Earlier today in Osaka fight fans saw the promising Juiki Tatsuyoshi (8-0, 5) [辰吉寿以輝] take a step up in class to battle against the limited but tough Shun Ishibashi (10-23-1, 4) [石橋 俊] at the EDION Arena Osaka.
The bout saw Tatsuyoshi begin well, using his jab to box behind and keep Ishibashi at range. The experienced man looked to get inside and land right hands, but struggled to any sustained success and was badly rocked in round 3, as Tatsuyoshi's heavy hands rocked the knees of Ishibashi. It looked clear at that point that Tatsuyoshi could out box or out power Ishibashi, but the youngster had other questions that he seemed to want to answer.
Ishibashi began to have some success in the middle rounds, as his jab began to create openings, openings that saw him hold his own in rounds 6 and 7. That was never going to be enough however, and in the end Tatsuyoshi was a comfortable winner with scores of 79-73, 79-74 and 79-75 and proving that he could go 8 rounds, which he had never previously done.
The winner seemed like he enjoyed the experienced, and grew in confidence as the bout went on. He will feel like he has built on his first 7 bouts and has answered new questions. As for Ishibashi, he seemed like he knew he was second best, and looked swollen around the right eye due to the left hooks of Tatsuyoshi.
For fans interested in watching this bout, it will be televised this coming Saturday on G+.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans in Aichi had the chance to see former Japanese Heavyweight title contender Kotatsu Takehara (15-11-3, 8) [竹原 虎辰] battle against Indonesian foe Satria Antasena (6-10, 2), and come out with a quick win.
The 39 year old dropped the Indonesian with a left early on and despite the visitor getting up he was down again soon afterwards. This time the Indonesian failed to beat the 10 count and was counted out after just over 2 minutes of the first round.
Although his 40th birthday is just around the corner, and he has been suffering with a recurring knee injury, Takehara seemed happy with his performance and was seemingly glad to have gotten through a training camp with no issues.
It's unclear if Takehara will continue to fight on, or whether he will retire on this win, but his team did seem like they would like to get him another title fight down the line. However his camp also stated that if the veteran wanted to retire they wouldn't stand in his way and would respect his wishes either way.
As for Satria Antasena this is a 4th straight stoppage loss and and he is now without a win in over 4 years. He is now 0-3 in Japan and one must question why he continues to fight. He isn't a natural Heavyweight, and really needs to drop down several divisions if he's intending to have any success in his career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans had the chance to see former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (17-4, 14) [坂晃典] return to the ring for the first time since his surprising title loss to Takenori Ohashi.
The former champion was up against novice professional Masanori Rikiishi (2-1, 1) [力石 政法], who was taking a huge step up in class, and the experience difference really showed as Rikiishi was stopped in just 2 rounds and was made to look like he didn't belong in the same ring as Saka.
Riikishi struck first, using his height and reach to to land a straight left. Sadly though it wasn't long until Saka got inside, and managed to land his power shots, which tested Rikiishi's durability. Sadly for Rikiishi he was unable to survive the power of Saka and was dropped in round 2 by a right hand.
To his credit Rikiishi did get back to his feet but a follow up from Saka forced the referee to stop the bout with Rikiishi taking punishment.
Whilst the match making was brave and adventurous from Rikiishi there will be many asking why his team put him in such a big step up at this early point in his career. He seemed confident and like he wanted the bout, but it was a massive step up. This isn't the end for him by any stretch, but it is clearly a massive learning experience and something he and his team will need to use as a lesson going forward.
As for Saka he seems intent on becoming a 2-time Japanese champion and now has his eyes on reclaiming a Japanese title.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ealier this year Japanese Middleweight Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登] blasted away the tough Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田 光] to become the Japanese Middleweight champion. That bout was, sadly, only aired on an obscure regional channel in Japan, meanign that most fans in the country haven't seem Takesako since he stopped Shoma Fukumoto inside a round last year.
Thankfully fans in Japan will get the chance to see the exciting, and very heavy handed, Takesako in the ring in early June as he has been selected to headline the June version of Dynamic Glove on G+.
The hard hitting Takesako won't be defending his title however, instead he will be facing off with Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), who is fighting in his 50th professional bout.
On paper this is a huge mismatch in favour of the Japanese fighter, who has only fought for 3 minutes and 2 seconds, combined, in the last 12 months, but it's great to see that he will be kept active and will be returning to the ring less than 3 months after his title win.
Other fighters on this card include Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也], who will be up against Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], the debuts of Jin Minamide (0-0) [南出仁] and Takuma Takahashi (0-0) [高橋拓磨], as well as bouts featuring Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] and Junki Sasaki (19-3, 7) [佐々木洵樹] in decent domestic tests.
Tomorrow fight fans at the EDION arena Osaka will get the chance to see Juiki Tatsuyoshi (7-0, 5) [辰吉寿以輝] battle against Shun Ishibashi (10-22-1, 4) [石橋 俊] in what looks set to be a good test for the unbeaten youngster.
Today the two men took part in their wiegh in for the contest, and both men made weight for the bout.
On the scales Tatsuyoshi, the son of the iconic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, was 120.8lbs and looked in good shape. Although looking good it did seem like Tatsuyoshi was perhaps still some time away from really filling out his frame and the 21 year old does look like he is still some time from really reaching his prime. When he does we expect his team will move him towards title fights, but that is clearly still some time off, and there is no reason to rush him given his lack of amateur credentials.
As for Ishibashi he was nbotably heavier, coming in at 122lbs and looking confident as well as a fighter who had a fully fleshed out and thick frame. That natural size advantage, as well as his extra experience, will almost certainly give Tatsuyoshi fits when they meet tomorrow. Despite those traits it's hard to feel he will have enough to actually pick up the win, given that he's riding a 6 fight losing streak and is 2-8 in his last 10. Despite that poor form he has mixed with great competition, including Mark John Yap, Shingo Kawamura, Tenta Kiyose and Suguru Muranaka.
For fans wanting to watch this fight it will be aired this coming weekend on G+.
(Image courtesy of Hochi)
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