This past Saturday was a busy day for Asian fight fans. Not only was their a show, predominately female, in Tokyo but there was also a show in Azerbaijan as Europe and Asia collided and of course Asian's in action in the US and Puerto Rico.
We'll start by looking at the action in the West for once where we had a world title fight and a bout that featured a fringe world title contender.
In the US, WBA Light Heavyweight super champion Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9) ended an 18 month break from action as he made a dramatic return to the ring and swiftly beat down Slovakian Tamas Kovacs (23-1, 14). Shumenov dropped Kovacs in rounds 1, 2 and 3 before the referee called a halt to what was one of the biggest mismatches this year. Thankfully however the bout seemed to be more about getting Shumenov a show case bout ahead of a possible clash with Bernard Hopkins than anything else. A bout between Hopkins and Shumenov, possibly in 2014, would be a major move in the division and the winner would be a very clear player in the division. Sadly though the winner would be seen as a second rate champion behind Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev, both of whom fight on HBO and would be unlikely to fight either Hopkins or Shumenov.
In Puerto Rico it was Russian fighter Anton Novikov (28-0-0-1, 10) who impressed as he took a clear decision over Manuel Perez (20-10-1, 4). This victory is unlikely to see "The Pick Hammer" move in to a world title bout but he's already broken the WBC rankings and sits at #12 at 140lbs and isn't going to need too many more fights like this to be considered as a possible world challenger.
Continuing to go east from the west, Azerbaijan gave us a 5 fight show. This was headlined by 2 bouts scheduled for 12 rounds, both of which were arguably upsets as Matthias Pelk (21-0, 12) stopped Fariz Mamedov (14-2-1, 8) and claimed both the vacant WBO European and IBF East/West Europe Welterweight titles. The other big upset saw the once 27-0 Yakup Saglam (31-4, 28) suffer his 4th loss in 7 as Roman Golovashchenko (13-1, 10) took a majority decision over him. This really is the end of Saglam as any sort of "hopeful" and hopefully will expose him as a man with one of the most padded records in boxing.
Another, minor upset, came on the under-card as Miguel Velozo (17-1-2, 5) took a close decision over the hard hitting Rashad Karimov (26-3, 23). This saw Karimov's 22 fight winning streak coming to an end.
The rest of this card went the way it was expected to with Vusal Aliyev (13-0, 5) out pointing Armand Cullhaj (15-4-3, 9) over 6 rounds and the debuting Elchin Ahmadov (1-0) defeating Latvian journeyman Janis Ginters (5-5, 4).
Back over in Japan there was a 7 fight card in Osaka. The main event here saw Mari Ando (11-6, 5) becoming a 2-weight world champion as she successfully claimed the WBC Minimumweight title. Ando had to go through a real battle with Jasseth Noriega (16-3-1, 5) though did enough to claim the split decision and as a result the previously vacant title.
Ando's fight was 1 of 5 fought on the card between women. The others saw Tamao Ozawa (6-1, 2) out pointing win-less Thai Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-4) in a bout that was more competitive than their records would suggest; Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (4-1-1, 3) blasting out Thai debutant Supa Tor Narong (0-1); veteran Nao Ikeyama (13-3-1, 4) narrowly defeating Mika Iwakawa (3-2-1, 1) and Emi Kitawaki (3-4-1, 1) out pointing Misaki Hirooka (2-3).
The only 2 male bouts on this show saw Tomonori Ota (2-1, 1) stop Seita Mochizuki (2-5) in 2 and the debuting Yuto Kawanaka (1-0, 1) take out Takahiro Morishita (0-3-1) in round 3.
This weekend's earliest action was in Thailand as Thai fans got a second successive day of action. Unfortunately, much like with Thursday's action, this was most a show of mismatches with little in terms of competitive action.
The main event saw former WBO Bantamweight world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-2, 31) successfully retaining his WBO international title as he stopped over-matched Filipino Romnick Magos (9-3, 5) in the 3rd round. This was a total mismatch as everyone would have expected though it's a result that will have helped Pungluang maintain his WBO ranking ahead of a possible fight with Tomoki Kameda somewhere down the line.
On the undercard Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (24-0-2, 10) defeated Cheroenchai Sithsaithong (4-6, 3), also via a 3rd round TKO. Ranked #3 by the WBO and #14 by the WBA Kwanpichit won't be preparing himself for world title bouts with contests like this, but as with many Thai's the biggest issue is with him staying active as opposed to him really developing his skill set in one fight.
The rest of the card saw Thewa Tor Surat (3-0, 1) defeat Suor Carryboy (9-9-1. 4) via decision over 6 rounds, Anrey Onesongchaigym (5-1-1, 2) stopping debutant Mamai Lookmaelampoei (0-1), in a female contest, and also an unexpected upset as Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (6-6, 4) stopped Thongtaeng Muangsima (5-3) in the second round.
As well as the fights in Thailand there was also action in Australia. These bouts were disappointing from the view point of the Asian fighters involved as both Roberto Oyan (20-41-5, 7) and Dennis Tubieron (16-3-1, 7) were both stopped. Oyan was stopped by Kye MacKenzie (6-0, 4) in an Australian Super Featherweight title bout whilst Tubieron was stopped by Valentine Borg (6-0, 4).
In Russia Murat Gassiev (14-0, 9) successfully defended the WBC Youth Cruiserweight title as he clearly out pointed Ivica Bacurin (16-4-1, 7). Although Gassiev couldn't force a stoppage he did drop his opponent twice.
It's not rare to find mismatches on cards but it is relatively rare to find a total card of mismatches. Unfortunately that's what Thai fans experienced this morning courtesy of a 4 fight card that lasted just 8 combined rounds.
Of the 4 bouts only one went beyond the second round as Kongjak Por Pao-in (3-0, 1) took little more than half of round 4 to defeat Leo Tomas (0-2).
As well as the bout that went into the 4th there was also a bout that lasted 2:30 into round 2. This contest saw Thong Sithluangphophun (6-0, 3) stopping the win-less Shi Shi Long (0-7-1).
Of the other two bouts the longets we saw was the 137 seconds it took Pankorn Mor Poowana (2-0, 2) to stop the usually durable Jen Yu Jia (2-7-1, 1). On paper this wasn't the blow out it turned out being so credit to Pankorn.
Unfortunately one bout that was always going to be a blow was the main event as Sirimongkol Singwancha (75-2, 47) took just 8 seconds to defeat Giovani Rota (7-6, 4) and defend his WBC Asia Council Continental Welterweight title. We're hoping to see Sirimongkol in a meaningful bout in early 2014 after this completely pointless assignment.
This past Wednesday saw several fighters in action in Japan and in Australia. We'll start our look on the day in Japan where Tokuhon Shinto Promotions put on a 9 fight show.
This card began with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. Surprisingly all of them went the scheduled distance. These saw unanimous decision wins for Kyohei Tsunashima (4-3, 3) surprisingly going the distance for the first time in his career as he out pointed Kenji Fujiyama (3-3, 2) who went the distance for just the second time in 6 fights. These also saw Naoki Inaba (2-1) defeat Araki Yamazaki (1-2, 1) and Katsuya Abe (2-3) defeat Hiroomi Miyauchi (1-3).
In much closer close bouts we saw split decision victories for Tomokazu Ueda (3-1), over Masafumi Ando (2-3), and Hirokazu Sakashita (2-0) over Junki Abe (1-3-1).
As well as the 5 bouts over the short distance the show also had 4 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. Having noted that all of the under-card bouts went the distance it's worth noting that not a single one of the main bouts went beyond 6 rounds.
The shortest of the main bouts was the headliner as Koji Numata (21-7-1, 16) stopped Ryo Okayama (8-2, 5) in 4 rounds. This was Numata's first bout since losing to Charlie Ota back in June.
As well as the 4 rounder we also had a couple of bouts that were over in round 5 as Akinori Hoshino (11-5-1, 8) stopped Jilo Merlin (13-19-2, 2) and Ricky Sismundo (25-7-111) stopped fellow Filipino Randy Megrino (14-16-2, 8).
The key match on the card however was that of Kentaro Masuda (18-6, 10) who was effectively fighting for his right to fight for the Japanese national title next year. Masuda managed to maintain his lofty status on the national rankings with a solid stoppage over Yusuke Tachikawa (9-4-1, 3).
Down in Australia things weren't great for Asian fighters. These bout saw Dennapa Bigshotcamp (12-30, 4) losing a decision to the unbeaten Cameron Hammond (6-0, 3), Dechapon Suwunnalird (6-26, 2) beaten up and stopped in 3 by Damien Hooper (6-0, 6). Things weren't any better for Indonesia's Erick Diaz Siregar (16-20-1, 4) who lasted just 40 seconds with Brayd Smith (8-0, 7).
We had a second successive day of title action in Japan on Tuesday as Katsumata Promotions put on a genuinely excellent card. The show, which featured 7 bouts, had 3 bouts for titles.
Before talking about the title bouts we'll quickly go over the under-card. Of the 4 under-card bouts 2 of them took just 45 seconds to complete. These bouts saw Fumio Ujihara (2-1, 2) taking out Yosuke Sato (2-7m 2) in just 14 seconds and Shinjiro Kawata (1-0, 1) taking 31 seconds to defeat Seiji Honma (0-4).
The other two undercard bouts saw Hyuma Fujioka (4-2-1) clearly out pointing Keisuke Fujii (3-4, 2) over 4 rounds whilst Hideyuki Watanabe (7-6-2, 5) really struggled past Japanese based Filipino Rene Dacquel (10-3, 3).
The first of the 3 title fights saw Jovylito Aligarbes (10-2, 4) score the biggest victory of his career as he upset fellow Filipino Angelito Merin (7-3-2, 1). Merin, attempting to defend the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title was stopped in just 2 rounds by Aligarbes.
It wasn't just the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title that changed hands by also the Japanese Flyweight title as Suguru Muranaka (19-2-1, 5) took the narrowest of split decisions over Takuya Kogawa (22-3, 13). Kogawa, attempting to defend the title for the 4th time, was surprised by the aggressiveness of Muranaka who will now be expected to defend the title against Masayuki Kuroda as part of the Champions Carnival.
The main event here also saw a new champion crowned, at least technically, as Yuzo Kiyota (24-4-1, 22) stopped Shintaro Matsumoto (10-4, 8) and reclaimed the OPBF Super Middleweight title. Kiyota, although the new champion, was fighting for the title he vacated earlier this year to challenge for a world title. In the interim no one had won the title so, the new champion is technically the old champion.
This past Monday saw reason Promotions puttung on small, but very interesting, show at the korakuen Hall as a new week kicked off with some very interesting action.
The results from the show that we have saw Hirotsugu Yamamoto (16-9-2, 2) taking a split 6th round technical decision over Shogo Ishikawa (10-5, 3). The bout, which proved to be very tough to score, saw one judge scoring the bout to Yamamoto 59-57 whilst the other two judges were split 58-57 giving Yamamoto a very narrow victory.
The second result we have saw Ryuichi Funai (20-6, 14) stopping Masafumi Otake (14-12-3, 7) midway in to round 3. This was one of two undercard bouts that ended early with the other seeing Masayuki Ito (13-0-1, 5) making very light work of Kentaro Yamada (8-4-1, 6) who lasted less than a minute in to round 2.
Despite the undercard results it's fair to say everyone came for the main event which saw Keita Obara (10-1, 9), the Japanese champion at 140lbs, stopping Tetsuya Hasunuma (7-5-3, 3). The fight, which started well for Hasunuma, turned in round 7 when Obara started to get success with his pressure, by round 8 Hasunuma looked done and although he was brave in round 9 the stoppage was inevitable as Obara's bombs took their effect on the challenger.
Whilst we all love busy days of boxing some days, despite being busy, fail to really inspire us as fans. On of those days was this past Sunday. Although we had 24 bouts spread over 3 cards very few of the bouts were actually able to grab our interest. We'll admit it's a shame to say that but it's a problem with smaller cards.
Despite not really attracting our attention on the whole some of the fights certainly had some importance. In fact 2 of those were at the Taiho promoted show at the IMP Hall as Ryota Kajiki (22-8, 14) over-came Cirilo Espino (19-13-3, 12) via 8 round unanimous decision and So Takenaka (18-7-2, 8) over-came Shohei Kanemoto (8-7-1, 3) via narrow split decision.
Aside from those two bouts on that particular show it was really hard to show any interest in the other 5 bouts.
They included an 8th round TKO for Akiyoshi Kanazawa (11-2-3, 5) over Atsushi Aburada (7-6, 4) who was stopped for the first time in his career and a 3rd round KO for Hideo Mikan (6-5-1, 2) who took out Thai debutant Eaksayarm Mor Krungthep Thonburi (0-1).
In the 4 rounders on the Taiho show Takuma Hayashi (3-0, 3) took just 23 seconds to stop the debuting Yoshiaki Kishioka (0-1), Jin Katsue (2-0, 1) stopped Kei Fujita (3-2, 1) in the second round whilst Noboru Osato (2-1-2, 1) took a decision over Kazumasa Harunaga (1-3).
The Taiho show was 1 of 2 at the IMP Hall with the other be a follow up show by Green Tsuda. This show, the "The 22nd GT Carnival" was an 8 fight show which again had little in terms of bouts worth noting.
In the one bout of interest Kiron Omura (12-3, 10)bounced back from an opening round loss to Shohei Omura by stopping recent Japanese title challenger Satoshi Niwa (15-17-3, 2) in the 6th. This is a second successive loss for Niwa who may well be close to calling an end to his long career.
The co-feature here saw Ryuji Miyazaki (12-7-3, 4) taking an 8 round decision over Shun Ishibashi (8-15-1, 3). On paper this looked a mismatch though it was surprisingly not all one way traffic despite Miyazaki taking a clear decision in the end.
As well as those two bouts, both scheduled for 8 rounds, the show's other 6 bouts were all scheduled for 4 rounds. These saw only 1 bout failt to go the distance as Hisashi Kawanishi (4-5, 1) took out Takahiko Nakajima (2-4-1) early in the second round.
Of the 4 bouts that went the distane the most 1-sided saw Michitaka Muto (1-0-1) nearly shut out the win-less Takehiro Tode (0-3) in a very one-sided contest. Although a little bit closer there was no doubting that Yuki Nagashima (4-0, 1) had beaten Kazuki Kimura (0-2) in another clear result on this card. Things were also semi-close for Takeshi Nakayama (3-5-2, 1) as he over-came Shota Fujii (1-10) and Ryota Yada (3-2, 2) over-came Toru Kageyama (3-5, 2). The closest bout however saw a real scare for Hikaru Matsumine (3-0) who narrowly over-came fellow Takaaki Kanai (2-1, 1) by a score of 39-38 across the cards.
The 1 show that wasn't at the IMP Hall was at the Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo. This show, promoted by reason was a 9 fight show that was genuinely disappointing looking on paper and one that we could understand fans avoiding in all honest. The most notable bout on paper saw Keita Nakano (10-8-3, 2) taking a very close majority decision over Tonko Nakagawa (11-6-1, 4). Sadly this was headand shoulders above the rest of the card.
In the chief support bouts James Murashige (7-3-1, 4) took a 4h round stoppage over Hiroshi Abe (5-10, 4) whilst Minoru Matsuo (6-2, 3) also took a 5th round stoppage as he defeated Yoshihisa Yokota (5-10-1, 2).
Despite both of the support bouts finishing inside the distance we unfortunately couldn't say the same for the undercard bouts where only 2 finished inside the distance. These saw Takahiko Suzuki (2-0, 2) stopping Wataru Yokoyama (1-1, 1) in round 2 and Yuji Awata (3-1, 2) stopped Teppei Tsukamoto (2-4) in round 4.
In the decision on the undercard Reiya Abe (2-1) over-came the debuting Tasuku Nakagawa (0-1) by unanimous decision, Yuki Uchida (2-1) took a split decision over Shinnosuke Okada (1-4-2, 1), Yutaka Horikoshi (4-4-1, 1) fought to a majority draw with Noboru Takahashi (3-3-1, 1) whilst the only female bout on the show saw Mayumi Kubo (5-10-1) upsetting Mikiko Muto (2-1).
With Friday being nothing short of an amazing day for Asian fight fans it's fair to say that Saturday was never going to stack up. Despite that Saturday did give it a good go with notable action taking place in Japan and several noteworthy fighters fighting in the US.
For us the most interesting card of the day, at least in terms of Asian action, was at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo a where we got “The 520th Dynamic Glove”. This show was headlined by an OPBF Welterweight title fight between Japan's hard hitting Yoshihiro Kamegai (23-1-1, 20) and Australia's Tim Hunt (16-4, 6). Kamaegai, fighting for the first time since losing to Johan Perez in the US stopped Hunt in 5 rounds to claim the previously vacant title, and will now likely be looking towards defending that belt in a major Asian clash.
The same card featured 5 other bouts. The most notable of those, at least for us, saw Hayato Yamaguchi (11-4-1, 1) upsetting the big hitting Hiroyuki Otsuka (6-2, 5) via majority technical decision. Their bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, was stopped in the 6th with the cards being very close, unfortunately for Otsuka 2 of them read “58-57” for Yamaguchi who scored his 4th straight win. Interestingly from Yamaguchi's 4 fight winning streak, 3 have come by technical decision.
The Otsuka/Yamaguchi bout was 1 of 2 bouts scheduled for the 8 round distance. The other one saw Hayato Hokazono (17-4-1, 9) defeating Yuya Okazaki (8-7-1, 2) who retired at the end of round 6. Although this was Okazaki's 5th loss in 6 bouts it's his first stoppage defeat since his debut so some credit should go Hokazono for forcing an early finish to the contest.
In the sole 6 rounder from the show Tsubasa Matsuo (8-2, 4) stopped Masajiro Honda (4-4, 3) early in round 5. This is the second loss this year for Honda whilst Matsuo has won twice year and is now on a 4 fight winning streak.
The two 4 rounders on the show were both finished early. These bouts saw Masaya Tamayama (2-0, 2) stopping Kensuke Sakamoto (3-5, 1) in 2 rounds and the debuting Ryo Matsubara (1-0, 1) taking out Shinichi Hoshino (1-2) in just 35 seconds.
As well as the bigger show in Japan there was also a secondary show courtesy of Shinsei Promotions. This show, which was rather disappointing in all honesty, had 6 contests with only one of them being competitive.
That one competitive bout saw Taiki Minamoto (8-3, 7) defeating Eita Kikuchi (14-4-4, 6) by 8th round stoppage. This was a genuine upset of Kikuchi who entered the bout as the #7 ranked Japanese Super Bantamweight, though it appears that with Minamoto's power he could always cause an upset.
In regards to the mismatches on the card 3 of the bouts came against debutants. These saw Makoto Mizoshita (1-1, 1) stopping Maito Fujii (0-1) inside a round, Yuhei Suzuki (14-3, 11) wiping out Thailand's Saksurin Jittigym (0-1) in the 3rd round and Takahiro Shigee (10-0-1, 8) stopping Najilek Sor Boonlieng (0-1) early in round 4.
It was really a poor card for Thai visitors with both Rungniran Korat Sport School (0-8) and Chamuakpetch Por Panya (0-2) being stopped in round 5. Chamuakpetch was taken out by Tokiya Nishioka (7-3-2, 3) whilst his compatriot was stopped by the emerging Yuki Yonaha (3-0, 3) who has yet to face a fighter with a victory on his record.
Over in the Philippines there were also 2 one was an 8 fight show from Highland-Hayashi Boxing Team whilst the other was a 9 fight card from ALA.
Although ALA show was the better show on paper it was the Highland-Hayashi show that had the only title fight on it as Tosho Makoto Aoki (16-12-2, 13) stopped Amor Tino (14-16-3, 4) to claim the WBC Asia Council Continental Lightweight title. Aoki had lost the opening 2 rounds on the judges cards before forcing a 3rd round stoppage of Tino.
The title fight, was on paper the most interesting bout on Highland-Hayashi show which looked poor from the outside. Despite the poor look of the show it turned out to have some thoroughly competitive bouts on it. These competitive contests saw Carlo Magali (17-7-2, 9) taking a split decision over the always game Rex Olisa (9-22-1, 7), Benjie Bartolome (2-6-1) taking a split decision over the debuting Riku Kanou (0-1) and the debuting Kaito Hattori (0-0-1) fighting to a draw with Mike Kinaadman (0-1-1).
Despite the trio of close bouts some of the contests didn't go the distance. These saw Stephen Gelawa (5-0-1, 3) stopping Romnick Dejano (2-7, 1) in round 2, Rey Ramos (5-4-2, 2) surprisingly stopping Diarh Gabutan (18-4-3, 9) in round 6 and inflicting just the second stoppage defeat of Gabutan's career, Roilo Golez (15-11-1, 6) stopping Jopher Marayan (6-4-2, 2) in 3 and Takaya Kakutani (7-3, 6) stopping Mike Tumbaga (12-20-2) also in 3.
On the whole the Highland-Hayshi card was good for the Japanese trio of Hattori, Kakutani and Aoki who went through the show unbeaten with 2 stoppages in their favour.
The ALA show, which was headlined by Albert Pagara (18-0, 12) defeating Gadwin Tubigon (9-8-2, 4) by a 10 round decision. This was a hard fought affair and Pagara was forced to work for the victory which is never a bad thing for a promising young fighter.
The Pagara/Tubigon bout was joined by another scheduled 10 round battle which saw just 8 rounds of action as Jaymart Toyco (14-4, 10) shocked the previously unbeaten Juren Labordo (11-1, 7). The bout, which featured head clashes, low blows and Labordo being dropped early on was certainly a full of drama though the set back for Labordo will be a big one.
Lower down the card there were quick blow outs as Jay Solomon (1-0, 1) stopped Eddie Liparanon (1-1) inside a round whilst Crispin Parba (7-7, 4), who stopped stopped Marvin Catipay (1-2, 1), Geo Santisima (2-1, 1), who stopped Jamjam Ungon (1-5), and Belmar Plaza (2-1-3, 1), who defeated Kim Galon (3-1-1, 2), all scored second round victories.
The only other stoppage on the show saw Raul Yu (4-0, 4) defeating Andrew Palas (2-2) who was stopped due to a cut.
In the two remaining bouts Boyce Sultan (8-3, 5) defeated, via a split decision, Roy Sumugat (9-9-1, 3) despite being knocked down and Roma Rate (11-1-1, 8) defeated Raymond Tabugon (11-3-1, 4) via unanimous decision.
In a much, much smaller card in Thailand Daendongyen Soonkileelabangmod (1-0) out pointed Ryuhei Sato (0-2) whilst Thong Soonkeelabangmod (1-0, 1) stopped fellow debutant Yodkwanchai Sithviboolchaigym (0-1) in round 5.
Outside of Asia the Asian fighters continued to fight on international soil, most notably in the USA and in Australia.
In the US there was two interesting contests involving Russian fighters. One of these, the most interesting one to us, was the debut of Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) who defeated PJ Cajagas (0-3-1) in 3 rounds. Mekhontsev, an Olympic gold medal winner in 2012, didn't show the class someone like Ryota Murata or Vasyl Lomachenko but he is expected to go on to major things in the near future. Following this victory a story broke suggesting that Mekhontsev's second professional contest will be in Macau on a February date that will also see Murata and Zou Shiming in action. We'll admit that we're hoping that show comes to fruition.
The other Russian involved in a fight State side was Matt Korobov (22-0, 13). Korobov showed flashes of real talent though was dropped in the opening round by Derek Edwards (26-3-1, 13) before managing to take slowly break down Edwards in round 9. Korobov, for his great amateur career, has been a disappointing professional and we'd not be shocked to see him come unstuck the next time he takes a step up.
As well as the Russian's who were in action there was also a bout featuring Filipino born Bruno Escalante (11-1-1, 5) who claimed the IBA Super Flyweight title with a decision over Michael Ruiz Jr (9-4-1, 3).
In Australia the action wasn't great for Asian's with both Pornchai Sithpajuk (0-6) and Tuathong Singmanasa (0-1) suffered early blow out losses. Their losses came to Jono Carroll (2-0, 1) and Tony Senior (3-0, 3) respectively with two Australian based fighters impressing. Despite Carroll and Senior being based in the US it's worth noting that Senior is from London, England, whilst Carroll is from Dublin, Ireland, showing just how global boxing is.
We all know that some, mainly ourselves, can get a bit too excited at a decent day of boxing involving Asian fighters but today was one of those few days where we think our excitement wasn't misguided. In fact if anything our excitement was probably a little reserved in all honesty given that the day had so many major fights.
The first set of the major bouts came in Tokyo where we had a fantastic show in front of several thousand fans at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan.
The first of the bouts on this Japanese show saw youngster Takuma Inoue (1-0) successfully debut as he out pointed fellow Japanese fighter Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-4-3, 3) over 6 rounds. Inoue, who is widely tipped to be a future champion, won the bout with scores of 59-55, 59-55 and 59-56 showing his dominance in the bout.
Unfortunately despite taking a clear victory the was very little of Takuma Inoue's fight actually shown on Fuji TV. In fact there was about 7 seconds shown, hopefully however this fight, in it's entirety will be uploaded somewhere for all us to enjoy.
Another fight that that wasn't televised on Fuji TV was that of Ryosuke Iwasa (16-1, 10) who successfully claimed the OPBF Bantamweight title with a 5th round stoppage of the defending Hiroki Shiino (10-3, 9). Shiino, defending the belt for the first time, was no match for Iwasa who must surely be looking at a world title fight in 2014. As we've said in the past the Japanese scene at Bantamweight is red hot with the likes of Shinsuke Yamanaka, Koki Kameda, Tomoki Kameda, Iwasa, Ryo Akaho and Kohei Oba. We'd favour Iwasa against any of them right now, other than Yamanaka.
Following Iwasa's OPBF title triumph we then saw, on tape delay admittedly, the OPBF title victory of Naoya Inoue (5-0, 4). Inoue, fighting against Filipino opponent Jerson Mancio (18-4-3, 9), made things look easy as he impressed in a dominating and aggressive display. Inoue dropped Mancio in the second round and then beat him up until the referee stepped in in round 5 to save the Filipino from further punishment. Despite the stoppage being a good one, we can't help but think Mancio took 5-10 shots more than he really needed to in a vicious assault from Inoue. Having now claimed the Japanese and OPBF titles at Light Flyweight it seems the next step is a world title fight.
It Naoya Inoue's performance that impressed us the most but he given a good run by Japanese Olympian Ryota Murata (2-0, 2). The 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner took on the tough, gutsy and stubborn Dave Peterson (13-2, 8) of the US and got given a good work out in the process. Peterson, who spoiled early on and attempted to make life hard for Murata give things a genuinely good go for 5 rounds but was broken down in a big way in the final 3 rounds before the referee waved an end to proceedings mid way through the 8th.
Following the 4 excellent bouts on the under-card we moved to the main bout of the Japanese show. This contest saw WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (19-3, 9) successfully defending his title against the highly regarded Edgar Sosa (49-8, 29). The fight, not the most exciting of contests, saw Yaegashi becoming a pure boxer and taming his warrior instincts for the majority of the bout as he took a comfortable decision. Unfortunately due to the WBC's open scoring the major talking point about the contest appears to have been the officiating which was far too generous through the first 8 to Yaegashi, saying that though they did get the right winner which is at least one thing they got right.
We, as a site, don't mind the WBC open scoring, what we do however dislike are useless judges. If done rightly the WBC open scoring system should help a close fight be won the right way. Unfortunately when judges simply get it wrong, as they did here, the open scoring is criticised instead of the poor judging. For us it's not the system that is wrong but the people filling in the paper work related to it.
As well as the action in Japan we also saw several interesting contests in Australia.
The most notable of the Australian bouts saw a major upset as the long reigning WBA Featherweight “super” champion Chris John (48-1-3, 22) was finally defeated. John, battling South African Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16), was holding his own through 4 rounds though started to fall apart in round 5 and 6 before retiring on his stool before round 7. Unfortunately for John many fans in the west will feel that their hatred of the Indonesian was just having lost to Vetyeka, but at 34 years old this isn't the John of old but instead just an old John.
It was all bad for Indonesians on this card however as the undercard featured two victories for Indonesian boxers. The lesser of these saw Rasmanudin (18-4-2, 9) out pointing Australian based Filipino Roberto Lerio (16-18-1, 6).
The more important of the under-card bouts involving Indonesian's saw Daud Cino Yordan (32-3-0-1, 23) retaining his IBO Lightweight title with decision over South Africa's ballsy Sipho Taliwe (21-4-1, 14). The bout, which was really entertaining at times, descended into a messy fight late on with Taliwe holding late on whilst Yordan started hitting low. Overall though the bout was certainly an enjoyable one that all fans should try and make an effort to see at some point.
Interestingly John wasn't the only man on the receiving end of an upset on this show as Matt Garlett (11-2, 6) was unexpectedly stopped by Filipino journeyman Ryan Sermona (16-4, 9). Sermona, dubbed “The Crusher” lived up to his nicknamed with a crushing 4th round KO of Garlett in a bout that we believe saw Sermona winning the WBC International Super Featherweight title.
This past Tuesday was a major day in boxing, though it's also one that has left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
The main card of the day was promoted by the Kameda brothers and it's this show that has left many in Japan questioning the IBF, the JBC, boxing in general and the Kameda brothers. Unfortunately for those in the west the situation seems more understandable than for those in the east.
The problem arose the minute that Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18) retained his IBF Super Flyweight title despite losing to Liborio Solis (16-3-1, 7). The fight was first advertised as an IBF/WBA unification contest, unfortunately when Solis failed to make weight the WBA stripped Solis who was unable to wins the titles. The IBF made the controversial decision to recognise Daiki as their champion win or lose.
When Daiki lost a split decision the WBA title was left vacant but Daiki retained his IBF title. For some this was understandable, Solis hadn't just failed to make weight but was a long way over the limit. Had this fight been in the US it'd have been understandable for Daiki to have pulled out but instead he went ahead with the bout and now seems to be on the backlash of that. It's a shame that the result has seen fans turn on Daiki who put on a brave effort against a much bigger man in the ring.
With the Japanese fans calling the IBF unnecessary it's fair to say that they forgot about the first televised fight which saw Katsunari Takayama (26-6-0-1, 10) defend the IBF Minimumweight title with a very impressive decision over Filipino challenger Vergilio Silvano (17-3-1, 10). This was Takayama's first fight in Japan since 2009 and we can't help but think that this is the guy that deserves to be allowed his IBF in Japan.
Strangely having just said it appears that Takayama will be chasing the WBC title in Japan or the WBO next time out. A fight between Takayama and either Xiong Zhao Zhong or Merlito Sabillo would be great action fights and it'd be a shame if the Japanese public don't admire this warrior of theirs.
In the one other title fight on the Kameda show we saw Tomoki Kameda (29-0, 18) successfully defend his WBO Bantamweight title with a clear decision over Immanuel Naidjala (17-1-1, 11). On paper this was a good result but the actual performance left us wondering whether or not Tomoki is a “championship” level fighter. He's clearly talented but he seemed to switch off late in the bout and possibly needs to mature a bit more to totally understand the importance of the championship rounds.
Interestingly the loss for Daiki, whilst terrible news now, may be a blessing in disguise for the Kameda's. Daiki, retaining his IBF title, has got a fight with Zolani Tete all but mandated for 2014, Tomoki will have the chance to avenge the Solis fight and Koki, if he chooses, could drop to Super Flyweight and fight for the now vacant WBA title. If those bouts happen in 2014 we think the Kameda family may well see the fans turning even further against them, but unfortunately those bouts do all make sense.
As well as the Kameda show there was also an 8 fight show put on by Hanagata at the Korakuen Hall. This show was headlined by an OPBF female Mninimumweight title fight. Unfortunately however the title remained vacant as Saemi Hanagata (8-4-2, 43) and Yuko Kuroki (9-4-1, 5) fought to a split decision draw.
Aside from the main event the rest of the card was somewhat lacking as we had 7 fights between novices. These contests included 2 bouts that went 6 rounds and saw Takahiro Shibata (5-2-1, 1) out pointing Tetsuya Koyama (5-5, 2) and Kazuki Matsuyama (7-5, 3) taking a decision over Ryo Shirakawa (5-6-2, 2).
The remaining 5 contests were all scheduled for 4 rounds. These saw the distance being reached in 2 bouts as Hiroyuki Yago (1-0) out pointed Shunta Terai (0-2) and Ryusei Yabe (2-0, 1) defeated Ryosuke Koizumi (2-2) also on points. Despite those two being the only contests that went the distance there was another decision as Norris Yano (2-0) took a third round technical decision over Hajime Sasaki (0-1).
In the two other bouts Andy Hiraoka (1-0, 1) took a 4th round stoppage over fellow debutant Katsuhiko Kudo (0-1) and Takuro Sato (2-3, 1) stopped Kazunori Kakishima (3-2) in the second round.
The best thing about this card however was an exhibition contest that saw Hozumi Hasegawa sharing the ring with the retiring Shoji Kimura. Kimura, a former world title challenger who lost in bouts to Chris John and Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, retires with an official record of 24-5-2 (9).
We try and give you the latest results on all the fights from Asia.