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.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see former Japanese Flyweight title challenger Yusuke Sakashita (17-8-3, 12) [阪下優友] score his career best win, stopping former OPBF champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-4-2, 5) [中山佳祐] in 4 rounds.
Nakayama started brightly, looking sharp and light on his feet. Sakashita on the other brought pressure originally struggling to close the distance but gradually tuned his timing in and began to find the range for his right hand. In round 2 Sakashita began to really cut the distance and found more success up close.
Up close Sakashita had real success and in round 4 he landed a solid right hand that dropped Nakayama. To his credit Nakayama would beat the count, but was under pressure soon afterwards, with the referee stepping in to save the former Oriental champion.
This "survival match", was between two men who really needed a major win. Sadly for Nakayama, h is now 1-2-1 in his last 4, and his career is really hanging by a threat. For Sakashita on the other hand this extends his current unbeaten run to 4 fights, and is his first win over a domestic opponent in more than 3 years as he seemingly saves his career and moves higher up the domestic rankings, closing in on one more potential title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This looks set to be the main event of the card and is a very attractive match up on a very good looking card!
Despite this news being broken by Dangan, it's been revealed the card will be a Diamond Glove show.
Earlier today we were informed that former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-3-2, 5) [中山佳祐] would be kicking off his 2019 with a bout on February 14th at the Korakuen Hall.
The 30 year old from the Watanabe gym will be fighting for just the second time since being dethroned by Jayr Raquinel back in March 2018, when he was stopped in 9 rounds by the Filipino.
The former Oriental champion will be up against 27 year old Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-3, 11) [阪下優友], from the Kadoebi Gym, who is looking to build on a draw against Takuya Kogawa from back in July. The last few years have been disappointing ones for Sakashita, who was stopped by Suguru Muranaka in 2014 and has since gone 4-3-1.
This bout will be part of a card featuring Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] against Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達] for the Japanese light Flyweight title.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (27-10, 10) [芹江 匡晋] take on Daisuke Sugita (3-0, 2) [杉田大祐]. The bout was set to be Serie's final bout, and was a return to action for the former champion who had been away from the ring for over 2 years.
Sadly the ring return was to be a short and unsuccessful one for Serie who was stopped after just 116 seconds.
The fight started perfectly for Serie, who connected a a left hook and dropped the Sugita, who seemed to be caught cold. Sadly for the veteran however Sugita recovered and would land a brutal right hand that dropped Serie, who was unable to beat the count and suffered his first stoppage defeat.
The former champion apologised following the defeat, but the reality is that he had had a great career today and was well deserving of the 10 bell salute that he received after the bout.
Also on this card was a split decision draw between Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也] and Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-3, 11) [阪下優友]. The fight was a thrilling war and saw men needing to grit their teeth through the contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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