On Saturday former professional boxing world champion Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] took part in his latest amateur bout as he looked to take another step towards Olympic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo games. Sadly for him however his dream ended with a decision loss to Teru Utsu [宇津 輝], who took a 3-0 decision win over Takayama.
Following the bout Takayama stated that he was planning to have a break.What's unclear is whether it's a temporary break or a total clean break from the sport, though media in Japan is suggesting he's now going to retire all together from boxing to move into a career as a teacher.
As a professional Takayama was the first Japanese fighter to claim variations of the 4 major world titles, and was loved by hardcore fans due to his tenacity, toughness and thrilling style. Utsu's comments to the media also suggest he too was a fan, explaining how he had watched Takayama on TV, had felt pressure for today's fight and felt like he had gained valuable experience.
Utsu progresses to the next round of the local Japanese amateur, though is of course a long, long way from booking a place and could, in fact, run into Kosei Tanaka's older brother Ryomei Tanaka along the route to potential Olympic qualification.
Today has been a hectic day for fight fans across Asia with a whole host of shows taking place across the continent. Those weren't all huge, but they featured at least one bout of some note.
The main event of this card saw talented Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) dominate former Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu Onesong (53-7, 35). Magsayo never managed to hurt Pungluang, who is a tough old rugged lump, but thoroughly dominated him and landed some highlight reel combinations in the later stages. The win saw Magsayo claim the WBC Asian Boxin Council Featherweight title, and it's now time he got a big fight. As for Pungluang it's clear he's still a serviceable fighter at regional level, but this was a 4th loss in 5 for the former WBO Bantamweight champion.
In a hotly contested bout for the GAB Bantamweight title Giovanni Escaner (20-4, 12) narrowly over-came Renoel Pael (23-10-1, 12), with a 12 round split decision. On paper this didn't look like it'd be competitive, but the styles gelled well and in the end their was very little to split the men.
In a Featherweight bout Virgel Vitor (15-2, 9) impressively destroyed Alan Alberca (11-4, 6) in 4 rounds. Vitor's power was on show through out the bout and he really did look like a brutally spiteful puncher through out. Alberca gave a good effort but was no match for Vitor and his power.
Chinese fighter Ainiwaer Yilixiati (17-1, 11) claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council and IBO Asia Middleweight titles, as he took a clear decision win over Japan's Ryosuke Maruki (16-7-1, 11). This was a 6th straight win for Yilixiati, following his 2017 loss to Jayde Mitchell whilst Maruki has now lost 3 of his last 4.
The main event here saw the talented Andika Sabu (17-0, 8) pull himself off the canvas to take a decision over Filipino Richard Rosales (14-10-2, 8). The 23 year old Sabu has got potential and time on his side, but he also has a lot of areas to work on. Sadly for Rosales he is now 2-6 in his last 8, dating back 2 years.
Unbeaten Indonesian Lightweight Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) extended his winning run as he took a 6 round decision over veteran Isack Junior (26-12-3, 9). The powerfully built Marapu has shown promise, but at 30 years old it's now or never for that promise and we would be hugely disappointed if he fails to secure a big bout in 2020.
Bang Phli, Thailand
Hard hitting Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (11-0, 11) extended KO streak, and claimed his first title, as he stopped Nattee Thongsingcle (2-2, 2) in 3 rounds to claim the Thai Light Flyweight title. The 20 year old Thanongsak has been drubbed "Srisaket II" in the Thai press and whilst that is a big tag to live up to, he has now racked up 11 wins in just over 14 months.
On the same card veteran Mike Tawatchai (47-13-2, 30) scored a 3rd round KO win over 16 year old novice Keerati Rueangdet (0-2).
Macao S.A.R., China
Exciting young hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (7-0, 4) shone in front of local fans as he took a dominant decision win over ShanTuo Lu (2-4). The 22 year old Cheong Cheong shut out Lu over 6 rounds, to take his second decision win of the year, following a wide decision win over Muhammad Wahid in May. Lu, who has still never been stopped, never looked competitive but did serve as good foil for the youngster to shine against.
Former world title challenger Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9) came up short in a bout against the unbeaten Brock Jarvis (17-0, 15). The match up, for the WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title, was a clear win for Jarvis, who had too much of everything for Saulong who has now won just 1 of his last 5.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
QINGDAO,CHINA- The second day of a back to back fight card at the TSSG Center featured six bouts, two of which had titles at stake. Qiang Ma and Yu Che Li disputed the vacant WBO Greater China featherweight title. Well paced punches were exchanged in the first two rounds but it seemed Li had a slight edge. But in the third round, a short right caught Li in the jaw and he crashed face first to the canvas.
Referee Surat Soikrachang initiated a count but seeing Li was in no condition to continue, signaled the end at the 0:35 mark.
Ma is now 5-1-2,3KO’s while Li is 6-2-2,4KO’s.
The main bout saw Yilixiati Ainiwaer of China hand Ryosuke Maruki of Japan a brutal beating for ten rounds. They traded hard hooks in the first two rounds but Yilixiati had the edge in the power department.
Blood started to seep from Maruki’s left eyebrow in the third. As the rounds progressed, the Japanese developed swelling on his cheekbones. Maruki continued to go forward and had success in landing a few head punches but Yilixiati took them well.
The Chinese boxer landed with increasing frequency past the halfway mark. Going into the ninth, Maruki’s trunks was a crimson mess but he stayed on his feet till the final bell. The scorecards read – Edward Ligas (Philippines)– 98-92, Mekin Sumon (Thailand) – 100-89,Pongphan Rathanasungporn(Thailand)-98-92.
Yilixiati was awarded the IBO Asia Pacific and the WBC ABCO middleweight belts. He goes up to 16-1,11KO’s while Maruki drops to 16-7-1, 11KO’s.
In what would be the most dramatic ending of the night, China’s Tonghui Li and Maono Ally of Tanzania battled toe to toe for four rounds until Ally staggered Li in the fifth and after several attempts at finishing him off, which saw a lot of slips and holding, Ally finally scored a knockdown.
But the Tanzanian punched himself out in the process and right near the end of the round, Li knocked Ally down twice, the second knockout was more of due to exhaustion, which prompted Referee Han Hongxiang to signal the end at 2:58.
For the other undercards – Wuzhati Nuerlang won by TKO start of round three against Liu Yang whose corner decided not to let their boxer go on. Diao Jianhao won by TKO round four against Indonesian Rivo Rengkung and Gu Jingyuan and Yesihati Yeerken fought to a majority draw.
The two day card billed as FIST OF POWER was promoted by Seca and Top Rank.
Photo – Qiang Ma (left) and Yilixiati Ainiwaer during the weigh-in
After making his debut in June, in a 99 second blow out win over Martin Fidel Rios, we were hoping to see Bektemir Melikuziev (2-0, 2) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] answering some serious questions yesterday when he faced Mexican Ricardo Adrian Luna Flores (22-7-1, 14). Sadly the only question the Uzbek answered was one we already knew, "can this guy hit hard?"
The Uzbek needed just 133 seconds to take out Flores, who was dropped twice in what was a brutally efficient performance from Melikuziev.
The Uzbek applied calculate pressure through out and dropped Flores with a body about 90 seconds into the fight before closing the show not long afterwards with another body shot, that left Flores in agony on the canvas. The one big take away from the performance is that his body punching is brutal.
This was another very impressive display from Melikuziev even more so when we consider Flores had seen the final bell against the likes of Ryota Murata and D'Mitrius Ballard. If we're looking for complaints though we do wonder whether or not Flores should have been competing at 175lbs and what his notice was for the fight.
Given back to back impressive wins against notable opposition it's hard to see Melikuziev's team holding him back, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him in with a top 30 type of guy in his next fight.
Earlier today we were informed that Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-0-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] would be back in the ring on December 7th, in what is expected to be the main event of December's Dynamic Glove card. More interesting than seeing Ogawa Vs TBA was the fact he had his opponent for the show announced, and it's a genuinely interesting match up with the Teiken puncher taking on WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Joe Noynay (18-2-1, 7), in a really mouth watering match.
Ogawa is best known internationally for his IBF world title fight with Tevin Farmer, which he won before the result was over-turned due to a positive drug test which has been blamed on a skin cream Ogawa was using for acne. Since the failed drug test he has returned to action and picked up a couple of wins over local opposition whilst seeing an IBF world title eliminator with Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8) fall through.
Whilst Ogawa has fought in the US Noynay hasn't, but this year he has developed a reputation as a upset minded Japanese killer. Back in April he stopped Kosuke Saka to become the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion, then he returned in July and upset 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu, in one of the bigger upsets at regional level this year. Not only did he stop Shimizu, but he really did a number on him, damaging both of Shimizu's orbitals and putting him down a number of times in a very impressive display.
This will be Noynay's second defense of the regional title he took in his win over Saka whilst Ogawa will be looking to claim his first regional title. Maybe more important than the title however is that the winner of this bout will be snapping on the heels of a world title fight. At the time of writing Nonay is ranked #6 with the WBO, whilst Ogawa has top 15 rankings with the WBO, WBA and IBF
More bouts from the card are expected to be confirmed around early November as G+ and Teiken look to stack their final Dynamic Glove show of 2020.
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