Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a genuine upset as the exciting Kenya Yamashita (9-3, 6) [山下 賢哉] suffered a shock 7th round TKO loss to the under-rated Akinori Hoshino (12-7-1, 9) [星野 晃規].
Entering the bout Yamashita was in the top 10 at Flyweight by the JBC and was expected to see Hoshino and moves towards a potential title fight in 2017. Instead however he fought against an inspired Hoshino taking the first 2 rounds on all 3 cards to establish an early lead. The youngster came back strong in rounds 3, 4 and 5, but seemed to begin slow in round 6 as Hoshino began to rise again.
Hoshino manage to drop Yamashita in round 7 and although the exciting Yamashita recovered to his feet he was stopped soon afterwards to give Hoshino his biggest win to date. Surprisingly this was Hoshino's first bout in almost 2 years and came following back to back losses. On paper he was a huge under-dog, though he shouyld have been viewed as a live under-dog given wins over Kenichi Watanabe, Shuji Hamada and Mako Matsuyama though his career.
Sadly for Yamashita this setback comes only two fights after a stoppage loss to Katsunori Nagamine.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans in Aichi had the chance to see exciting young puncher Takuya Mizuno (10-1-1, 10) [水野 拓哉] score his latest win as he took on Indonesian visitor Jundullah M Fauzan (3-1), and made Fauzen his 10th stoppage victim in 12 fights.
Mizuno started the bout fast, looking to make quick work of Fauzan. The Indonesian however shows some decent ability early on and landed several counters on Mizuno in an attempt to keep the Japanese 21 year old honest. Although Fauzan was trying his best it always seem like a case of him battling to keep his head above the water rather than really getting a foothold in the bout.
In round 5 Mizuno's power finally told, dropping Fauzan who remained down for the 10 count, giving the local favourite his 10th stoppage win.
After the win Mizuno's team seemed to suggest their next aim was a WBC Youth title, which they are hoping to have their man fight for in 2017.
On the same card Kento Hatanaka (1-0, 1) [畑中 建人], the son of former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, made a short cameo, stopping Takaaki Murakami (0-3) [村上 貴秋] inside 2 minutes. He will now be returning on December 31st as part of the under-card of Kosei Tanaka's bout with Moises Fuentes.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans in Seoul saw Korean based Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem (5-0, 3) claim his biggest win to date as he successfully defended the WBC "silver" Flyweight title and narrowly beat talented Filipino youngster Giemel Magramo (17-1, 13).
From the off the bout wascompetitive and hard fought and the openign two rounds were both won by the Filipino visitor who got off to a quick lead. The lead was however reeled in and Waseem had a solid round 3 and a strong round 4 to get him back into the bout. Despite starting to fight his way back into it Waseem was down 39-37 on two cards after 4 rounds, and 38-38 on the other card.
The middle portion of the fight saw the bout begin to turn further with Waseem getting a break in round 6, when Magramo was deducted a point for a clash of heads that lead to Waseem being cut, and that was followed by a very strong effort in rounds 7 and 8 as Waseem began to claw the bout in to his favour. After the 8th Waseem was leading on two cards, with scores of 77-74, and 76-75 and losing on the third, 76-75.
Going into the final 4 rounds it was all to play for and neither guy was going to give the bout away as both let loose. The back and forth saw Magramo having a solid round 9, taking it on two cards, but lose round 10 as Waseem upped the ante, The 11th was as competitive as they came with neither man clearly winning the round before a hugely important round 12 went Waseem's way. That 12th saw Waseem securing the unanimous decision with two scores of 114-113, though the third card, which was turned in by a Korean judge, was a very wide 117-110.
After the win Andy Kim, Waseem's promoter, made it known that he would be trying to secure his charge a WBC world title fight in 2017, on this performance he would struggle with a real world class fighter, however he will have learned a lot from this win. For Magramo the loss will be disappointing, however the experience will help him and the performance was certainly nothing to be ashamed of, with the youngster expected to bounce back and move on to world honours in the future himself.
Earlier today Filipino fans in Cebu had the chance to see Pinoy Pride 39, a card that featured a number of notable Filipino fighters, along with the newly crowned IBF "interim" Light Flyweight champion Milan Melindo.
Among those in action was WBO #1 ranked Light Welterweight contender Jason Pagara (40-2, 25) who scored an opening round blow out against former world champion Jose Alfaro (28-11-1-2, 24), who suffered his 8th stoppage loss. Alfaro, a former WBA Lightweight champion, was fighting in Asia for the third time and suffered a third stoppage loss in the region following defeats to Yusuke Kobori and Yoshihiro Kamegai. On paper it sounds like a good win for Pagara but the reality is that Alfaro just doesn't win bouts any more and is 1-3-0-1 in his last 5. For Pagara the win was a 13th straight win and he is closing in on a world title fight, though would be a big under-dog in a bout at world level.
Jason's younger brother Albert Pagara (27-1, 18) also picked up a win, bouncing back from his stoppage loss to Cesar Juarez. The talented "Prince" took a clear decision win over the tough Raymond Commey (16-4, 9). Commey, who took on Qiu Xiao Jun earlier this year, claimed just a single round but proved to the type of test that Pagara needed, especially given his loss to Juarez in July.
Further down the card big puncher Melvin Jerusalem (11-0, 7) had to settle for a clear 6 round decision win as he over-came the limited Fabio Marfa (25-32-4, 12) whilst the highly touted Kevin Jake Cataraja (5-0, 4) made extremely light work of John Kenan Villaflor (6-2-2, 2), with a 41 second blow out.
Earlier today fans in Korea saw local fighter Eun Hye Lee (9-1, 4) [이은혜] successfully bounce back from her controverial October loss to Nana Yoshikawa and claim the WIBA Flyweight title, with a dominant victory over the horribly over-matched Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (5-4-1).
The Korean fighter, who is a former world champion at 108lbs, looked too good from the opening seconds. The Thai was too slow, too clumsy and too weak to pose a test and in round 2 Hye closed the show, stoping Nongnun to claim the WIBA title and become a 2-weight champion.
On paper this was a mismatch and it showed as the Korean, who is genuinely world class, did as she pleased against an opponent who really shouldn't have been sanctioned to fight in such a contest. Although the Thai was unbeaten in he last 4 bouts she hadn't scored a win of any note and had bever had a recorded bout at Flyweight. In fact her 5 wins had come against opponents with a combined 1-1 record.
For Lee the future needs to see her in more interesting, testing and notable bouts, potentially a rematch with Yoshikawa or another opponent of some intrigue. She is talented but lacks the financial backing she needs to be a star in Korea, and given that she is now 33 she doesn't really have time to waste in bouts like this. Hopefully the WIBA title will help her get fights, but the WBO female Light Flyweight title did seem to be a curse when she held it, with financial and injury issues stopping her from defendign that belt before finally out growing the division.
(Image courtesy of Ryan Wissow)
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