Earlier today WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion Yusuke Sakashita (19-8-3, 14) [阪下優友] made his first defnese, and successfully avenged a previous defeat to Naoki Mochizuki (16-5, 8) [望月直樹] in what was a very rough and tough bout.
The two men had fought back in 2016, when Mochizuki had taken a decision over Sakashita. He was hoping for a repeat victory, but Sakashita had other plans, and wanted to build on a great win earlier this year Masahiro Sakamoto.
It was Mochizuki who got off to a great start, he was boxing and moving, racking up points behind his sharp punching and hid clean body shots. It was a smart gameplan from the challenger, who was quickly building his momentum against a slow starting Sakashita.
It wasn't until round 5 that Mochizuki seemed to begin slowing down, letting Sakashita finally get a toe hold on the bout. The champion used the slowing down of Mochizuki to mount a charge through the middle rounds. The fight back from Sakashita began to grind down Mochizuki, who did what he could to try and fight Sakashita off.
In round 10 the wheels finally fell off for Mochizuki who was caught by a bomb from Sakashita. The shot dropped the challenger who beat the count but was very much out on his feet when the referee stepped in and waved off the bout, giving Sakashita the 10th round KO.
The win for Sakashita came at a cost however, with the champion having a a huge hematoma over his left eye and that is gonna be painful for a while. That will be easy to ignore however thanks to the title win today.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will see WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] take on Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹]. This is not only a rematch of their December 2016 clash, which Mochizuki won, but also the first defense of the title by Sakashita.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men made the 112lbs weight limit with no problems at all, and looked in good at the weigh in.
The champion came in bang on the 112lbs limit and looked stronger and bigger than the challenger, who was only slightly lighter at around 111.75lbs.
Since their first bout the careers of the two men have gone in different directions. Mochizuki has struggled to pick up wins, whilst Sakashita has scored some of his biggest, including his title win last time out against former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto.
For fans interested in watching this it will be shown on delay on Boxing Raise.
Related - Sakashita looks to defend title and gain revenge in Mochizuki rematch!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we reported that Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1, 12) [藤本京太郎] would be back in the ring on October 21st as he takes on Suthat Kalalek (13-10, 12) in a rematch of their 2018 clash. That bout won't be the main event of the card however, instead the main event of the show, Slugfest 11, will be WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title clash, between defending champion Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] and Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹], in what will be a rematch of their December 2016 clash.
The bout will be Sakashita's first defense of the title, which he won earlier this year when he stopped former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto.
The 28 year old Sakashita is probably best known for his 2014 loss to Suguru Muranaka for the Japanese Flyweight title. Following that bout he went 2-3 though has now rebuilt well with a 4-0-1 record in his last 5 bouts, including a draw with Takuya Kogawa and stoppage wins over Keisuke Nakayama and Masahiro Sakamoto. Although no world beater he is in good form and his last 3 performances have been among his best.
Interestingly the last man to Sakashita was Mochizuki, who beat him at the end of 2016 with a clear unanimous decision. Since that win he has gone 5-3, with losses to Keisuke Nakayama, Komgrich Nantapech and Junto Nakatani, being stopped by Nakatani in a Japanese title bout earlier this year. Despite the loss to Nakatani he does have some momentum coming into this bout thanks to a June win over Samartlek Kokietgym.
Kyotaro's bout isn't even the chief support bout of the card, instead that's a Japanese Light Welterweight title eliminator between Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士], in what is a really good match up and could end up being a bit of an instant classic. Aoqui is an aggressive, heavy handed and swift fighter and whilst Nagata isn't as quick or sharp he's tough, aggressive and his bout against Rikki Naito showed how much fun he can be to watch.
One other bout announced for this card will see Riku Nagahama (10-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] battling against Fumisuke Kimura (9-4-1, 6) [木村文祐] in an interesting 8 round contest.
This past weekend in Osaka fight fans had the chance to see the Mutoh Gym put on their latest show, with two notable regional title bouts.
Those bouts ended in mixed fashion for the Gym's fighters, with one fighter picking up a huge win, whilst the suffered a big loss.
Today the team at the Mutoh gym held a press conference and spoke, in part, about those bouts at the weekend, as well as introducing their newest signing, a former top amateur fighter.
At the press conference Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) [小林佑樹] was presented with a sizable financial reward for his shock win over Filipino fighter Ben Mananquil (17-2-3, 4) to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight crown. Kobayashi had been the big under-dog but actually secured himself a stoppage of the the Filipino, and really did earn the financial reward with his performance and result.
Sadly new was less good when it came to former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto (13-3, 9) [坂本真宏], who has reportedly retired following his TKO loss to Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. That bout ended with Sakanmoto's face a swollen bloodied mess, for the second fight in a row, and we did suspect that Sakamoto would walk away from the sport.
Today's press conference also saw the Mutoh gym introduce Yusuke Mine [峯 佑輔], who ran up an impressive 51-10 (12) amateur record and has won international tournaments. The 23 year old will take his pro-test on July 7th with his debut expected later in the month, and is said to have had some amateur training under former world champion Nobuo Nashiro, himself a former fighter at the Mutoh gym.
(Imagge courteys of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Osaka fans were able to attend a show at the Osaka City University. The main event of the card was a WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title bout, between former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto (13-3, 9) [坂本真宏] and domestic rival Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友].
On paper this looked like the perfect bounce back fight for Sakamoto, following his TKO loss to Moruti Mthalane at the very end of 2018. It was a winnable bout, against a domestic foe, for a regional title. It was a step down from world class, but a win would get him straight back into the mix. Sadly however it turned out to be an horrendous decision for Sakamoto, who suffered a similar to the one he suffered against Mthalane, in what was a brave losing effort.
The fight started evenly, and Sakamoto was certainly holding his own in the early stages. Sadly though as the bout went on, and more shots were traded, the former world title challenger ended up taking numerous clean head shots, shots that took their toll on his face, causing swelling around the right eye and a cut on the left eye in round 5.
The damage worsened in round 6 forcing an early conclusion to the bout and giving Sakashita his most significant win to date, a TKO6 win over Sakamoto.
For Sakamoto this bout may well be the end. Given his face has now swollen badly in back to back fights there's a real chance it will always swell, and he may well be better off walking away, rather than risk more serious damage. As for Sakashita this win nets him his first title, and potentially a world ranking with the WBO. Sadly though it also paints a target on his back, with fighters likely wanting his ranking, and his title.
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