Earlier today Japanese fight fans at Korakuen Hall got an interesting card, headlined by a pair of title bouts, as Hideyuki Ohashi and the Ohashi Gym put on their latest show.
Before the title fights the fans got a very interesting domestic level clash between two really well matched fighters, each looking to move their careers forward, and move towards a major fight of their own. That bout saw Katsuya Yasuda (8-1, 5) [保田克也] suffer his first defeat, as he came up short in a hotly contested battle with recent Japanese Lightweight title challenger Shuma Nakazato (11-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨].
Early on both men looked sharp, and both had some moments, but the most eye catching came from Yasuda, who put Yasuda on the canvas in round 2, in a very messy knockdown. That seemed to slow the action down somewhat and for much of the bout the actually really wasn't too pretty, with Yasuda being to blame much of the messy work, so much so he was deducted a point in round 7. After 8 rounds the judges scorecards were tallied with Yasuda getting the majority decision win, with scores of 76-74, twice, and 75-75.
The first of the title fights was at Super Flyweight, as the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (19-0-2, 11) [橋詰 将義] over-came the under-rated Akio Furutani (9-5, 3) [古谷昭男] to claim the previous vacant OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight titles.
The bout started with Hashizume looking to control the range and tempo with his sharp jab, but it wasn't long until Furutani started to have success of his own, forcing Hashizume to begin to rely on his movement more. As the early part of the bout developed Furutani began to pressure more, forcing Hashizume into a rough, tough fight that began to develop into a real war as we reached the middle rounds.
After 5 rounds the open scoring came in for the first time, with Furutani leading 48-47 on one card, and Hashizume leading on the other two, 49-46.
Knowing he was behind as we went in to the middle portion of the bout Furutani looked to pick up the pace, and began to drag Hashizume into a war, though to his credit Hashizume's extra class and rounded skills did see him land numerous big left hands as Furutani came forward, and some really good jabs.
The pressure of Furutani lead to some really exciting action in the later stages of the bout, but sadly for him it wasn't enough to take home the win, despite Hashizume looking incredibly tired in the final round. Despite being tired Hashizume continued to dig deep, and his effort was rewarded on the scorecards, with scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 all in his favour.
The other title bout saw Japanese and WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (19-0, 14) [平岡アンディ] scored his first defense, as he stopped Japanese-Brazilian fighter Cristiano Aoqui (16-9-2, 11) [アオキ クリスチャーノ].
From the off Hiraoka looked sharp, and landed several clean southpaw jabs whilst keeping Aoqui at range and easing himself into the bout. Aoqui was trying to press the action and come forward, but was eating jabs as he was coming in, and struggled with the reach, speed and movement of the champion. Despite Aoqui struggling to get close on a consistent basis, he did manage to have some success, and did enough to earn one round, on of the the three scorecards, when the scores were announced after 5 rounds, with those scores being 50-45, twice, and 49-46.
Knowing he was down Aoqui looked to pick up the pace, pressure and press more, whilst looking to land a big single shot. The pressure had success, with him getting inside and landing straights and big uppercuts, as he finally began to have some success. He wasn't turning the bout around, but was certainly having some moments with his aggression. Sadly for him however, the aggression left him taking risks and in round 10 a huge counter left hand from Hiraoka dropped Aoqui hard. The referee immediately waved off the bout, giving Hiraoka the 10th round TKO.
Press release - Domingo, Cataraja, and Jerusalem pick up big wins on Sanman/ZIP Bubble VIII
By: Sanman Boxing
Sanman Promotions/ZIP Boxing is back with the latest episode of its bubble series. This time, flyweight upcoming sensation Esneth Domingo(15-1) takes the center stage as he engages with former WBO Oriental light flyweight champion Jesse Espinas(21-4) Domingo tipped the scales at 112 pounds while Espinas came lighter at 110 pounds.
In the co-main event top prospect KJ Cataraja showed up at 115 pounds while his opponent Romshane Sarguilla weighed 118 pounds. They will fight in a, eight rounder super flyweight bout. Meanwhile, minimumweight star Melvin Jerusalem tipped the scales at 105 pounds while Ramel Amtaran stepped in at 106 pounds. It will be an eight round fight for them. Below are the complete results:
Juhunrick Carcedo 142 lbs 10 Rds Super Lightweight
Ryan Sermona 139 lbs
Michael Casama 125 lbs 8 Rds Featherweight
Jaime Barcelona 125 lbs
Kenny Demecillo 123 lbs 6 Rds Super Bantamweight
Eric Pulgo 123 lbs
Criztian Pitt Laurente 134 lbs 8 Rds Lightweight
Vicente Casido 130 lbs
Alex Santisima 118 lbs 4 Rds Bantamweight
Nathaniel Juan 121 lbs
Joshua Belicina 115 lbs 4 Rds Superflyweight
Jojo Lastimosa 113 lbs
The event will take place at the Sanman Gym in General Santos City and will be broadcasted live via the facebook page of Sanman Boxing. Fans are invited to witness another night of bigtime boxing action brought to your by the country’s premier boxing promotions, Sanman Boxing.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans will see a a brilliant double header, with each of the main bouts being for two separate titles, in what looks set to be a brilliant show to end the month of February. Today, ahead of the show, the fighters took part in their weigh, with all 4 men involved in the main events making weight.
The first of the two main bouts will see the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (18-0-2, 11) [橋詰 将義] clash with Akio Furutani (9-4, 3) [古谷昭男] in a bout for the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight titles. On the scales Furutani was comfortably under the limit, hitting the scales at 114.75lbs for the bout whilst Hashizume hit the limit bang on at 115lbs.
Interestingly on when the men were stood together it was clear that they had very different physiques. Furutani was thin, wiry and tall, whilst Hashizume was more filled out, thicker set and looked the more physically imposing.
The other title bout will see Japanese and WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (18-0, 13) [平岡アンディ] defending his titles against the explosive Japanese-Brazilian fighter Cristiano Aoqui (16-8-2, 11) [アオキ クリスチャーノ]. On the scales Hiraoka was 139.75lbs and looked in incredible shape, in fact he went as far as to suggest he was in perfect condition, and it seems clear he is hungry to shine in his first defense. Aoqui on the other hand was bang on the limit, and looked full of confidence, so much so that he seemed to issue something of challenge to Josh Taylor, a challenge that we suspect even he knows will have fallen on deaf ears.
Notably Hiraoka looked the much, much bigger fighter here. He was several inches taller than Aoqui and looked like he was a weight class, if not two, bigger than Aoqui.
For fans wanting to watch this, the bouts will only be available in Japan, for those with access to Hikari TV.
Double champion Hiraoka takes on Aoqui in first defense
Hashizume and Furutani face off for unified regional titles!
Earlier today in Okayama local fight fans got the chance to see local star Seigo Yuri Akui (17-2-1, 11) [阿久井政悟] make his third defense of the Japanese Flyweight title, as he defeated popular veteran Takuya Kogawa (32-7-1, 14) [粉川拓也], in a fan friendly bout.
The fight started fast with the the challenger closing the distance and getting right in Akui's face. It was a smart gameplan from Kogawa, who was using he experience to know that he had to prevent Akui from getting full leverage on his shots if he was to have a chance of winning. Although Kogawa had success at neutralising much of the power of Akui, he did struggle to get his own shots, and Akui was picking nice shots on the inside, even if he was incredibly cramped for space. The tactic from Kogawa was a genius one, especially given Akui's reputation as a destructive in the early stages. Kogawa looked to do the same thing in round 2, again making the bout physical, rough and preventing Akui from getting full extension on his shots. It was, again, the right tactic, but again one that
Kogawa simply didn't have the output or power to make really work for him.
As the fight went on Kogawa continued to press, hustle and keep things close, it was a tactic that made the fight really exciting, took away Akui's biggest strength, but one that saw Kogawa having limited success as Akui's younger legs began to create more space as the rounds went on, and his busier hands stopped Kogawa from taking rounds. The resulted in all 3 judges having the bout 50-45 when the scores were announced after 5 rounds, and by then it seemed clear that Kogawa had nothing to really trouble Aku, but had the tools to pull a fan friendly war from the champion.
Sadly in the second half Kogawa's low output didn't change, instead Akui picked up his output, landing flurries of eye catching blows before taking some back from Kogawa, who gave a great effort but was out worked, out landed, and out punched. He was always giving a genuine account of himself, and but at 36 he just seemed to lack the energy, speed and work rate to make things work for him, and at times, late on, he looked to be relying on his legendary heart as much as anything.
After 10 rounds we went to the final bell, and whilst there wouldn't have been any complaint if a judge had given Kogawa sympathy round, all 3 judges had this 100-90, a fair and accurate score in what was a very entertaining, though pretty one-sided, action bout.
After taking the decision Akui stated he was wanting to land a world title fight this year, and there is a pretty good chance he'll get one, possibly against old foe Junto Nakatani (22-0, 17) [中谷 潤人], the current WBO world champion. As for Kogawa it's unclear what's next. He stated he wants to continue his career, but will talk to his team before making an official decision on what he'll be doing next.
Astrolabio upsets Ringondeaux!
Earlier today in Dubai we saw a rather obscure card from People Fighters, who put on a show that was easy to over-look, at least were it not for the main event, which featured former Super Bantamweight world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-3-0-1, 13) taking on relatively limited Filipino fighter Vincent Astrolabio (17-3, 12).
On paper this was expected to be little more than an easy comeback win for Rigondeaux, who was last seen narrowly losing to WBO world champion John Riel Casimero last August. However Astrolabio didn't seem to get the script, and Rigondeaux tried to Rigondeaux through the fight. Sadly for the Cuban the Filipino did what he had to do to try and make every round close and competitive, showing little respect to the 41 year old Cuban fighter.
Rather than backing off, Astrolabio came forward, and pressed the action, making the most of his younger, fresher feet. Rigondeaux, as has become customary over the years, was happy to box off the back foot, trying to steal rounds and dictate the tempo, though he only had mixed success with it against a 24 year old who wanted to make a name for himself.
As the rounds went on neither man really did enough to distance themselves, but it did seem like Astrolabio was forcing the fight, and having far, far, more success than anyone would have expected. That success was then boosted massively when he hurt, and the dropped Rigondeaux in round 8, with Rigondeaux recovering from the knockdown but still looking hurt at the bell.
To his credit Rigondeaux recovered well through round 9, and had a good 10th round as Astrolabio became too patient, looking for a bomb, with his inexperience being shown. In the end however those two rounds didn't actually matter, with all 3 judges scoring the bout to the Filipino, who notched one of the biggest upsets of the year so far.
For Astrolabio the win nets him the WBC International Bantamweight title, and moves him close to a WBC world title fight. Sadly though he, and everyone in his team, will known he beat a faded Rigondeaux, and it's more likely that title will lead him to a decent money fight, than a world title opportunity. As for Rigondeaux, who seemed intent on continuing his career, this really should be a sign for him to hang them up, and think of the career he should have had, rather than the one he did have. The issues that have plagued him through his career were apparent again here, he was happy to not do enough, and likely lucky that he never managed to land the once mooted bout with Naoya Inoue, who on this performance would likely have left Rigondeaux out cold.
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