Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka we got the latest show from Green Tsuda and surprisingly it was a card packed with upsets and surprises. In fact the 3 main bouts all went against the favourites, giving the show a genuine surprise feel.
The show kicked off with a opening round TKO win by Ryuichi Kitazono (1-0, 1) [北園 龍一] who stopped the limited Hummer Taku (1-3, 1) [ハンマータク] with 2:36 of round 1 gone. Kitazono dropped Taku with a 1-2 and although Taku got to his feet the bout was stopped.
The second bout on the show as also a short one, as Sho Hatsuda (3-1, 1) [初田 翔] scored a 2nd round TKO win over Ryusuke Harada (1-2-1) [原田 竜輔]. This started calmly but quickly caught fire and the two men were trading solid shots in round 2, before an uppercut from Hatsuda shook Harada, and a stoppage came soon afterwards. This was a good bounce back for Hatsuda who hadn't been seen in the rung since a November 2019 loss to Takumi Chono.
Another 2nd round TKO saw the brilliantly talented and fast rising Jinki Maeda (6-0, 4) [前田 稔輝] continue to impress, as he took out Kaito Okubo (5-2, 2) [大久保 海都]. This was really competitive in the opening round, but a straight left hand from Maeda in round 2 landed perfectly, dropping Okubo who's corner had seen enough. This was a second solid win for Maeda since winning the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year and we expect to see big things from him next year.
The first of the upsets saw Katsunari Takayama (32-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] return to the ring after more than 4 years away and defeat 2-time world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-3, 7) [小西伶弥]. Takayama started brightly, and fulkl of energy, despite his 37 year old legs. He boxed well at range, looked sharp through out the opening round, and looked quick, using his legs brilliantly. In round 4 he began to slow his footwork and increase his output, which should have suited Konishi, but still it was Takayama out working the younger man, winning round after round.
After 6 rounds Takayama had impressed all 3 judges, winning with scores of 60-54, 60-55 and 59-55, to take the decision and move towards another potential world title fight. After the bout he spoke to fans and stated "I enjoyed the fight. I want to show a better move in the next one. First of all, my goal was to enter the world ranking, so I want to aim for even higher next year." [Translated]
The second upset saw former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-10-4, 11) [奥本貴之] come up short against big under-dog Akio Furutani (9-4, 3) [古谷昭男]. The inform Furutani looked to take the fight to Okumoto, getting on the front foot and causing Okumoto problems almost from the off. Okumoto, to his credit, tried to fight back and had success in rounds 2 and 3, but Furutani wasn't to be denied and he began to move through the gears, despite suffering a cut from a clash of heads. In the later rounds Furutani again showed his aggression, and it forced Okumoto into a fire fight in the final rounds, by then however it was too little too late for Okumoto.
After 8 rounds the judges turned in scores of 76-76, even, and 77-75, twice, to give Furutani the upset decision win. It's worth noting he was a 9/2 under-dog yesterday with some betting companies in Europe!
The main was also a major upset, in fact this was the biggest upset of the day, by far.
This one saw "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-7, 17) [矢田良太] lose a shock decision to veteran Yuichi Ideta (14-15-1, 7) [出田裕一]. In fact this should go down as one of the biggest upsets of the year, though we didn't see odds of it.
Coming in this was expected to be a blow out for Yada, a former Japanese national champion, after all the 36 year old Ideta hadn't scored a win since February 2011. Instead of rolling over and suffering another loss Ideta fought like a man with a point to prove, with the two men trading straight shots in the first round. A big right hand from Yada connected in round 2 but Ideta took it well and began to try and break Yada mentally, something he continued to try in round 3, as he slowly crushed the distance and landed some solid right hands of his own, despite suffering a cut from a clash of heads.
In round 4 Yada landed another big right, but he failed to dissuade Ideta who was coming forward with a persistent mindset and forcing his fight. He backed up Yada, got him on the ropes and out worked him, something he did again in round 8.
After 8 rounds the scores came in, once again we had a 76-76 card, but that was over-ruled by scores of 77-75 and 78-74 to Ideta who scored one of the biggest show wins of 2020 in one of the final shows of the year.
Tomorrow in Osaka fight fans will be able to see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] battle against Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男], in a bout which will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka.
The bout has, rather strangely, been priced up by betting website STSBet, though sadly the odds aren't going to get many nibbles from gamblers who have spotted the contest.
The more experienced and more proven Okumoto is priced at an almost unbackable 1/10 to take home a victory here, and bounce back from a 2019 loss to Kenta Nakagawa.
Whilst the odds on Okumoto are really off putting it should be noted that Furutani on the other hand might be worth a flutter, with the under-dog priced at 9/2. Whilst he is, rightfully, the under-dog he is in good form since a loss in the 2018 Rookie of the Year, with 4 straight wins including a big one last year against Keisuke Nakayama.
We wouldn't touch this one as a gambler, but it is worth noting the implied probability from the odds do no match up with the Boxmob poll for the bout. The Boxmob poll has got Okumoto as the favourite, with 61% of those polled favouring the former Japanese champion, and 39% have gone with Furutani.
For fans wanting to watch this one, it won't be shown live anywhere, but Boxing Raise will have it on their "On Demand" section over the coming days.
Earlier today the Green Tsuda Gym announced their next card under the "Crash Boxing Banner" and it's set to be an interesting one on December 27th from the Hirakata City Gymnasium in Osaka, with 7 bouts announced for it. Notably several of the fighters set for the card had originally been pencilled in to fight on November 3rd, before that show was cancelled due to Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] testing positive for Covid19.
Not only have all 7 bouts been announced but also a serious step up in how the show will be ran in regards to making the event more covid safe than any other in Japan.
The first will all be given PCR tests 4 weeks before the fight, and 10 days before the fight, as well following the usual rules of a PCR test on the day of the weigh in. The venue, which can be set up to take 3,5000 people in a normal event, is expected to have between 1,300 and 1,500 fans in attendance along with 30 guards and 10 medical staff.
The day before PCR tests will be carried out at a local hospital, with space being rented for the testing and weighing, and fighters will then be bussed to a hotel, with cafeteria's only available to those involved in bouts. A bus will also be prepared to take fighters from the hotel to the venue, with Masaya Motoishi, the promoter, clearly wanting to lead the way in how to have more covid safe events.
As for the bouts, the main event will see "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] battle against Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一] in an 8 round Welterweight bout, with the plan being for Yada to essentially tune up ahead of an OPBF title fight next year. On paper this really should be little more than a stay busy bout for the hard hitting Yada.
In the co-feature former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] will take on Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男], in an 8 round bout fought at a contracted 53KG's, which is around 116.9lbs. For Okumoto this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title in December 2019 whilst Furutani will be looking to build on an October 2019 upset win over Keisuke Nakayama.
The only title bout on the show will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] seek his second defense as he takes on Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場 悟]. The 24 year old Shimomachi will, if he wins, need to vacate the title due to his age, though given his recent performance we're really excited to see him moving into the main Japanese title mix. As for Hoshiba he'll be coming into this bon the back of successive victory and will be a live under-dog, albeit a very clear under-dog.
Staying with youngsters we'll also see the brilliant Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] face off with Kaito Okubo (5-1, 2) [大久保海都], in a bout that has been rescheduled from November 3rd. Although relatively deep down the card this could end up being the show stealer. We've been really impressed by Maeda, who won Rookie of the Year in 2019, but Okubo is no push over and should pose a genuine test for Maeda.
The other 3 bouts on the card are all 4 rounders including the debut of Ryuicho Kitazono (0-0) [北園 龍一] and a bout featuring unbeaten 35 year old female fighter Rin Murai (1-0-2) [村井 理].
Earlier today the Muto Gym, the Japanese partner of MTK Global in their "MTK Japan" expansion, held a press conference in Osaka to announce five bouts.
From the bouts two were already known about, but the other three weren't, and were completely new announcements.
The most notable of the bouts mentioned today was actually one that was revealed yesterday.
That was the Japanese Middleweight title bout between Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸]. Kunimoto, a Muto Gym fighter, will be getting his shot at the Japanese title on May 2nd as part of a Dynamic Glove card at Korakuen Hall, but he will be up against it as he takes on a dominant and heavy handed champion and it's clear he will be the under-dog.
Another bout that was known about before this press conference was a bout between Muto fighter Yusuke Mine (3-0, 1) [峯 佑輔] and former world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], which was announced earlier in the day. This bout will take place on March 30th at Korakuen Hall, and again it's the Muto fighter who will be regarded as the under-dog.
One of the bouts are set to take place on April 12th, and will see Tulio Kuwabata (3-1, 2) [桑畑凜生], also known as Dekanarudo Torio, look to bounce back from a December loss to Filipino puncher Ken Jordan (9-1-2, 8) as he takes on Japanese ranked fighter Kazuki Tanaka (11-3, 8) [田中一樹], who is looking to bounce back from a loss to Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] in a Japanese title eliminator. This looks like a ridiculous match up, at this point, for Kuwabata, who is talented but deserves an easy win after being blown out by Jordan. This is yet another case of the Muto fighter being the under-dog.
The two remaining bouts are both set for April 19th, and both look more competitive than the other three.
One of those will see Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷 昭男] take on Chikato Sumida (9-3, 1) [住田愛斗], in what is set to be an 8 round bout at Super Flyweight on "You Will Be the Champion 11". This looked really even on paper and Furutani, the Mutoh fighter, is probably the slight favourite.
The other bout, on the same card, will see Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] taking a massive step up in class as he is set to take on Matcha Nakagawa (13-2-1, 5) [武田航], in another 8 rounder, in what looks like a mouth watering match up. Although taking a huge step up Nishida does look like a special fighter and he maybe has the best chance of notching an upset.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Whilst many of today's bouts at the Korakuen Hall went the way everyone expected there was one standout upset.
That upset saw former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-5-2, 5) [中山佳祐] coming up on the losing end of a majority decision against the unheralded Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男].
The fight started well for Furutani, who got behind his jab in the opening round and found some space for his straight right hand. Nakayama managed to get going in round 2, but met real resistance from Furutani, who landed some eye catching body body blows.
As the bout went in to the middle rounds we saw more from Nakayama, but he always struggled to get Furutani's respect, as Furutani bound forward, looking to set the pace. The aggression of Furutani saw him walking onto some big head shots, but Nakayama rarely followed up after landing clean and was regularly forced to give ground.
Although looking the better pure boxer it wasn't until late in the bout that Nakayama managed to make that pay off, and by then he was in a bit of a hole, needing to do more than he was able to do. It was in the later stages that his experience over 12 rounds began to show, but it really was too little too late for the talented yet frustrating Nakayama.
After 8 rounders the judges scored this 77-75, twice, in favour of Furutani and one score of 76-76.
For Nakayama this sees him sliding to 1-3-1 over his last 5 bouts whilst Furutani has now reeled of 4 straight wins since a split decision loss to Yoshiki Minato in the 2018 Rookie of the Year .
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!