Heading into 2018 Ryo Sagawa (6-1, 4) [佐川遼] was 2-1 (2), today however he know he'll end the year 6-1 (4) following his 4th notable win since January.
Today the former amateur standout, who had scored wins over Tasuku Suwa, Junki Sasaki and Ryo Matsumoto already this year, added former OPBF title challenger Shingo Kawamura (16-5-1, 8) [河村真吾] to his victim list with an 8th round TKO win at the Korakuen Hall.
Kawamura, as we saw in his OPBF title fight against Satoshi Shimizu, showed no fear and came out looking to make an impact early. He used his southpaw jab excellently and made Sagawa really think about what he did. Sadly for Kawamura his pace began to tire him out, and as we went through the middle rounds it was Sagawa taking control, landing clean shots and really testing the toughness of Kawamura. That toughness however saw Kawamura being too tough for his own good and the referee stepped in in the final round to stop the bout and give Sagawa his 4th big win of the year.
Sagawa had previously stated that he was wanting to fight for titles in 2019, and it's hard to suggest he doesn't deserve one. Sadly for Kawamura this is a second straight stoppage loss, and it's hard to see where he goes from this.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans got a treat as WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (14-0, 8) [拳四朗] and former IBF Minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0, 8) [京口 紘人] took part in a special spar for the fans in attendance.
The spar was arranged on relatively short notices, only being publicly announced yesterday, though was an interest gift for the fans who had the chance to see two world class fighters trading blows.
The spar saw Kenshiro looking incredibly quick, and using that speed to get the advantage early on, but Kyoguchi looked the more powerful man, and seemed like the naturally bigger man, despite only having moved up to Light Flyweight recently.
Notably both two fighters big bouts arranged for the end of the year, with Kenshiro defending his title against Saul Juarez (24-8-2, 13) on December 30th and Kyoguchi challenging WBA Light Flyweight champion Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10). After today's sparring session both men spoke about unification next year, though that obvious depends on both men winning their bout in December.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Uzbek fighter Isrial Madrimov (1-0, 1) [Isroil Madrimov] made his professional debut recently and looked like a sensational talent, stopping Vladimir Hernandez in the 6th round of a scheduled 10 round contest.
Today it was revealed by several Uzbek sources that Madrimov had been voted the Asian fighter of the year for his amateur, by the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC), who look after Amateur boxing in Asia.
Madrimov took 46.76% of the votes with Indian fighter Amit Panghal coming second with 28.03% of the vote and Madrimov's Uzbek compatriot Ikboljon Kholdarov taking third place with just over 11$% of the vote.
Whilst it's clear that Madrimov's future lies in professional boxing it's still great to see his exploits getting recognised by the ASBC, and in fact it's brilliant that Panghal is also being recognised for what has been a stand out year for the Indian fighter.
Uzbek prospect Shohjahon Ergashev (14-0, 13) [Шохжахон Эргашев] will be in the ring tomorrow, fighting in Krasnodar, Russia. Last week his opponent was set to be Ugandan puncher Badru Lusambya (26-4-2, 24), in what looked like a dangerous bout, but one that Ergashev should have won. Now however Lusambya is out, and instead of facing the Ugandan puncher we'll instead see Ergashev take on Argentinian Nazareno Gaston Ruiz (32-17-0-1, 11).
Ruiz doesn't have the power of Lusambya, but does have much more experience with 50 professional bouts under his name, and has only been stopped in 2 of his 17 losses, by Cassius Baloyi and Claudio Alfredo Olmedo. It's worth noting that during his long career, which began way back in 2000, he has gone the distance with the likes of Alex Arthur, Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, and Cesar Rene Cuenca.
Although proven and tough it is worth noting that Ruiz is 38 years old, and isn't a natural 140lb fighter, like Ergashev is. His lack of size and advanced age will likely be a major issue against the excellent Uzbek hopeful
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw 2-time Japanese Featherweight title challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (13-9-1, 4) [大坪竜也] battle against Yosuke Kawano (13-5, 7) [今野裕介], in a contest between two Japanese ranked Featherweights.
The bout ended up being amazingly competitive, from the first round to the final bell.
Both men stood their ground through much of the contest, in an exciting back and forth war. There was was moments where both men looked to feel the pace, but neither man really wanted to back off, leading to a really exciting contest, even if the skill level wasn't massively high. Instead of skills and boxing IQ being on show fans were instead given a treat of action, heart and desire.
Given how competitive the contest was there was very little to split the men. The judges however gave the bout to Otsubo with a majority decision, thanks to scores of 77-76, twice, and 76-76.
The win won't automatically get Otsubo a third shot at a title, but certainly keeps him in the mix. Sadly for Kowano the loss is a hit to his hopes, but he too is still in the mix, and may well get a rematch given how good this bout was.
(Image courtesy off boxingnews.jp)
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