Earlier this year we saw former Japanese and OPBF Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (30-8-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] come up short against talented prospect Shuichiro Yoshino [吉野 修一郎]. That loss looked like it was the end for Kato, who looked like a still talented fighter, but one who was only a shadow of the man who had unified the domestic and continental titles.
Today it was finally confirmed that Kato would be walking away from the sport, with the Kadoebi Gym fighter taking part in a retirement ceremony at the Korakuen Hall.
The fighter stated that he started boxing late, picking up the sport after graduating from high school, but did well due to help from those at the gym. He also added that he had no regrets from his career and given his lack of amateur experience few can criticise him for the succes he had.
During his 40 fight career he went on to defeat the likes of Nihito Arakawa, Takashi Inagaki, Akihiro Kondo, Shoji Kawase, Yuhei Suzuki, and Rey Labao. Sadly though in recent years losses to Masayoshi Nakatani, Ricky Sismundo, Daud Yordan and Yoshino have marked up his record and showed that he was on the slide for quite some time. Despite those losses it's worth noting he lost to the current Japanese and OPBF Lightweight champions, Yoshino and Nakatani.
We'd like to wish Kato the best in his post-boxing career and thank him for some thrilling fights over the years.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
The career of former OPBF and Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (30-8-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] looks to be hanging by a thread this evening, following a loss earlier today to the fast rising Shuichiro Yoshino (4-0, 2) [吉野 修一郎].
From the opening round Yoshino looked like an experienced professional, using his jab well, controlling the distance and moving around the ring, keeping Kato at a safe range. By round 3 it was clear that Kato had to change things up, and that's what he began to do, having a couple of good rounds.
Sadly for the veteran his success was short lived with Yoshino adjusting and holding his feet more, fighting fire with fire. Kato cntinued to have some moments, but they were few and far between with the veteran always looking like the less fighter, with some suggesting he was looking like an old and faded warrior.
In round 8 Kato went all out, trying to change the fight around in the final part of the bout. That however failed to reap the rewards Kato was hoping for, and saw Yoshino show real class as he handled the former champion with relative ease.
At the end of 8 rounds Yoshino was the clear winner, with scores of 80-72, 78-75 and 77-75.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see former OPBF and Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (30-7-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] face off with highly touted prospect Shuichiro Yoshino (3-0, 2) [吉野 修一郎] in a really mouth watering match up.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men hit the scales at an identical 134.7lbs.
For Kato weight is slightly lighter than he has been recent bouts, when he's been 135lbs, but is among the lowest of his career. In fact if anything it seems to suggest that Kato has taken this bout incredibly seriously and will not be looking for anything but a win.
As for Yoshino the weight is slightly heavier than he was last time out, but matches up well with his weight from his last bout, and suggests that he's seeing his long term future at Lightweight, a division that he appears to make with some room to spare.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In recent months it seems like promoters have started to step up their game, and cards that typically only had one one or two good fights now have 3 or 4. That was shown again today when Misako gym announced the next Diamond Glove card, set for April 13th at the Korakuen Hall. And genuinely we feel they could have got two solid cards out of the match ups they have on offer.
The main event will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (20-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] defending the title against big punching Filipino Lorenzo Villanueva (32-2-1, 28) in a really exciting looking match up. Ito is one of the best pure boxers in Japan, and is and is riding a 4 fight winning run against the likes of Dai Iwai, Shingo Eto and Takuya Watanabe whilst Villanueva is a monster puncher who is best known for his up-and-down bout with Daud Yordan from back in 2012. It's a boxer Vs a puncher and could be a very fun bout.
The chief support bout will see former world title challenger Keita Obara (15-2-1, 14) [小原 佳太] return to the ring and go up against Indonesian foe Larry Siwu (24-7, 20) in a decent looking comeback bout for the former Japanese and OPBF Light Welterweight champion. Notably this bout will be a 10 rounder at Welterweight and could well be Obara finally saying good bye to the Light Welterweight division, which he has struggled to make for a while.
Another brilliant supporting bout will see former OPBF and Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (30-7-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] battle the fast rising Shuichiro Yoshino (3-0, 2) [吉野 修一郎]. If Yoshino can get past Kato, even the currently faded version of Kato, it would be a statement and it seems clear that Yoshino's team strongly believe in their man, who was a former amateur stand out.
Another former Japanese champion on this card will be former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (26-7, 14) [益田 健太郎], who will be up against who will be up against the Filipino Romel Oliveros (8-3-1, 3). This bout isn't as good as the three mentioned above but shows that Masuda is keeping busy and it seems likely that those linked to him will push hard for the veteran to get a world title fight before the end of 2017.
A more attractive bout will see former amateur stand out Motoki Osanai (1-0) [小山内幹] return for his second professional bout as he takes on fellow unbeaten Takeshi Kaneko (4-0-1) [かねこたけし]. Osanai was one of a trio of Watanabe gym fighters who had their pro-tests on the same day, with the others being Masataka Taniguchi and Hiroto Kyoguchi, and it seems clear that he has lost time to make up forgiven that the other two are now in title bouts, and we suspect we'll see something a little special from him here.
As with all Diamond Glove cards this will be shown on Fuji TV, on a tape delay basis, but the date and time hasn't yet been set for the broadcast.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Japanee warrior Yoshitaka Kato (30-7-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] has had a year to forget and a year that has left many wondering just what he has left to give. That was seen against yesterday when he struggled to over-come Filipino journeyman Leonardo Doronio (15-14-3, 10).
Kato had, just 3 years ago, been the unified JBC and OPBF Lightweight champion and despite losing those titles to Masayoshi Nakatani in early 2014 few expected his career to go off the rails. Following that loss however Kato went 3-2-1, going 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts.
Yesterday he was expected to get an easy 10 round win over over Doronio, who had only won one of his last 6, but instead he got an inspired Filipino who came to fight and matched Kato much of the way. It wasn't as if Kato was facing a man accepting defeat but instead a man with the intention of recording an upset.
Although heavily favoured Kato seemed to escape with a rather fortunate win, claiming the decision with scores of 97-94 and 96-94 in his favour whilst Doronio was favoured by a score of 96-95. Although losing for the 14th time Doronio certainly proved he was a lot more lively and talented than his record suggested. For Kato however he's now looking like a shadow of his former self.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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