Japanese streaming service boxingraise gave us yet another treat earlier today as we got a Japanese Lightweight title fight between the popular Nihito Arakawa (28-6-1, 17) [荒川 仁人] and the gutsy Yusuke Tsukada (8-6, 3) [塚田 祐介]. On paper the bout was a total mismatch, with Arakawa a clear favourite to make the first of his title, but in the ring we genuinely got something really enjoyable.
The first round saw Arakawa stalking his pray, looking to put Tsukada under pressure whilst the challenger had the "deer in the headlights" look about him. Things went from bad to worse for Tsukada who was hurt in round 2 and then dropped as Arakawa looked for a quick finish. By the end of the second round Arakawa's left hand was like a laser pointed weapon and seemed unable to miss, as seen again in round 3 when he dropped Tsukada for a second time, with a single left hand.
Having been dropped twice it was fair to assume that Tsukada was a goner and that the end was neigh for the challenger who was set to crumble. That assumption however was wrong and instead of crumbling Tsukada seemed to growing in confidence and set off for round 4 with the intent of proving himself, and prove he was still a game fighter. As a result he really let his hands got and let Arakawa know that he was in a fight, cutting the champion around the right eye and leaving the champion with swelling under the left eye. It was a bullish effort from the challenger who was defiantly fighting off the champion.
The confidence of Tsukada was again seen in round 5, though by the end of the round Arakawa had regained control and the round ended with Tsukada wobbling to the corner, with help from his team. It was clear that Tsukada was running on fumes but with the crowd loudly cheering his name it was no surprise his team allowed him out for round
Sadly for the challenger it was little more than a last stand with the champion starting on the front foot and eventually dropping Tsukada again and immediately his corner threw in the towel knowing that enough was enough.
Going into round 6 Tsukada was well behind, with the open scoring having Arakawa up with scores of 49-44, twice, and 48-46, and his only chance of winning seemed to be based on the facial damage of Arakawa. The knockdown in round 6 seemed to make it clear that the challenger really did need saving, despite a gallant fight following the knockdowns.
We now expect to see Arakawa defending the title against Shuhei Tsuchiya (21-4, 17) [土屋 修平], who defeated Rex Olisa (11-30-1, 8) with a unanimous decision, in 2017.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans will get the chance to see Japanese Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) [荒川 仁人] make the first defense of his title as he takes on Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) [塚田 祐介] at the Korakuen Hall.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both made the 135lb limit, though did so whilst looking very different to each other.
Arakawa, a true tough guy, came in at 134½lbs for the bout, well under the limit. Despite coming in light he looked in great condition and it's clear that while he has fought higher in weight he's not struggling at Lightweight, which is clearly his natural weight.
Although Arakawa made the weigh with room to spare it was shocking to see Tsukada tower over him at the weigh in. The challenger came in at 134¾lbs but looked like a man with a good 3" of height on the challenger and could well look to use that height, and reach, against Arakawa. It is however a major step up in class for the 27 year old.
For fans interested in watching this one it will be streamed live on boxingraise.com, along with the rest of the card.
Arakawa faces unheralded challenger Tsukada
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Subscribers of Boxingraise will be glad to learn that the service will, as expected, live stream the upcoming Dangan 166 show, set for September 24th at the Korakuen Hall.
The card, which was expected to be shown on boxingraise though hadn't been officially added to their schedule, was added this morning with the service also stating their follow up show, Dangan 167, would be shown on recorded delay, being put up the following day.
What makes Dangan 166 interesting is the potential implications of the card, rather than any particular bout set to take place on the show.
The main event will be a Japanese Lightweight title fight as Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) [荒川 仁人] defends his title against the unheralded Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) [塚田 祐介]. The bout will be Arakawa's first defense of the title but the real story of intriguing is that probable his next opponent will also be in action on this card.
That likely next foe for Arakawa is Shuhei Tsuchiya (20-4, 17) [土屋 修平], who faces Rex Olisa (11-29-1, 8) in a supporting bout on this card. A win for both Tscuhiya and Arakawa is likely to lead to a meeting between the two men in 2017, in what should be a very fun fight.
Whilst we're glad the card is being shown we must admit that it will be a short one with only 5 fights being featured on the show. It is however sanwiched between recorded shows, including Dangan Ladies Vol 2, which will take place on September 21st but be shown the following day, and the aforementioned Dangan 167, which will take place on September 27th and be uploaded the following day.
Over the past 48 hours we've seen various details emerge of the upcoming Dangan card, Dangan 166.
The card, which we've known about for a while, will be taking place on September 24th at the Korakuen Hall and, as previously reported, will be headlined by a Japanese Lightweight title fight. That fight will see the popular and tough Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) [荒川 仁人] defending his title against the unfancied Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) [塚田 祐介].
As reported during the week Japanese Lightweight Shuhei Tsuchiya (20-4, 17) [土屋 修平] will feature in a notable supporting bout, as he looks to send a message to the winner of the main event, for whom he will be the #1 contender. As of yet his opponent been confirmed, but is expected to be announced in the coming days.
Dangan have since revealed that Japanese ranked Masashi Noguchi (11-5-1, 5) [野口将志] will be in action on the card and that fans will also get a really interesting bout between Naoya Okamoto (10-5, 5) [岡本ナオヤ] and Keita Nakano (13-10-5, 4) [中野敬太].
At the moment it's not been a show confirmed for www.boxingraise.com but we are expecting it to be announced for the service in the near future.
And finally we also saw the poster being made public, featuring the main event fighters and Tsuchiya in major roles along with a number of under-card fighters.
Yesterday Dangan revealed that they will be running a show at the Korakuen Hall on September 24th, not only did they mention that show but they also announced the main event of the card which will feature Japanese Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) [荒川 仁人] defending his title again Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) [塚田 祐介] in what will be Arakawa's first defense reclaiming the belt earlier this year.
The tough and exciting Arakawa, who is of course best known for his loss to Omar Figueroa in 2013, is enjoying a small Indian summer in terms of his career with back-to-back wins over Yuya Sugizaki and Kota Tokunaga, with both of those wins coming after a 1-4 run. The win over Sugizaki made Arakawa the mandatory challenger to the Japanese title and he made the most of that opportunity by out working Tokunaga back in April. That win saw Arakawa become a 2-time Japanese champion, reclaiming the title he held from 2010-1011.
Aged 34 it's unlikely Arakawa has long left in his career, especially given the nature of some of his fights but he'll be a hard man to rip the title away from.
The challenger is a lot less well known with Tsukada having never fought at title level before. He does hold some notable wins, including a victory last year over Kazuhiro Nishitani, but was beaten last time out by Ribo Takahata,who stoppedhim in 2 rounds to give him his 4th stoppage loss.
Although less distinguished the challenger is the younger man at 27 years old and knows this will be the opportunity of a life time with another title shot being very unlikely.
Although the under-card is unknown we know this bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall and it's thought that the bout may be streamed live over the boxingraise service, though that's yet to be confirmed.
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