Please note - Today's show from the Korakuen Hall won't be televised until this coming week, when G+ will televise the card "as live". As a result of not wanting to ruin the broadcast for those wanting to watch we'll be leaving this disclaimer in and begin with out results article from the third paragraph. We will, also, be uploading the videos after the show is broadcast in mid-week. So again, for those wanting to watch the fights as live in video section, do not read beyond this paragraph.
Today at the Korakuen Hall Teiken put on the next show under the long established Dynamic Glove banner, and it was one with a number of prospects in action and a few good match ups on paper. It was however one with a weak main event that was put together on later notice due to a fight being ruled off as a visiting fighter from South Africa was unable to secure a visa in time., and was certainly open to criticism given the fact that the late replacement hadn't been able to put up much of a fight in 4 previous visits to Japan.
So lets begin by talking about that main event bout which saw Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-0-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] easily over-come Filipino visitor Glenn Medura (10-6-1, 6), who was a late replacement for South African Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8). Medura was dropped twice before retiring in his corner at the end of round 4, and had posed very little threat for Ogawa, who will now face Fuzile in September in an IBF world title eliminator.
The main support bout saw Shuya Masaki (13-1, 5) [正木脩也] take a shut out 10 round win over Filipino youngster Al Toyogon (10-4-1, 6), in what will go down as one of Masaki's best wins. Earlier in the year with saw Toyogon ask some questions of Ryo Sagawa but here he looked very poor against a red hot Masaki, who himself showed improvements from a couple of frustrating recent bouts. Masaki will clearly be hunting a title bout in the near future, and a rematch with Hironori Mishiro, the current OPBF champion, is a bout that makes a lot of sense for the Teiken fighter. Mishiro however, may, have different plans.
In a Japanese Welterweight bout Riku Nagahama (10-2-1, 4) [長濱陸] managed to take a decision win over Masaya Tamayama (12-2, 6) [玉山将也], in what is among the very best wins for Nagahama. This was a hotly contested bout with Nagahama taking the narrow decision, 77-75, twice, and 77-76, and kicking off with a win following his recent move to the Kadoebi gym. Another close 8 round bout saw the touted Hayate Kaji (13-0, 9) [梶颯] squeak a win over Japanese based Filipino veteran Rey Orais (20-19-2, 5) with a split decision. Kaji, who came through the Rookie of the Year a few years ago and looked like a star in the making, struggled to hurt Orais who showed his veteran experience and perhaps deserved the upset here. Kaji really needs to get his career sorted as this is not the first time he has come close to suffering a defeat and it seems only a matter of time before he comes up short.
In a really interesting test former amateur stand out Kuntae Lee (2-0, 1) [李 健太] was forced to work for a win over the previously unbeaten Filipino Marlon Paniamogan (9-1-1, 5). Lee looked to always be in control, though Paniamogan refused to go away and was certainly the type of test Lee deserved after his debut, which saw his opponent really look out of of his depth. Lee showed off good technical boxing, sharp punching, but still, clearly, needs time to develop his professional style, and a bout like this will serve as a major tool in shaping him and correcting his flaws.
It was a much easier day for fellow amateur stand out Mikito Nakano (3-0, 3) [中野幹士], who blitzed Arvin Yurong (12-4, 3) in 2 rounds, in a very impressive performance. Young had been stopped 3 times prior to this, but had managed to ask questions last time of Xiang Li and in China. Today however Young was taken out mid-way through round 2 from a pair of Nakano right hooks. This was the sort of test Nakano needed and the sort that saw him stamp what he can do in the mind of fans.
To begin the show Takayoshi Suzuki (4-1-1, 1) [鈴木敬祥] scored an opening round win over Tsuyoshi Naito (4-5-4, 2) [内藤 剛], with Naito retiring at the end of the round.
The first title fight to be held in Asia in 2019 saw Chinese novice Xiang Li (4-0, 3) [李想] take on Filipino foe Arvin Yurong (12-2, 3) in a battle for the WBO Oriental Youth Lightweight title, in what was the first ever bout for the title.
The bout started cautiously, with Li staying on the outside early on and trying to maintain distance whilst backing off, that was despite looking like the more physically powerful man. Yurong however took Li's negativity as a sign to come forward and he had the first real success, with a combination mid way through the round. Li wasn't going to allow the round to just slip by however and came on strong in the later stages, whilst making his size and power count.
Li began the second round in much the same way that he ended the first, though this time Yurong went with him. Yurong had moments when he was firing back, but seemed to be backed up quite often as the power of Li took an effect on the Filipino. To his credit Yurong repeatedly bit down on his gum shield, looked to cut the space and work on the inside, where Li looked less comfortable than the visitor.
Yurong's determination saw him make round 3 into a firefight, though it seemed like it was a bad idea with Li being the bigger puncher and hurting him in the first minute. The big shots from Li were landing clean to head and body and he was throwing with real spite, though Yurong was showing a real warrior spirit in repeatedly walking forward, trying to get inside and work away with a high volume and body shots. It was a risky game plan from the Filipino, but a smart one given that Li was such a novice and had only gone beyond 3 rounds once, back in his debut.
Sadly for Yurong he paid for his risky tactics in round 4 as Li's power shook him, and sent him down to the canvas with a huge right hand late in the round, a round that Yurong had had real success in. Yurong tried to beat the count but he seemed completely gone and the referee rightfully stopped the action.
With the win Li claims his first title whilst Yurong suffers his second stoppage loss. There's a lot to like about Li, but there is a lot of improvements needed before he steps up a level. Despite the loss we'd love to see more of Yurnong, who looks like the sort of fighter who will always give his all, win or lose, and we can't criticise fighters like that!
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