In a minor shock, at least to us, Yohei Tobe (8-1-1, 5) managed to stop Taiki Eto (12-3, 9) earlier today to claim the Japanese Super Flyweight title.
Going in to the bout Tobe was ranked #1 by the JBC whilst Eto was #2 as the men tried to claim the belt vacated by Teiru Kinoshita earlier this year. We had expected a thriller going in though favoured Eto's hard punching, the bout however didn't go as we expected and instead it was almost all 1-way traffic from Tobe who claimed the first title of his career.
Tobe started excellently, he used his jab, movement and aggressiveness to prevent Eto from setting himself with his bombs. It was a bit of a mismatch early on with Eto often chasing shadows and punching the air due to Tobe's sharp and accurate work.
It wasn't until round 8 that Eto had any major success as he landed a right that seemed to buzz Tobe for a second. Tobe recovered well from it however and in the following round landed a devastating right hand of his own that sent Eto down and forced the referee to call a halt to the bout.
For Tobe this victory probably means more than his early career wins over both Wandee Singwancha and current world champion Kohei Kono. It may not take away his defeat to Ryo Akaho in an OPBF title bout but will certainly make him feel like he's back on the track to the top and in fact he may well view a rematch with Kono or Akaho as one of his next steps.
As for Eto this is his second loss in a title bout having come up short in an OPBF title bout with Arthur Villanueva. With his power and style Eto will always be fun but this bout, more than any other, showed his technical limitations and may well see him either needing to go back to the gym in an attempt to completely change his style, or accept that he's a limited but fun to watch domestic level fighter.
In regards to boxrec these fighters were both top 25 in the Super Flyweight division with Tobe going in ranked #18 whilst Eto was ranked #21, as a result we'd expect this victory to push Tobe to around #12 or #13. Interestingly Eto was ranked #12 by the WBA going in so we should see Tobe given a world ranking as a result of this victory.
(Poster courtesy of Misako Gym)
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