Earlier today fight fans in Japan had the chance to see super-prospect Ryota Yamauchi (3-0, 3) [山内涼太] battle against JBC ranked veteran Yota Hori (13-7-2, 8) [堀陽太], and come out on top by stopping Hori in the 5th round of their scheduled 8 rounder.
Hori's experience worked in his favour early on, as he used his southpaw jab to stop Yamauchi from pressing too much and in round 2 even alnded a hard left that seemed to get Yamauchi's respect. Sadly though from there on Yamauchi began to turn up the pace and in round 4 he dropped Hori with a straight right hand.
Hori had been in real trouble at the end of round 4 and he struggled to recover as we went in to round 5. Yamauchi continued to press the action on to Hori who responded in a desperate fashion trying to land counters until his corner in the towel to save their beaten man.
This win for Yamauchi should see him get a Japanese ranking to go alongside the OPBF ranking he got after his previous bout, a stoppage over Lester Abutan, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him move into a title fight in the coming months. As for Hori it's hard to see where he goes next, given this is his 5th loss in his last 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last December Ryota Yamauchi (2-0, 2) [山内涼太] stepped up in class and stopped former OPBF title challenger Lester Abutan (12-7-3, 6) in what was a huge break out win for the Japanese youngster. Ever since that performance we've been waiting to see what Yamauchi's next step would be, and now we've learned that it will be about on the May 7th "Slugfest Vol 4" card, promoted by his team at the Kadoebi gym.
The card will be headlined by a Japanese Light Welterweight title bout between Valentine Hosokawa (22-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン] and Vladimir Baez (24-3-2-22), in what is a Champion Carnival bout, but it could be Yamauchi stealing the show again as he takes on his first domestic opponent.
The unbeaten 23 year old will be taking on JBC ranked veteran Yota Hori (13-6-2, 8) [堀陽太], who is currently ranked in the top 10 by the JBC at Flyweight in an 8 round bout at Super Flyweight.
Although relatively unknown outside of the hardcore Japanese fans Yamauchi made his debut last June, stopping a Thai novice before stopping Abutan in a break out performance to smash his way into the OPBF rankings. That win over the Filipino saw Yamauchi show his power, ring generalship and skills as he saw off the visitor with a wonderful performance. For a man in just his second bout it was a huge statement and put him on the fast track to a title fight. A win over Hori would push the youngster well on his way to getting a Japanese title fight, and should help push him further up the OPBF rankings.
Hori has struggled for form recently, going 1-4 in his last 5, but has mixed with good competition, scoring draws against Atsushi Kakutani and Koki Eto, suffering his only stoppage to Ardin Diale and scoring notable domestic wins over Musashi Suzuki, Kenta Okamura and Yudai Arai, among others. Although out of form he is a very credible test for any fighter, especially those in just their third bout, and a win for Hori would get his career back on track.
Whilst it may be very early in his career, we suggest that fans keep an eye on Yamauchi, as he really does look like a man with a lot of potential and someone to get very excited about.
Last October we saw Yudai Arai (8-5-3,4) [新井 雄大] battle against Takuya Kogawa in a Japanese Flyweight title bout. The challenger came up short, but showed his toughness, and he really gave Kogawa some problems late on, injuring the champions ear and hurting him in the final rounds. Today he returned to the ring to take on veteran Yota Hori (13-5-2, 8) [堀 陽太], who had lost his previous 3 bouts, going back over 2 and a half years, and hadn't fought since December 2015.
This was supposed to be a chance for the Japanese ranked Arai to get back to winning to winning ways and move towards a second title fight. Hori however hadn't read the script and instead he came out looking like a man with a point to prove, and he seemed to rock Arai early with a solid straight left hand that left Arai's knees wobbling. In round 3 Hori turned an Arai attack around and dropped him for the first time, before landing a right hook dropped Arai hard, and it was the start of the end for the former title challenger as Hori unloaded on him soon afterwards.
With the win it's likely that Hori will find himself back in the Japanese rankings, and it's obvious that the break from the ring has done him a fair bit of good, allowing his body to rest and his hunger to return. For Arai however this is a 4th loss in 6 bouts and it's likely that he's had his moment in the sun, the aforementioned bout with Kogawa.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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