Back in December the OPBF Bantamweight title fight between Keita Kurihara (13-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] and Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-8, 8) [小林佑樹] was blighted by a number of time keeping errors, errors that lead to a number of officials being punished. Those errors unfortunately left a shadow over what was a brilliant fight, though it was seen as a one off.
Sadly yesterday we saw another case of time keeping error in Japan, in fact just like the Kurihara Vs Kobayashi fight it was another time keeping error in Osaka, though this time at the EDION Arena and not the Sumiyoshi Ward center.
This time around it came in round 3 of the match up between Tae Il Atusmi (16-2, 8) [テイル渥美] and Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (9-2, 8) [堤本京介]. The round was cut a full minute short, in what was a very clear error from the time keeper.
Atsumi would win the bout the following round, stopping his opponent. Interestingly the promoter tried to make out that Tsutsumimoto was bossing round 3, though the reality is that the round a minute early didn't really change the result, and didn't save Atsumi in anyway.
Rather oddly the promoters fighter lost not only this bout but also the Kurihara one, suggesting this has nothing to do with officials being biased, just inept. It is however clear that the JBC are unhappy with this happening, and their will be an investigation into this error, like their was in December as well.
For those wanting to watch the fight, and decide whether the bell coming early really effected the result we've included it below thanks to ytv who streamed the bout live on their website.
Earlier today at the Osaka City University the Mutoh gym announced a double header for May, with both of the main bouts being for WBO Asia Pacific titles.
One of those bouts will be for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. That bout will see former champion, and former world title challenger, Masahiro Sakamoto (13-2, 9) [坂本真宏] battle against Yusuke Sakashita (17-8-3, 12) [阪下優友] .
For Sakamoto this will be his first bout since losing to IBF world champion Moruti Mthalane at the very end of 2018, and he will be looking to reclaim the title he vacated for that world title fight. Sakashita on the other hand will be looking to build on a recent bit win over former OPBF champion Keisuke Nakayama. Interestingly this will be Sakashita's second title bout and comes more than 4 years after he was spectacularly knocked out by Suguru Muranaka in a Japanese Flyweight title bout.
The other title bout will see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Ben Mananquil (17-1-3, 4), from the Filipino, defending his title against former OPBF title challenger Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-8, 8) [小林佑樹], in what could be a very intriguing match up.
Mananquil won the title earlier this year, beating Tenta Kiyose in Japan, whilst Kobayashi's last fight came in December, where he lost to Keita Kurihara in a thrilling 12 round bout that was marred by time keeper errors. This will b a highly skilled match up and should a tough one to call, given how much Kobayashi has improved in recent years.
The bouts will take place on May 26th in Osaka City, with sources in forming us the University's gym has been selected to host the bouts.
Back on December 24th Keita Kurihara (13-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] took a narrow decision win over Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-8, 8) [小林佑樹] to become the new OPBF Bantamweight champion. For weeks there had been talk about it potentially being over-turned due to errors by officials who could render the bout a No Contest.
Today we have been informed that the bout will not be over-turned, with the JBC stating the time errors did not have an unfair influence on the result of the match. Essentially suggesting that the mistakes didn't favour one fighter or the other.
They also explained that it didn't fall within the provisions to become a no-contest, even with the mistakes.
The officials for the bout have been punished, especially the time keeper who has had his license suspended indefinitely, so it is good to hear that there will be no punishment to Kurihara for something that was out of his control. He will now be able to focus on recording his first defense, rather than trying to re-win the title that he took in December
Back on December 24th Keita Kurihara (13-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] took a narrow decision win over Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-8, 8) [小林佑樹] to become the OPBF Bantamweight champion. The bout turned out to be a very controversial one, not because of the scoring but because of the time keeper, who made who made 3 different mistakes.
He gave an interval of 76 seconds, between rounds 5 and 6, allowed round 6 to last 4 minutes and allowed a break of 2 minutes and 2 seconds between rounds 6 and 7.
Today the JBC made their ruling on punishments, and have announced that the time keeper Mr Koshijima, has had his time keeper license indefinitely suspended due to his errors.
The time keeper wasn't the only official to be reprimanded. JBC Supervisor Yukihiro Koike, has been suspended, for the time being and Nobuyoshi Uraya, who is highly ranked in the Kansai boxing scene, has also been "strictly cautioned".
The JBC have also issued an apology for the errors, though seem to have not punished Kurihara or made the bout a no-contest, which had been mentioned as a possibility earlier in the year.
Earlier today we were informed that the JBC may be set to order a rematch between Keita Kurihara (13-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] and Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-8, 8) [小林佑樹], after their December 24th bout for the OPBF Bantamweight title fight, saw numerous time keeping errors potentially effecting the outcome of the bout.
The errors included a 1 minute 16 second break between rounds at one point, a 2 minute break between rounds at one point and a long 4 minute round.
Strangely at least 1 of those errors clearly helped out the eventual loser, Kobayashi, who was given a few extra seconds to recover following a knockdown at the end of round 5, a round that saw him being dropped badly on the bell. It could well have been a mistake caused by how late in the round the knockdown came. Notably however the 6th round went on for 4 minutes, rather than 3.
There is serious talk that the bout will be declared a No Contest upon review and the two men will have a rematch. On the other hand another option is that the result, a unanimous decision for Kurihara, with scores of 113-111 from all 3 judges, stands and the men will just have an immediate rematch.
Amazingly the bout saw Kobayashi being dropped 4 times, once each in rounds 1,2,5 and 12 with the final knockdown essentially deciding the bout.
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