Whilst many fans may have been waiting for the world title fights from Tokyo to be televised fans in attendance at the Ota-City Gymnasium got a whose who on the undercard.
The most notable undercard fighter was Kohei Kono (29-8, 12), the former WBA Super Flyweight champion. Kono, pictured, took care of business by stopping Thai debutant Daut Manopkanchang (0-1) in the 3rd round, and assured himself of a world title fight in March against Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-3-1, 26) in what should be a thrilling encounter.
Whilst Kono has got himself a world title fight for sure one man hoping to get one was Mexican visitor Carlos Cuadras (29-0, 14) who defeated Songseanglek Phosuwangym (1-10) in 2 rounds. This result is expected by some to act as a precursor to a possible encounter between Cuadras and WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (23-3-1, 21).
Another man hoping, one day, to get a world title fight was Japan's very own Ryoichi Taguchi (19-2-1, 8) who struggled over the line against Filipino veteran Ryan Bito (22-13-3, 8). Whilst this wasn't the sharpest performance from Taguchi it was his first bout since losing to Naoya Inoue (5-0, 4) back in August.
Lower down, in the grand scope of things, there was also a notable victory for Tomomi Takano (4-0, 3) the former model-turn-boxer. Takano managed to secure a second round stoppage against the much shorter Kumi Oishi (1-3, 1).
Former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (20-1-3, 11) was sensationally upset earlier today as he unsuccessfully moved back up to Light Flyweight and was stopped by Thailand's world ranked Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (22-3, 15) in just 3 rounds.
Miyazaki, returning to Light Flyweight for the first time since stopping Michael Landero in an OPBF Light Flyweight title fight back in June 2012, looked off from the beginning. He was tagged with a hard counter at the end of the opening round and struggled to recover as he backed off continually through the second round.
Unfortunately for the Japanese fighter it appeared that Sakkreerin knew that Miyazaki had some sort of problem and in round 3 Miyazaki was dropped hard. Although he got to his feet beating the count her was in no fit position to continue falling in to the referee as the fight was called off.
Although some may feel that Miyazaki just fought a better fighter he didn't ever look himself. The move up from Minimumweight to Light Flyweight might have seemed sensible on paper though it may not have been a big enough move for Miyazaki who may well be forced to jump to Flyweight if not Light Flyweight if his career is set to continue.
For Sakkreerin Jr this was a break out result and could well see him move into the title sweepstakes at 108lbs or 105lbs depending on his personal preference. A fight between Sakkreerin and Miyazaki's stable mate Kazuto Ioka is certainly not out of the question for 2014 if the Ioka Gym look for revenge for this big loss.
News from the WBA earlier today announced 2 mandatory title fights that could sadly put off major bouts for Japanese fighters.
At Bantamweight it was announced that Anselmo Moreno (34-2, 12), the WBA "super" champion, would have to defend his title against unbeaten Dominican Juan Carlos Payano (14-0, 8). Originally Moreno was supposed to defend against the then regular champion Koki Kameda though Koki vacated the title to drop down to Super Flyweight. As a result of Koki vacating the belt, the WBA have decided that Moreno would have to fight Payano instead.
For Japanese fans this bout really scuppers the possibility of Moreno taking on Japan's Shinsuke Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15) who has openly said that he'd like the bout and the opportunity to unify the WBA "super" title with his own WBC title.
Whilst Japanese fans have every right to be disappointed we dare say that Filipino fans might have an slight grin on their face as Payano will likely be dominated by Moreno. Of course this would perhaps feel like revenge for Filipino's after Payano scored a KO of the Year contender against the then unbeaten Jundy Maraon (15-1-1, 12).
At Super Featherweight the WBA announced that their "interim" champion Bryan Vasquez (32-1, 17) would be forced to defend against the unbeaten Javier Fortuna (23-0-1, 17). Vasquez is currently talking about a rematch with regular champion Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17) somewhere down the line though will, of course, need to get past Fortuna here. The two men met for the first time back on December 31st 2012 with Uchiyama stopping Vasquez in round 8 despite a spirited effort from Vasquez. Unfortunately we can't see much more than a repeat result if a rematch is made somewhere down the line.
Unfortunately if Uchiyama/Vasquez II is made it could ruin plans for Uchiyama to rematch Takashi Miura (26-2-2, 19) in a WBA-WBC unificaion or to see Uchiyama face American star Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28) in a WBA-WBO unification bout.
Ahead of the 2 world title clashes in Tokyo tomorrow the fighters did their weigh in and thankfully all 4 of the big names on the show came in on weight.
For the WBC Super Featherweight title fight between Takashi Miura (26-2-2, 19) and Dante Jardon (24-3, 20) both men weighed exactly the same coming in at 130lbs dead. For the WBA Super Featherweight title fight between Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17) and Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12) Kaneko was dead on at 130 whilst Uchiyama was 1/4 pound under the limit.
Miura, at 130, is the same weight he was when he ripped the title from Gamaliel Diaz though is 1/2 pound lighter than when he faced Sergio Thompson back in August. Jardon is 1/2 heavier than the last time he fought a Japanese opponent, Akinori Kanai. If you've not yet read our thoughts on this fight our preview might be helpful.
For Uchiyama, who is defending his title for the 8th time, this is the tied lightest weight he has ever been for a professional fight and is the same as he was exactly a year ago for his bout with Bryan Vasquez. Kaneko is 1/4 pound heavier than he has been for his last 2 bouts though has regularly come in at 130. Despite the slight advantage for Kaneko we can't see this bearing any significance on the bout it's self, which we've previewed here.
With 2 major world title fights on the card it's fair to say that someone was going to struggle to steal the limelight. Amazingly however Tomomi Takano (3-0, 2), the female model-turn-boxer, managed to do just that as she turned up for the weigh in in what appeared to be a wedding dress. Takano, who is to face Kumi Oishi (1-2, 1) on the the under-card, failed to make weight at the first time of asking before removing silicone from her bra and various things from her hair and sneaking in under the agreed 115lb limit.
Although seemingly the heavier fighter on the scales Takano's key advantage will be her height, which is a staggering 19cm over Oishi and can clearly be seen in the image on the right.
The official weigh ins for tomorrows card in Osaka took place early today and saw the men in involved in the main event and co-feature all made weight.
The co-feature, which sees former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki taking on world ranked Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr saw both men weighing in dead on the Light Flyweight limit of 108lbs. This was no surprise as both Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11) and Sakkreerin Jr (22-2, 14) were actually going up in weight from their last fight. Maybe the biggest surprise here though is that Miyazaki was dead on the weight, perhaps suggesting his stay at 108lbs isn't going to be as long as we thought it may be. This may well be a stop gap for the young Japanese fighter who could be looking at an immediate jump to Flyweight, where he actually began his career.
For the main event we were surprised by the weight of both Kazuto Ioka (106.5lbs) and Nicaraguan challenger Felix Alvarado (106.75lbs). This is the lightest Ioka has been since his final Minimumweight title fight back in June 2012 whilst the challenger is the lightest he has ever been. The ease with which both men mad weight here is rather striking and could suggest that they have over-trained or possibly that Ioka has no intentions of moving up to Flyweight, something we had assumed was a given earlier in the week.
The main event, which will be the 3rd defense of the WBA Light Flyweight title by Ioka (13-0, 9) is to be aired on TBS and is the first world title fight for Alvarado (18-0, 15). For those wondering about our thoughts on the bout, you can read our preview here.
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