Just moments ago in Las Vegas unbeaten Japanese fighter Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11) [平岡アンディ] secured his latest win, stopping 30 year old American Rickey Edwards (12-5, 3) in the 4th round.
The powerful Hiraoka looked the boss from the off, and seemed to be too strong, too powerful and too good Edwards very early on. Edwards wasn't helped by suffering a cut over his left eye in round 2, from an accidental elbow. Edwards managed to land one or two counters, but little more than that, and sadly for Edwards even when he did land he didn't get Hiraoka's respect, lacking the power to trouble the Japanese youngster.
The cut, although a hindrance for Edwards, played no real factor in the bout. What did play a factor was Hiraoka's power, and in round 3 Hiraoka scored his first knockdown, from a right hook up close. Edwards wasn't hurt, but it was clear he was being broken down, and didn't have the fire power to change the flow of the action.
In round 4 Hiraoka came out looking to make a statement and dropped Edwards early in the round. Edwards, to his credit, got back to his feet but was dropped again soon afterwards. This time the referee made it clear that if he was in trouble again he was going to be stopped. At that point there was around a minute left, and Hiraoka just kept the pressure coming, forcing Celestino Ruiz to wave off the contest.
The win for Hiraoka, his second in Las Vegas, was solid though he is still, as we've said in the past, a young fighter who very much looks like a an athlete turn boxer. There is still a real rawness to his boxing, and a lot of polishing needs doing. He's still very young however, and with more bouts at this type of level we should see him making improvement over the coming years.
Earlier today in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, Suleimen promotions put on their latest show, and it was a really notable one, featuring some of the most promising fighters in Kazakhstan, including two fighters who have already booked their place at the Tokyo Olympics. Whilst none of the locals on the show had much professional experience, the 5 local fighters were all regarded very highly and were all matched very, very hard, at least on paper. However all 5 of the Kazakh's picked up wins, and did so with out too much bother.
One of those in action was the debuting Bekzad Nurdauletov (1-0, 1) [Бекзад Нурдаулетов Бекзад], who is one of the men who has secured a place at the Tokyo Olympics. He took on Tanzania's Ibrahim Maokola (14-10-1, 9) and score a quick win, in just 2 rounds. The talented Kazakh scored a knockdown at the end of the opening round, before stopping Maokola in round 2 to kick off his professional career in the perfect manner.
It's worth noting that not only is the 22 year old Nurdauletov going to appear at the Tokyo Olympics but in 2019 he won gold at the World Amateur Championships and is regarded as one of the very best amateurs out there at Light Heavyweight.
Up at Heavyweight Danila Semenov (1-0, 1) [Данила Семенов] made light work of Malawian fighter Mussa Ajibu (28-16-5, 24). To his credit Ajibu showed some toughness but was dropped in round 4 and stipped later in the same round as Semenov managed to begin his career with a win. Despite the win Semenov showed he had a lot of work to do. He seemed to be throwing wide punched, looked like he was there to be hit, and was perhaps lucky that Ajibu was poor as he was.
Another man picking up a stoppage was Yevgeniy Pavlov (2-0, 2) [Евгений Павлов], who scored a 2nd round win over Goodluck Mrema (23-6, 13). The talented Pavlov, who debuted back in July, dropped his man in the opening round, then closed the show in round 2. For Mrema this was a 5th stoppage loss, and he has previouslt been blasted ina round by, Marlon Tapales and in 3 rounds by Jason Moloney. Sadly for Mrema the way he went down at one point after being caught by a right hand was almost meme worthy.
The second fighter to have qualified for the Olympics was Ablaikhan Zhussupov (1-0) [Абылайхан Жусупов] who was matched hard for a debutant. The 23 year old Kazakh was up against Tanzania's Meshack Mwankemwa (21-8-2, 13), and was taken the 6 round distance. On paper the outcome may not be the most impressive, but in reality this was nearly perfect for Zhussupov, who went 6 rounds with a decent opponent. Whilst Mwankemwa may have a number of TKO losses on his record he had gone the distance with the likes of Teerachai Kratingdaenggym and has shared the ring with the likes of Walter Kautondokwa. A genuine good win, and good way to tick over for Zhussupov, who was looking to get some roundsm and stay busy due to the lack of amateur competitions taking place at the moment.
The remaining bout on the card also went the 6 round schedule, and saw Bek Nurmaganbet (2-0, 1) [Бек Нурмаганбет] take a win over Abdallah Shabani Pazzy (28-8-1, 25). On paper this one looked dangerous, with Pazzy not being anything close to a patsy. Despite Pazzy being dangerous and heavy handed Nurmaganbet was he boss through out, twice dropping his man, once in round 2 and once in round 3. Credit needs to go to the man from Tanzania for getting back to his feet and trying to fight back, but he was never competitive.
For Nurmaganbet, who won the Asian Amateur Championships in 2019, this was a great work out, the type of bout that will do him more good than harm and is the sort of test that has seen him answer questions in regards to stamina and what happens when his power, alone, can't do the job.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we had the latest round of East Japan Rookie of the Year bouts, with the show hosting the first set of semi-finals. The bouts, which will be made available on Boxing Raise, have all finished and we now know a good number of the fighters set to compete in the East Japan final.
The first fighter to go through to the final was Minimumweight Ryo Sasaki (4-2, 1) [佐々木 凌] who qualified after 20 year old Tatsuki Fujioka (0-1-1) [藤岡 立樹] abstained from the contest.
The first actual fight on the show saw 35 year old Hayato Aoki (4-0, 3) [青木 勇人] score a 4th round TKO win over 27 year old Yota Mihara (3-1, 3) [三原 陽太] at Light Flyweight. Mihara started this one one well, but Aoki found his groove and then forced a stoppage in mid-way into round 4 to secure his place in the East Japan final.
A second bout between unbeaten men came at Flyweight, and this was a blink and you miss it affair. The bout saw the hard hitting Shugo Namura (4-0, 4) [苗村 修悟] defeat 20 year old Teppei Saito (3-1, 2) [齋藤 哲平] in just 53 seconds! Saito was down within seconds. He got back to his feet but was down again soon afterwards and the referee waved this one off. This was a statement from Namura who looks like he will be a genuine handful.
Another man who looks a genuine handful is Super Flyweight sensation Kosuke Tomioka (4-0, 3) [富岡 浩介] who needed just 43 seconds to defeat Yota Sato (2-1, 2) [佐藤 陽太]. The 18 year old Tomioka landed a sensational left hook that forced the referee to wave this one off very early on. Tomioka, regarded as one of the favourites for the All Japan Rookie of the Year, really couldn't have asked for a better outcome today and we're looking forward to seeing him back in the ring in the East Japan final.
After a string of stoppages the crowd saw a bout go the distance at Bantamweight, as the light punching Norichika Kozu (6-1, 1) [神津 徳臣] took a 4 round majority decision win over Asato Mori (4-3, 3) [森 朝登]. This bout was scored rather oddly, with one judge having it a shut out and another having it even. Kozu used his reach well to control the action at times, but Mori came to win and gave a genuine account, even if he was on the wrong end of Kozu's long, straight shots on a regular basis.
At Super Bantamweight we also had a decision with Ryuya Nihei (5-0-1, 1) [二瓶 竜弥] narrowly defeating Arata Yoshioka (2-3-1, 2) [吉岡 新]. The unbeaten Nihei found himself in a real tough one here as Yoshioka came to win and gave him hell. Yoshioka was persistent, and stubborn, but in the end the judges, narrowly, favoured Nihei to give him the split decision victory. This was a very close bout.
In the penultimate bout of the show Kazunori Hirano (3-0, 3) [平野 和憲] extended his unbeaten record with a 4th round TKO win over Ren Kakimoto (3-2) [柿元 蓮] in a Featherweight bout. This was a war, with bombs being thrown by both, particularly in round 3. Sadly for Kakimoto his great effort early on came for nought when the referee was forced to save him mid-way through round 4.
The final bout came at Super Featherweight and saw Dominique Kenshin (5-1, 2) [ドミニク謙心] take a clear decision win over Nobuo Maruoka (4-3, 2) [丸岡 宣男]. This wasn't the best of bouts. The younger, fresher, faster Kenshin tried to keep this at range, whilst Maruoka tried to get the fight on the inside. As a result there was a lot of clinching and a lot of messiness. Despite that it ended up being a rather clear and straight forward win for Kenshin.
The winners are all expected to return to the ring on December 20th in the East Japan Rookie of the Year Final, and a win there will take them to the All Japan in the new year.
Earlier today in Thailand TL Promotion held their latest show. Although it wasn't the biggest, best or most notable it was a card headlined by a very, very interesting match up and the pay way to kick off a very busy day of boxing.
That main event saw novice professional Nonthasith Petchnamthong (2-0) take a monster step up in class to take on former WBC Light Flyweight world champion Kompayak Porpramook (60-10, 41), who is past his best but still a nightmare of an opponent.
The 26 year old Nonthasith, who only debuted in August when he beat Arnon Yupang, was under pressure from the off. Porpramook, also known as Suriyan Satorn, was on the offensive straight away, taking the center of the ring and pressing the novice from the opening. It was the typical Kompayak gameplan, and the type of thing that has made him a cult star with the hardcore fans of the lower weights.
Sadly for Kompayak his pressure wasn't always the most effective. Often he was too slow, showing his age, and under-sized, with this bout coming at Bantamweight. The former world champion caught Nonthasith plenty, but could never really dent him, and as the fight went on Nonthasith's youth, energy and work rate began to see him rack up round after round.
Kompayak was shaken once or twice in the middle to late rounds, but never badly hurt. In fact the only real time either man was in any real discomfort was when Nonthasith took one low. Even then he shook it off rather quickly and resumed control of the bout.
After 10 rounds it was a clear win for Nonthasith, but one he had to work for, every round. It was an impressive win for a second professional bout, and a real, genuine test.
As for Kompayak, he has proven, again, that he is one of the most under-rated, fan friendly, fighters out there and a true servant to Thai boxing. The 38 year old is certainly coming to the end of his career, but with energetic, hungry performances like this, we do hope he sticks around a bit long as he still manages to make really fun contests and always give his all. A lot more than can be said for some fighters out there.
Tomorrow in Kariya City fight fans will get the chance to see Japanese ranked Lightweights clash as #2 ranked contender Masanori Rikiishi (8-1, 4) [力石 政法] takes on #15 ranked Soreike Taichi (7-3, 5) [木村太一].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the contracted weight for the bout, weighing in at 59.5KG's, or 131.2lbs.
Interestingly, given their rankings at Lightweight, this bout is being held closer to the Super Featherweight limit than the Lightweight limit. Despite that both men looked in great shape and it didn't seem like either man was particularly troubled by the weight. In fact Boxmob have reported that Rikiishi was able to eat with out problems on the day of the weigh in.
For those interested no one on the show had issues with the scales.
The chief support bout, a Super Flyweight contest between Kazunori Yorimasa (5-6-3, 2) [頼政 和法] and the Japanese ranked Katsuya Murakami (8-2-1, 2) [村上 勝也], saw Yorimasa hit the scales at 114.4lbs and Murakami come in slightly heavier, but still under the limit.
Another of the main support bouts, between the big punching Mammoth Kazunori (6-2-1, 6) [マンモス和則] and Keisuke Iwasaki (4-2-1, 1) [岩﨑 圭祐] will bee fought at 51.6KG's, which is around 113.75lbs. On the scales Iwasaki was the heavier man, at 113.3lbs whilst Kazunori was 112.6lbs.
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