Earlier today Japanese fans got their final show of January, and it was a pretty notable one that was streamed live on Boxingraise.
The main event of the card saw former world title contender Nihito Arakawa (29-6-1, 17) [荒川 仁人] claim the WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title, becoming a triple crown winner. The Japanese tough guy was however forced to work incredibly hard to over-come unheralded Filipino fighter Anthony Sabalde (12-6-0-1, 7) in a bout that proved much more competitive than we had expected.
Sabalde got off to a perfect start, starting fast and claiming the first two rounds on all 3 cards. Sadly for the Filipino it didn't take long for Arakawa to find his groove and from round 3 onwards the Japanese fighter began to make the most of his experience, getting a foot hold in the bout. Sabalde refused to concede the bout and in the middle rounds he gritted his teeth and turned the bout in his favour.
Sadly for Sabalde his second wind came to an end in round 9 and Arakawa had a great charge in the final third of the bout, sweeping the last 4 rounds to earn a very hard fought, and well deserved, decision with scores of 115-113, twice, and 116-112.
Arakawa had to work hard for this win, but will know that it opens up a potential WBO ranking. Despite the loss for Sabalde her certainly put his name on the map for Japanese fans and will likely be welcomed back to Tokyo for future bouts against notable foes.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans with Boxingraise, as well as those in Tokyo, will get the chance to see Nihito Arakawa (28-6-1, 17) [荒川 仁人] battle with Filipino Anthony Sabalde (12-5-0-1, 7) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific title.
Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both made weight for the contest, which looks likely to be a mismatch but an exciting one.
On the scales Arakawa was the slightly heavier man, coming in around 134.7lbs for the contest. The weight is notably under the Lightweight limit, but is around the typical weight for an in shape Arakawa, who has been 134.5lbs in his last two bouts.
Sabalde was only marginally lighter at around 134.5lbs, which was one of the highest of his career so far. Although he was almost the same weight on the scales as Arakawa it did look like he was a naturally smaller fighter than Arakawa.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On January 31st we'll see former world title challenger Nihito Arakawa (28-6-1, 17) [荒川 仁人] take on Filipino Southpaw Anthony Sabalde (12-5-0-1, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific title. This title fight was made after Arakawa vacated the Japanese title, when he potentially had a defense against Shuhei Tsuchiya [土屋 修平] lined up, with that decision raising some eye brows.
Today Arakawa seemed to explain the decision at a press conference, along with a number of other fighters from the Watanabe gym.
The decision to fight for the WBO Asia Pacific title, rather than to retain his Japanese crown, is due to the fact the title would help the veteran get a WBO world ranking, and potentially help him work his way towards a WBO world title bout. It seems that one more shot at the top is the aim Arakawa has for what's left of his career, and the opportunity to get a world title fight is more important to him than defending the Japanese title.
At 35 few can blame Arakawa for looking at world title fights and although it would seem unlikely that he would get a shot at Terry Flanagan he seems to feel it's better to be in the running for such a fight, than to not even make it to the start line, or in this case the rankings.
Interestingly it was also revealed that Arakawa was in talks to face Hurricane Futa (22-6-1, 13) [ハリケーン風太] for the title, but Futa became unavailable due to an injury. We can't help but admit that Arakawa Vs Futa would have been, potentially, a very exciting bout and much more interesting than we expect the Arakawa Vs Sabalde bout to be.
For fans interested in watching Arakawa Vs Sabalde it will be aired live on Boxingraise.com for the services subscribers.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
It's fair to say that 2017 has been quiet so far this year, though it's good to see Boxingraise.com list their next few shows. That includes the fact the website will show tape delay footage of their two upcoming Rookie cards, on January 17th and January 23rd, but more importantly live coverage of Dangan 175, a show headlined by former world title challenger Nihito Arakawa (28-6-1, 17) [荒川 仁人].
The live stream will show the whole show live for Boxingraise subscribers and will see the teak tough Japanese warrior battle with Filipino Southpaw Anthony Sabalde (12-5-0-1, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. The title would see Arakawa become a triple crown champion, having previously held the Japanese and OPBF title, and would secure his place as one of the most notable Lightweights in the Oriental region.
The live stream will also feature 4 other bouts. The chief support from those will be a really interesting match up between Dai Iwai (19-4-1, 7) [岩井 大] and Shota Yamaguchi (14-3, 8) [山口 翔太], a bout that neither man can really afford to lose at the moment. Another supporting bout will be a rematch between Naoya Okamoto (10-5-1, 5) [岡本 ナオヤ] and Keita Nakano (13-10-6, 4) [中野 敬太], who fought to a draw last year.
At the moment Dangan haven't revealed any of any shows for subscribers in February but we're expecting to hear about those potential shows in the near future, and are hoping that they will carry at least one live show.
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