The "Fighting Spirit" award was award to the new OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (17-1-1, 8), who scored a 10th round TKO win against Dai Iwai (17-4-1, 6), who was stopped for the first time in his career.
Ito, who had lost his previous bout to Rikki Naito, was on point from the opening round and used his speed, ability and timing to make Iwai looked second class. It seemed everything Ito did worked. His jab was razor like, his movement excellent and his control of Iwai was really top notch.
Although not noted as a puncher Iwai did turn the screw at times and the combination that eventually forced the referee to save Iwai was a beautiful string of shots that forced the referee's hand.
Following the bout Ito seemed to suggest that he was hoping to face really notable opponents in an attempt to move towards a world title fight. It's clear he's not ready for that at the moment but he'll be heading there is he continues to improve, as he has done in recent years.
The MVP for the month was the newly crowned OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (13-3-1, 7) who scored an excellent 5th round TKO win against Filipino fighter Vinvin Rufino (37-17-3, 16).
The bout saw saw Takenaka take control almost immediately and in round 2 he dropped Rufino, who seemed surprised by the power of the Japanese challenger. From then on it seemed only a matter of time before the the Filipino would be stopped.
In round 5 Takenaka finally finished the show, landing a 1-punch KO against Rufino who was out cold.
The win for Takenaka will have helped eased his mind following last years loss to Hisashi Amagasa, in that bout Takenaka was just minutes away from claiming the title. This time around he sealed the deal and claimed the title, as well as the MVP award for the month.
This was Takenaka's second title fight, and we have to admit we were impressed.
The "State of the Art" award was won by the once beaten Tsuyoshi Tameda (12-1-2, 10), who scored an excellent victory over the previously unbeaten Mark Bernaldez (15-1, 10).
Early on Tameda struggled to make an impact but after stepping up the tempo he eventually go to Bernaldez, a highly touted visitor from the Philippines, and eventually ground down Bernaldez in the 7th round of their scheduled 8 rounder. It was, on paper, his biggest win and one of his biggest results along with a split decision draw against Masayuki Ito back in 2011, though it was also just the beginning of what we're expecting to be a very exciting career.
The men will participate in their awards ceremony on October 12th at the Korakuen Hall as part of the "Diamond Glove" show, a show that will be headlined by a bout between Yoshitaka Kato and Ricky Sismundo.
(Video of Tameda Vs Bernaldez courtesy of gentidori)
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