Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a number of Japanese title eliminator bouts, with the winners being set for title bouts in 2018.
The first of those bouts took place at Flyweight and saw Katsunori Nagamine (14-1-1, 10) [長嶺克則] battle with Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規] in what was a really interesting match up on paper, especially given Hoshino's recent wins. Sadly whilst it looked good on paper the bout really never caught fire and was a frustrating affair overall, resulting in a split decision draw that really left everyone feeling under-whelmed. The score-cards at the end of the bout were 78-75, 75-77 and 76-76, giving Nagamine the mandatory status on the "dominant point" rule and he will meet Masayuki Kuroda or Mako Matsuyama next year.
The second eliminator was at Bantamweight and saw the under-rated Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介] score a 7th round stoppage win over the experienced Eita Kikuchi (21-5-4, 8) [菊地永太]. Kikuchi was dropped 4 times by Suzuki who proved to be too strong, too powerful and too good for the veteran, who was finally saved in round 7. The win sets Suuki up for a shot at Ryo Akaho in 2018, and it's to not get very excited about that potential war, which will take place early next year.
At Featherweight we got a thriller as Dai Iwai (21-5-1, 7) [岩井大] went up against the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) [源大輝]. The bout pitted the top two contenders at 126lb against each other and fans really got a treat. The fight started well with Minamoto generally having the better off it, befoe busting Iwai open. With bloody oozing from Iwai's face it was clear he had toup the pace and this resulted in a really exciting contest. Sadly for Iwai he lacked the power to hurt Miniamoto and instead it was the Minamoto who controlled the bout the bout to take a decision, with scores of 77-76, 77-75 and 78-75 and move his way to a title fight.
The final eliminator to take place today was a Welterweight contest which saw Moon Hyun Yun (18-5-3, 3) [尹文鉉] battle against the heavy handed Ryota Yada (14-4, 11) [矢田良太]. Yada started well, and seemed to hurt Yun in round 2, before Yun upped the anti and took the fight to Yada, squeezing him for space. This resulted in an all-action contest that really was thrilling through the contest. Sadly for Yun however his aggression and work-rate wasn't to be enough to impress the judges, with Yada winnign 77-75, twice, and the third card was 76-76.
(Images courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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