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)
Earlier today we had the chance to see Japanese Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (28-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] successfully defend his title as he over-came Yudai Arai (8-4-3, 4) [新井 雄大] in a less than spectacular bout that saw both men struggle with balance, distance and timing. Although the bout wasn't a spectacular war it did headline an otherwise entertaining and interesting card.
The chief support bout was a genuine thriller as Japanese #1 ranked Flyweight contender Yuta Matsuo (12-2-1, 6) [ユータ松尾] and Ryuto Oho (9-3-1, 2) [大保 龍斗] had an all out 8 round war. The bout started fast and barely slowed as the two men just spent the fight unloading on each other in a contest that would have have scribes raving about it had it been on American TV. We'll admit we thought Oho just nicked it but the judges all favoured Matsuo who will get a Japanese title fight in 2017.
Another really entertaining under-card bout saw Masaru Sueyoshi (13-1, 8) [末吉 大] score an 8th round TKO win over the aggressive Kazuma Sanpei (12-4, 4) [三瓶 数馬]. Sanpei set a hectic pace from the off, and hurt Sueyoshi several times in the early stages, but failed to see off his man, who established his jab and fought excellently off it, neutralising Sanpei's aggressiveness. Sueyoshi was dropped in the middle of the bout was in no danger and came back, eventually forcing Sanpei's corner to throw in the towel and save their man.
A less memorable 8 rounder from the card saw Yuichiro Kusaya (9-0-1, 1) [粕谷 雄一郎] fight to a draw with veteran Masaki Saito (13-11-6, 4) [斉藤 正樹]. Th bout was lacking in drama but was thoroughly competitive with a high level of skills being shown by both fighters, sadly with just a combined 5 stoppages in 38 combined bouts it always seemed like this one was going the distance, and their was no surprise to see the scorecards play a factor in the contest. Coming in both men had Japanese rankings, which they will likely keep due to the draw.
The first of the show's 8 rounders saw Dai Iwai (19-4-1, 7) [岩井 大] take a decision win against the heavy handed Takehiro Shinohara (7-5-2, 7) [篠原 武大]. Iwai's more rounded skills and superior speed were his keys, but he did get tagged repeatedly and the first 5 rounds were very competitive, before Iwai's experience took hold and he out boxed a tired Shinohara. Despite the loss Shinohara certainly didn't embarrass himself and could find himself getting other notable match ups in the future.
Before the 8 rounders the card kicked off with a few 4 rounders, these saw wins for Taichi Ueno (4-1, 2) [上野 太一], Ryosuke Ota (1-1) [太田 椋介] and Shogo Sakai (6-5-1, 4) [坂井 祥吾],all of whom impressed and we can't wait to see Ota as he had a really fan friendly style.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans saw national Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (28-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] extend his reign with a clear, yet unexceptional, decision win over Yudai Arai (8-4-3, 4) [新井 雄大].
The bout started weirdly, with neither man quite looking like they had great balance in the ring, it was a slopping opening to the fight and certainly did suggest that either man was particularly comfortable. Thankfully though the bout warmed up drastically in round 2 as Yudai began to find his rhythm and timing. That resulted in the champion picking up his game the following round, and from then on we had an entertaining but weird bout.
It seemed like both men had issues landing with both often missing wildly, Kogawa, a highly cappable brawler, seemed unable to cut the distance on a regular basis though when he did he landed both single right hands at will and eye catching combinations. Arai, who had success with his left hand, seemed unable to ever take control and was well down at 5 rounds, with cards of 49-46 announced on the open scoring.
Kogawa's success bred more success and he extended his lead in rounds 6, 7 and 8 with his combinations, and often had Arai looking in trouble, but never quite had the balance to finish off his man, who showed real toughness.
In the final rounds a hungry Arai attemped to turn things around and won both round 9 and 10, having Kogawa in trouble for much of the final round. Had it been a longer bout there is a chance that Arai would have dropped, if not stopped Kogawa, who failed to look his usual self.
After the bout Kogawa seemed to suggest that he was hoping to get a world title fight. On this performance he wouldn't last with any of the world champions, but he did seem to fight much of the bout with a damamged right ear, that was badly swollen. It's possible that the damage to the ear caused some of his balance issues, which were certainly unusual to see from such a veteran.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall, and fans who subscribe to Boxingraise. will be able to see a Japanese Flyweight title bout between reigning champion Takuya Kogawa (27-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] and little know challenger Yudai Arai (8-3-3, 4) [新井 雄大], with Kogawa looking for his 4th defense and Arai getting his first crack at a title.
Today the two men weighed in for their bout and both made weight, with both weighing in on the divisional limit of 112lbs.
For Kogawa it was the 4th successive bout where Kogawa has been 112lbs on the scares, and will see him trying to build on recent wins over Tetsuma Hayashi, Masayuki Kuroda and Masafumi Otake. A win here could well see him take a huge step towards a world title fight in 2017.
As for Arai the bout is, as mentioned, his first title fight and sees him weighing in at 112lbs for the 5th time in 6 bouts, moving back down from his last bout where he was a little over 113lbs.
Related- Kogawa returns to face Arai in next title defense
(Image coutesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today boxingraise added the next live card to their schedule, the October 25th show "Dangan 168". The card is one that promises a lot and is great inclusion in the service, which has disappointed at times for live content.
The main event of the card isn't the most appealing of bouts, as Japanese Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (27-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] defends his title against Yudai Arai (8-3-3, 4) [新井 雄大]. Despite being huge Kogawa fans this is a less than great bout, however the under-card is wonderfully well matched and features strength in numbers, giving the card a more intriguing feel than a top heavy show.
The undercard bouts include a brilliant even looking 8 round Super Flyweight bout between Japanese #1 ranked contender Yuta Matsuo (11-2-1, 6) [ユータ松尾] and the un-ranked, but decent, Ryuto Oho (9-2-1, 2) [大保 龍斗]. If this was the only under-card bout of intrigue then we'd have accused the card of being top heavy but instead there are 3 other 8 rounders on the card, each of which is an interesting match up.
One of those is a Super Featherweight bout between the once beaten Masaru Sueyoshi (12-1, 7) [末吉 大] and and the faltering Kazuma Sanpei (12-3, 4) [三瓶 数馬]. Sanpei has gone 3-3 in his last 6 but shouldn't be over-looked here as he has faced strong competition. Sueyoshi on the other hand is looking to build on a win over Shingo Eto and move towards an OPBF title fight in 2017.
Another of those 8 rounders will see young novice Yuichiro Kusaya (9-0, 1) [粕谷 雄一郎] facing veteran Masaki Saito (13-11-5, 4) [斉藤 正樹]. On paper this might not look great to those who don't follow the Japanese scene but the reality is that Saito is much better than his record suggests and both of these men are ranked by the JBC, meaning both will risk their rankings.
The remaining 8 rounder will see Dai Iwai (18-4-1, 7) [岩井 大] take on the heavy handed Takehiro Shinohara (7-4-2, 7) [篠原 武大]. Again this doesn't look for those who can't put the bout into context but those who follow the scene more will know this is a dangerous contest for Iwai, who was stopped just 2 fights ago by Masayuki Ito. Shinihara holds a very good win over Daisuke Watanabe and has got the power to trouble a guy like Iwai, if he can land and this could be a really intriguing contest.
Whilst fans of Boxingraise may have had issues with the frequency of shows this one really does look like it could be a treat for subscribers and we'd be shocked if this failed to capture the attention of those watching live.
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