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.