Earlier today we had live action from Hyogo courtesy of Taisei Gym and TV Osaka who managed to give us a rather fun morning of action thanks to a 2-part show that had everything, despite massive amounts of disappointment before the event had event started.
First thing this morning news broke that the anticipated Light Flyweight bout between Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] and Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥] had been cancelled. The bout was called off today due to Konishi testing positive for Covid19.
Thankfully that bad news was blessed with some good news and that is that the JBC will extend Takayama's license for another year due to force majeure regarding the delays to his ring return. The JBC do have a rule where they won't allow someone over the age of 37 to fight unless they meet other criteria, including fighting in the last 3 years. It's now more than 4 years since Takayama last fought, but common sense has seen them extend his license. Sadly this is the second time a bout of his has been scheduled this year, and then been cancelled with Takayama originally scheduled to fight just before his 37th birthday before Covid19 forced boxing in Japan to be put on hiatus.
The event kicked off with a female bout between Kanako Tabuchi (2-0, 1) [田淵 加奈子] and Aoi Watanabe (2-4, 1) [渡邊 葵]. This was a really fun and exciting way to start the show, with Tabuchi looking to have a fight and Watanabe responding with some big counters. In the end it was Tabuchi who got her hand raised, though she seem to be very fortunate to get a majority decision victory over 36 year old Watanabe. This was, sadly, a sign of things to come with the judging, but the action it's self was fantastic and the perfect start to the event.
The second bout on the show saw Takuya Takahashi (0-3-1) [高橋 拓也] and Takahiro Hamazaki (2-6-2, 1) [浜崎 隆広] fight to a 4 round split decision draw. The fight started slowly, and first 2 rounds seemed to be better for Takahashi than they did for Hamazaki, with Takahashi showing some very nice boxing skills. Sadly for him however Hamazaki turned the bout into a high intensity street fight in the final 2 rounds, giving us 6 minutes of absolute chaos, as he pulled a draw from the jaws of defeat. This was the real highlight of the first part of the show and a joy to watch. Blistering tempo, huge shots from both and 2 rounds of brilliantly brutal violence.
The third bout, and final, bout from the first part saw Arata Matsuoka (10-6, 4) [松岡 新] take a clear 8 round decision over Hideyuki Watanabe (8-13-3, 6) [渡邉 秀行]. Despite the scorecards being rather wide, one of which was 79-73, this was a really competitive bout with Watanabe holding his own for large swathes of the contest in a really enjoyable technical bout. In may ways this was the palette cleanser after two crazy action bouts and despite Watanabe's unappealing record he showed that he is a very, very capable fighter.
After Matsuoka's win we then saw Katsunari Takayama come to the ring, where he spoke to the fans. With a microphone in his hand Takayama stated "I was looking forward to the return fight for the first time in 4 years and 3 months, but I'm sorry to say that I want to push forward. Please wait for a while. I have been practicing in a very good environment since then. I will continue to devote myself. I will devote the energy of two bouts to the next fight"
The show then went to an intermission for around 2 hours before we returned for 3 more bouts.
The first of those bouts in the second part of the show saw us return back to in ring wars as Wataru Ikegami (8-5-1, 5) [池上 渉] and Shion Tamada (6-4, 3) [玉田 汐響] put on a sensational battle. The first 2 rounds seemed to be good ones for Tamada, who seemed too quick, big and youthful for Ikegami. And then bout turned on it's head in round 3 with Ikegami putting his foot on the gas and battering Tamada through out round 3. Tamada then tried to turn the fight around and we ended up having a war through the middle rounds. Sadly for Tamada he couldn't slow down Ikegami, who's jab was a fantastic weapon, and in round 7 the pressure from Ikegami became too much, sending Tamada to the canvas. Tamada did well to beat the count but the referee made the correct decision to save him from further punishment.
The second bout on this portion of the event was, on paper, the most interesting bout and saw former world title challenger Sho Ishida (29-2, 15) [石田 匠] take a decision win over Toshiya Ishii (3-1, 2) [石井渡士也]. This was an intriguing match through out, with Ishii pressing the action and Ishida looking to box off his long and sharp jab. We thought Ishii had done enough to take the decision, with his pressure, uppercuts and body shots catching the eye, though he ate plenty of straight shots through out and was left with a nasty cut above his eye brow, very obvious facial swelling and a bloodied nose. This was a great mix of styles, though in the end it was maybe the experience of Ishida, who stole a few rounds with late activity, that proved to be the difference. Despite the loss we wouldn't write Ishii, in fact he'll have learned a lot here. Sadly for Ishida it's another win where he showed a lot of limitations, and despite having a brilliant jab and straight right hand he simply cruises too much, and that has bit him in the past.
The main event of the 2-part show saw former world title challenger Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) [加納 陸] over-come Ryoki Hirai (13-7-1, 4) [平井亮輝] to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. This one promises a lot but never really delivered. It started very, very slowly, as both men took a long time to figure the other out, boxing at range and being very cautious. In round 3 we got the first flash point of the right, with Hirai dumping Kano down with a right hand, but he failed to build on it. From round 5 the bout did pick up, becoming more of an inside war, but it was often messy action, with a lot of holding, heads coming together, and limited clean action. Both men had moments in these messy rounds, but neither could land a fight changing blow. In the end the judges were called on, again, and favoured Kano with a split decision. Given how little there was to split the two men it was hard to argue with the call here, and despite it being a close bout it's certainly not one we want to see re-run.
In a week where British fans are discussing the PPV price of upcoming shows, and promoters are defending those prices, it was great to see TV Osaka give us this show for free. It had several great action bouts on it and even with the disappointment of Takayama Vs Konishi the shows over-delivered. Well done to those involved in putting this together!
Earlier today in at the Sanda Hotel in Japan fight fans were able to see the latest show from Taisei Gym, featuring a number of talented young fighters.
The main event of the card saw former world title challenger Riku Kano (16-4-1, 8) [加納 陸] over-come 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up Tetsuya Mimura (8-2, 1) [見村徹弥] in a very hotly contested 8 rounder.
The open portion of the fight was very competitive with neither man getting a clear upperhand. Kano looked the faster fighter, and his body shots were landing well, but Mimura more than held his own, and seemed to be, perhaps, edging the the first 3. Sadly though Mimura then struggled to keep pace, and after the bout he explained that he couldn't do what he wanted in the final 5 rounds.
After 8 rounds the scores were 76-76, even, 78-74 and 77-76 giving Kano the majority decision win.
Kano's stable mates Arata Matsuoka (9-6, 4) [松岡新] and Hikaru Matsuoka (16-5-3, 2) [松岡輝], who are actually twins, also took razor thin wins.
Arata Matsuoka narrowly over-came Shota Asami (7-7, 4) [浅海勝太] with a split decision in an 8 round Flyweight bout whilst Hikaru Matsuoka, like Kano, ended up with a majority decision, as he over-came Retsu Kosaka (10-5, 4) [小坂烈].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today in Sanda fight fans had the chance to see Japanese Youth Flyweight champion Arata Matsuoka (8-6, 4) [松岡新] make his first successful defense, as he took a clear decision over Jukiya Washio (7-3-1, 2) [鷲尾樹貴也].
Washio started the fight looking sharp, making and finding a home for his jab. Matsuoka struggled at times in these early stages and lost the first 2 rounds, tough battled back well in rounds 3 and 4 as he worked his way into the contest.
Having battled his way back into the bout after a relatively poor start Matsuoka began to increased the tempo in the second half, having more and more success in the later rounds. The late charge from Matsuoka was enough to secure him the win, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 77-75.
After the bout Matsuoka revealed he was unhappy with his performance in the first half, suggesting he was stiff, but it certainly seemed that as the bout went on he got better and better. Interestingly Washio noted that he had started but lost his crispness as the bout went on. It should be noted that Washio had never been in an 8 round bout before this and that was likely part of his issue with him fading late on, whilst this was the second time Matsuoka had completed 8 round.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Sanda fight fans will get a couple of youth title fighters, including a Japanese Youth Flyweight title bout. That bout will see Arata Matsuoka (7-6, 4) [松岡新] make his first defense as he takes on 21 year old challenger Jukiya Washio (7-2-1, 2) [鷲尾樹貴也].
Today the two men took part in their weight in, and both fighters made the 112lb limit with room to spare.
The champion, the taller of the two fighters, was 111.3lbs on the scales whilst and looked very comfortable. The challenger on the other hand was 111.8lbs, though clearly looked the smaller man.
After the weigh in the two men both sounded confident saying they would win, though
Related - Youth Flyweight king Matsuoka takes on Washio
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans in Hyogo had the chance to catch a Japanese Youth title double header, thanks to the Taisei gym.
The first of the new champions was Arata Matsuoka (7-6, 4) [松岡新], who claimed the Japanese Youth Flyweight title with a dominant and decisive win over Hikaru Ota (9-9, 5) [太田輝]. Ota was out boxed from the first round by the quicker, Matusoka, who was up 39-37 on all 3 cards at the mid-way point, before controlling the second half of the fight, winning with scores of 79-73, 79-74 and 78-74.
Following Arata's win at Flyweight fans then saw his brother, Hikaru Matsuoka (15-4-3, 2) [松岡輝] take the Japanese Youth Featherweight title, with a technical decision win over Noboru Osato (10-7-4, 2) [大里登]. Hikaru, like his brother, was too good and too skilled for his foe, landing right hands in round 2 that caused Osato to back up. Sadly an accidental clash of heads left Osato cut on his forehead, and the could would later force the bout to be stopped at the start of round 5. By the time the stoppage came Matusoka had piled up the points, taking the decision with scores of 50-45, 49-46 and 50-46.
With the wins today the Matsuoka's become the first brothers to win Japanese youth titles, with defenses expected to come around May next year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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