Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw what was essentially a Japanese youth title eliminator at Super Bantamweight, as the hard hitting Arashi Iimi (7-2, 7) [飯見嵐] clashed with Kenta Nomura (6-2, 3) [野村健太], with the winner of this match up getting a shot against Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] for the vacant title later in the year.
Coming in Iimi seemed the favourite. He was the bigger puncher and was the the 2017 East Japan Rookie of the Year winner, having lost in the all-Japan final to Shimomachi at Korakuen Hall. Surprisingly however he was upset, and upset quickly!
Nomura looked confident early and pressed behind his jab, dictating the pace completely behind his lead hand, and getting in and out with no problems. In round 2 Nomura dropped his man, twice, with the towel coming in to save Iimi mid way through the round.
Whilst the loss costs Iimi a chance to avenge his first loss, it does set up an interesting looking match between Shimomachi and Nomura, a match up that became very interesting given how easily Nomura stopped Iimi.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today saw the announcement of 3 Japanese Youth title eliminator bouts, as the JBC title pictures at Light Flyweight and Super Bantamweight get sorted out.
The Super Bantamweight division had one eliminator announced, a bout between Arashi Iimi (7-1, 7) [飯見嵐], the 2017 East Japan Rookie of the Year winner, and Kenta Nomura (5-2, 2) [野村健太]. These two youngsters will battle on April 1st at the Diamond Glove show. The winner of this match up will then face Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] for the vacant title later in the year.
The Light Flyweight division will have two bouts taking place, in what are essentially tournament semi-final bouts for the vacant title, with the winners fighting for the belt later in the year.
One of those bouts will take place on the April 11th Diamond glove card, and will see Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] battle Hizuki Saso (10-5-1, 3) [佐宗緋月], in a really interesting contest. Shiba was a former amateur standout, who has really exciting since turning professional Saso is much more experienced, and comes into this bout on the back of solid wins over Jeffrey Galero and Desierto Nagaike.
The other Light Flyweight semi-final bout will see the exciting Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] take on the big punching Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] in what should be a real war. Sato has a really fun, aggressive style whilst Tomioka is a stop or be stopped fighter, who has only lost to highly regarded fighters in the form of Junto Nakatani, Katsunori Nagamine and Ryuto Oho. This bout will be held on April 6th.
Both of these bouts at 108lbs are really hard to call, though any combination in the final should give us something really special.
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