Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we saw the latest show from Hideyuki Ohashi.
The early part of the card was really interesting, with 3 successive draws on the card, from the first 4 bouts. The first of those saw Keigo Nakayama (4-2-1, 3) [中山 慶伍] fight to a majority draw with Hisaya Kishibe (5-3-2, 3) [岸部 久也], over 6 rounds. The second saw Tairan Yokote (7-4-1, 3) [横手 太嵐] fight to a draw with Kei Fujita (6-2-1, 4) [藤田 圭], also over 6 rounds. The third draw, this time over 8 rounds, saw Kantaro Juri (4-0-1, 2) [重里 侃太朗] being held by Filipino visitor Danrick Sumabong (12-2-1, 9), in what was a split decision.
We almost for a 4th straight draw but Ryutaro Nakagaki (3-0-2, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] managed to do just enough to edge past Kyotaro Yoshida (2-1) [吉田京太郎], with Nakagaki taking a majority decision win here. This was high level stuff from both early on, with both showing off some excellent boxing as their amateur backgrounds shined through. In the later stages however Nakagaki began to find his range and his tempo and came on strong as Yoshida began to tire. It was the strong finish from Nakagaki that proved to be the difference maker, but this was razor close with scores of 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76 coming in from the judge.
The chief support bout saw the highly touted Keisuke Matsumoto (6-0, 6) [松本圭佑] continue his destructive run as he stopped Ryota Ishida (11-4, 6) [石田凌太] in the second round of their bout. The first round saw Matsumoto land a few solid shots, but he bided his time before landing a brutal counter left hook in round 2. The shot seemed to turn Ishida's lights off and Matsumoto followed up, sending Ishida to the canvas, with the referee waving the bout off swiftly.
In the main event we saw WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (21-0, 16) [平岡アンディ] easily retain his title, as he stopped Filipino puncher Alvin Lagumbay (13-6-1, 11), to score his third defense of the title. In the opening round Hiraoka looked to fight safely, using his jab to control the distance, and also managed to land a solid right hook. In the second round Lagumbay got tagged by a hard straight left hand, and a follow up attack forced Lagumbay to stagger into the ropes, leaving the referee with no option other than to stop the bout aft 2 minutes 27 seconds of the round.
After the win it was revealed that promoter Hideyuki Ohashi has plans to have Hiroka out once more this year, with Hiraoka pencilled into defend his WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese titles. Although there was no details when that defense will come, it does seem likely that the bout will take place on the under-card of the planned Bantamweight unification bout between Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20) [井上 尚弥] and Paul Butler (34-2, 15), which is rumoured for December 13th,
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get the chance to see WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (20-0, 15) [平岡アンディ] defending his title, as he takes on Filipino slugger Alvin Lagumbay (13-5-1, 11). Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales today Hiraoka was bang on the limit of 140lbs, and he looked in incredible shape. He explained that he made weight easier this time, by dropping to 140lbs earlier in camp, rather than starving himself closer to the fight. It seemed he was in a good mood and he oozed with confidence, whilst suggesting that he was going to finish the bout in the middle rounds.
Hiraoka also explained that Lagumbay was short than expected, and the champion did seem to be several inches taller than the challenger.
As for Lagumbay, he was around 139.5lbs. He looked odd on the scales, and although he certainly didn't over-drain for the bout, he did look just a touch gaunt. He explained that he knew Hiraoka was a strong fighter, but he stated that he would take the belt, and that he would win here.
Related - Hiraoka faces dangerous Lagumbay
Earlier today Ohashi Gym announced that unbeaten Japanese and WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (20-0, 15) [平岡アンディ] would be returning to the ring on September 13th to defend his WBO Asia Pacific title for the third time.
The unbeaten champion, who won the title late last year when he stopped Jin Sasaki, has had a good year so far, stopping both Cristiano Aoqui and Shun Akaiwa, and in September will be looking to add Filipino slugger Alvin Lagumbay (13-5-1, 11) to his resume, with the "Time Bomb" being Hiraoka's next challenger.
The bout, which headlines a Phoenix Battle card at Korakuen Hall, is a dangerous one for the champion. Hiraoka will, understandably, enter as the favourite but Japanese fans will remember Lagumbay's previous bouts in Japan, which included a loss to Kazuki Saito, who he dropped before losing to, and Keita Obara, who he stopped in dramatic fashion in April 2018 before losing a rematch 4 months later. Although not a great boxer Lagumbay is a proven power puncher and Hiraoka will know he can't take too many risks here.
Also set for this card is 23 year old prospect Keisuke Matsumoto (5-0, 5) [松本圭佑], who takes on domestic foe Ryota Ishida (11-3, 6) [石田凌太], in what is a solid looking 8 rounder at Featherweight. Another notable Ohashi prospect on the show will be Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-2, 2) [中垣龍汰朗], who faces unbeaten Watanabe Gym hopeful Kyotaro Yoshida (2-0) [吉田京太郎] in a mouth watering clash of unbeatens.
Yesterday in Kazan, Russia, fight fans saw hard hitting Filipino Alvin Lagumbay (10-4-1, 9) battle against unbeaten Armenian puncher Gor Yeritsyan (9-0, 8) in a bout for the WBO Youth Welterweight title.
Sadly for the Filipino the power of Yeritsyan was too much, and he was stopped in the 2nd round of their scheduled 10 round bout. Lagumbay was rocked into the ropes from a hard straight right from the Armenian and then a follow forced the referee to step in and save the Filipino, who has had a roller coaster year.
In 2018 Lagumbay has fought 5 times, going 2-2-1. Those include a career defining win over former world title challenger Keita Obara in Tokyo to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title, a loss in a rematch with Obara, a draw against domestic journeyman Bryan Macamay and now this loss to Yeritsyan. Sadly without a win in his last 3 bouts it's hard to really know where Lagumbay goes next, and at the age of 23 there is a potential worry that he may well be on the slide physical after taking a lot of punishment over the last year so.
For Yeritsyan the win was another impressive one, one in a string of good wins, and he certainly appears to be one to watch.
Earlier this year we saw Japan's Keita Obara (20-3-1, 18) [小原 佳太] suffer a major upset defeat at the hands of Alvin Lagumbay (10-3, 9) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title. That bout ended in stunning fashion, with both men being dropped simultaneously, and ended up with Lagumbay recovering to his feet ready to fight whilst Obara couldn't clear the cobwebs in time.
Today the two men had a rematch, and this time Obara got the upper hand and gained some revenge over the Filipino puncher.
Obara had stated at yesterday's weigh in that he was going out with the intention of stopping Lagumbay and that showed from the opening moments as he looked sharp and on point. The power of Obara saw him drop the Filipino in the opening round to secure a 10-8 start to the fight.
Obara would also shine in round 2, as he managed to avoid the power of Lagumbay and avoid a repeat of last time, when he was stopped in round 2, whilst landing hard counters on the back foot. The following round it was Obara's power again that told as he hurt Lagumbay and forced the referee to jump in and save the Filipino.
With the win Obara claims the regional title and gets some revenge over Lagumbay, and seemed relieved to have won. Sadly for Lagumbay this ends his short reign as a regional champion.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!