted his teeth once more in the final round and gave it everything he had, and left the bout on a knife edge with both men feelign they could have done enough to deserve the win.
At the end of the bout the judges were split, with Ishimoto getting a 77-76 nod from the first judge, the second favouring Nakagawa by the same score whilst the deciding judge went in favour of Ishimoto.
With the win Ishimoto secures a third bout with current Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (15-2-1, 10) [久我 勇作], who actually stopped Ishimoto for the crown earlier this year. A loss there would likely spell the end for the Teiken man, who has been one of the best value fighters on the Japanese scene in recent years, and is well deserving of one more big fight.
This year we've seen Kyotaro Fujimoto (17-1, 9) [藤本 京太郎] cclaim the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight titles, adding them to his Japanese title to become a rare triple crown winner. Today we heard the news that he will be returning to the ring to defend his two regional crowns on November 4th, as part of a bumper show set to be shown on G+.
Fujimoto's opponent for the bout will be Australian Randall Rayment (8-3, 3), who has won his last 6 bouts including a decision over former Kyotaro foe Herman Ene Purcell. For Rayment the bout will be his first title contest, and in fact his first bout scheduled for more than 8 rounds. It's a huge step up for the challenger, but it's also a massive opportunity.
As mentioned the card will be a deep one and the chief support bout is the Japanese Super Bantamweight title eliminator between Yuta Nakagawa (21-4-1, 12) [中川勇太] and former champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (30-9, 9) [石本康隆], which should be a very special fight in it's own right. Another Japanese title eliminator, this time at Middleweight, will see Shoma Fukumoto (11-1, 9) [福本祥馬] trade blows with Kazuto Takesako (6-0, 6) [竹迫司登], in what looks almost certain to be a fire fight between two heavy handed bangers.
The winners of those eliminators will get a shot at their respective titles in 2018, as part of the Champion Carnival, and should lead to some very interesting match ups.
Another supporting bout will see Akinori Watanabe (34-6, 29) [渡部あきのり] taking on Filipino visitor Dennis Padua (11-12-2, 6) whilst the touted Kazuki Saito (3-0, 3) [斎藤 一貴] will be taking on Filipino puncher Alvin Lagumbay (8-1, 7), who has won his last 8 bouts following a loss on debut back in June 2015.
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