In Taiwan today we had an interesting, though small, card that featured a couple of title bouts, a few novices and some pretty interesting low key action.
In the opening bout of the card we saw Hiroto Watabe (2-1-1, 2) [渡部浩人] bounce back from his loss in May to Dominique Kenshin by stopping Thai teen Nanthipat Kesa (2-5, 1) in the second round. This was Watabe, who press from the opening bell and left the referee with little option than to stop the bout. Kesa was out of his depth throughout and could have been stopped earlier.
The second bout was again between novices, as ChianHuei Chin (0-1-1) faced the debuting Kai Ting Chuang (1-0) in a 4 round female bout. It seemed clear from early on that Chuang was the more well schooled fighter and she scored a knockdown in round 2 and mostly controlled the action. After 4 rounds all 3 judges agreed that Chuang was the winner, as she took a clear unanimous decision.
The third bout on the card saw young hopeful Yi Hung Chiang (4-0, 3) take on 37 year old Indonesian journeyman Said Fahdafi (3-8, 2) and score a very easy win. The Indonesian was dropped part way through round 2 and Chaing smelled blood. He would follow up by dropping Fahdafi twice more and taking a win that was very popular with the local fans.
Another Japanese fighter picking up a win on the under-card here was Seigo Hanamori (6-3, 4) [花森成吾], who was far too good for Thai foe Kittipong Jareonroy (3-5, 1). The Thai had come to fight but was out skilled, out boxed and outsped through out. The punch picking and accuracy of Hanamori saw Jareonroy being dropped from a body show mid way through round 2. Although the Thai got up from the knockdown he was dropped again soon afterwards and the referee waved the action off almost immediately. This was a third straight stoppage win for Hanamori who is never going to reach the top of the sport, but is going to be a fun man to follow.
The first of two title bouts saw WBA Asia Super Bantamweight champion Daisuke Sugita (6-1, 3) [杉田大祐] went up against tough Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (18-43-8, 6).
On paper this looked like a mismatch, but those who had followed Berwela's career over the year's knew he could be a banana skin for Sugita and the Japanese "Police Boxer". Sugita seemed aware of Berwela's reputation as tough guy and showed respect early on, despite being aggressive. As the fight went on we saw more ambition from Berwela who landed a number of solid left hands in round 3 and by the end of round 4 Sugita seemed to have a graze around his left eye, and a cut did open up around his right eye later in the bout.
Despite the ambition of Berwela was saw Sugita continue to get the best of it and Berwela only managed success in spurts, with counters. Sugita on the other hand controlled the tempo, but had to remain cautious and on point throughout, knowing that Berwela was a danger. In the final round Berwela, who knew he was a long way behind, went all out for the KO, throwing hayemakers, but was unable to catch Sugita clean with them, as the champion saw out the storm before firing back in a very fun final minute.
The second title bout saw the always fun to watch Ryoichi Tamura (13-5-1, 7) [田村亮一] take on Indonesian foe Moensaku Yor (6-6-1, 4) for the OPBF "silver" Super Bantamweight title. This turned out to be every bit the mismatch we'd have expected.
Tamura dominated the opening round but couldn't hate Yor in the first 3 minutes. In the second round however he scored a knockdown early in the round, and then dropped Yor three more before the round was over. After getting up from the knockdown the crowd applauded Yor, and his bravery. Thankfully the referee finally stepped in when it Yor was going to be dropped the 5th time in the round.
Tomorrow in Taiwan fight fans will see policeman-boxer Daisuke Sugita (5-1, 3) [杉田大祐] defending his WBA Asia Super Bantamweight title against Filipino veteran Edison Berwela (18-42-8, 6)m in what will be Sugita's first defense.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both man made the 122lb limit with no issues.
On the scales Sugita, who looked in sensational shape, was bang on the 122lbs limit for the bout whilst Berwela was comfortably under the limit, at 121.5lbs.
Despite suffering his first professional loss at the start of the year Sugita has had a good year overall who has claimed his first title, and now looks to make his first defense. Berwela on the other had started the year well, and picked up back to back wins, before losing last time out to Erick Deztroyer. Although the under-dog Berwela is much better than his record suggests, and has scored notable upset wins over Saenganan Sithsaithong and Jetro Pabustan.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
sEarlier today we were informed that Daisuke Sugita (5-1, 3) [杉田大祐] would be back in the ring at the end of November to make his first defense of the lightly regarded WBA Asia Super Bantamweight title.
The well regarded policeman-boxer will be defending the belt in Taiwan on November 30th, when he goes up against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (18-42-8, 6). On paper this is a total mismatch, but it's a good chance to Sugita to get some more international experience before bigger bouts down the line in 2020.
Also on this card will be former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-5-1, 6) [田村亮一], who battles Indonesian Moensaku Yor (6-5-1, 4) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Super Bantamweight title. The winner of this will, in theory, be the mandatory challenger for either OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶]or Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平], with those two set to fight for the main title on December 12th at Korakuen Hall.
At the moment it's expected that this card, like previous shows in Taiwan, will be made freely available to stream, and although the bouts are mismatches it's always fun to see Sugita and Tamura in action.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans from around the world got the chance to see the latest card under the Desafio banner of shows, Desafio 8 thanks to a legal live stream on the excellent Boxing Raise service. The card, held at the FujisanMesse at the foot of Mount Fuji, wasn't the strongest card but did feature several bouts of note, with a top prospect and two former title challenged involved.
The first of the 3 bouts of note saw unbeaten prospect Tsubasa Murachi (4-0, 3) [村地翼] take his first decision win, as he secured a wide 8 round victory over Filipino Raymond Tabugon (21-10-1, 11). The talented Murachi, who had fought a combined 7 rounds prior to today, looked sharp, composed and confident as he out boxed Tabugon, using his speed and combinations brilliantly to rack up the rounds. The most impressive thing from the Japanese youngster was his body though, and they really slowed Tabugon down in the later stages.
Although Murachi was unable to stop Tabugon this was a huge step up in class, and a very, very impressive performance for Murachi, who will find himself in the WBO Asia Pacific rankings when they are next up dated. It's worth noting that Murachi adds his name to 9 others that have beaten Tabugon, including Juan Hernandez Navarrete, Juan Francisco Estrada, Luis Nery and Andrew Moloney, not bad company at all for a man who only debuted a year ago! The scores for this were 80-72, twice, and 79-74 all in favour of the Japanese 22 year old.
A second bout of note on this show saw former Japanese Super Bantamweight Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔] score an 8th round TKO win over Yuta Horiike (15-7-3, 3) [堀池雄大]. This was a pretty fun fight, as most Furuhashi bouts are, but in the end the power and strength of Furuhashi proved to be too much, and he dropped Horiike in the final round. Although Horiike got to his feet a follow up attack forced the referee to to stop the contest, with just over half of the final round left.
The third and final bout of note saw former Japanese Super Featherweight title challenger Satoru Sugita (15-6-1, 10) [杉田聖] take a dominant victory over Daiki Ichikawa (11-6, 9) [市川大樹]. On paper this looked a pretty interesting match up, but Sugita was too good, too sharp and too intelligent for Ichikawa. Sugita would bust Ichikawa's face up with clean shots, leaving him bloodies and swollen. It wasn't the facial damage that would cause the end but instead the bout was stopped following a knockdown down. Sugita dropped Ichikawa hard in round 5, and the referee quickly waved the bout off, giving Sugita the stoppage win, and earning him the the KO prize for the show.
Sometimes fights exceed expectations, sometimes however they fail to reach the heights of excitement we had anticipated. One bout that failed to really deliver took place at the Korakuen Hall earlier today and saw world ranked Japanese Featherweight Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也] essentially go through the motions against former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-1, 3) [杉田大祐].
On paper this looked interesting. Abe had been in amazing form recently, reeling of notable wins on the domestic scene and earning a Japanese title fight, which he will get on May 1st against Taiki Minamoto. Sugita on the other hand had been a fantastic amateur, and is a full time police office who is fighting because of his love of boxing. Despite being a police office, Sugita was regarded as a real hopeful, and knew a win today would move him towards his own potential Japanese title fight.
It had the ingredients to be good. Sadly however it had a major issue. There was a huge gulf in class. From the opening round it was clear that Abe wasn't going to let Sugita have things his own way. He used his reach, movement and southpaw stance to make Sugita fall short, over-commit and generally look like a novice. It wasn't pretty or exciting, but it was what Abe had been doing to much more accomplished professionals before Sugita. Whilst making Sugita miss Abe would land the occasional stinging left hand, busting the nose of his opponent.
The nose would bleed for much of the bout and Sugita's issues weren't helped by the fact that Abe seemed so much quicker, sharper, smart and stronger. He was able to push Sugita around when he wanted, and able to just out think and out move him.
In round 5 the bout was essentially sealed for Abe who twice dropped Sugita. Sugita looked like he was being given a lesson in boxing by Abe who seemed happy to carry Sugita at times. Rounds 6 and 7 both saw Abe take things relatively easily on his man, as he looked to prove who the better boxer was. His mentality did however change in round 8, when he finally chose to prove who the better fighter was, and looked to stop Sugita, who was badly hurt in the final seconds of the bout.
Having managed to survive 8 rounds it was clear Sugita hadn't done enough to win, and all 3 judges had Abe winning wide, with scores of 79-71, 80-70, 80-70.
Next up for Abe is that aforementioned bout with Minamoto. Today's bout shouldn't see any delay for that contest as he looked almost untouched at the end of the bout. For Sugita the question of what's next is going to be an interesting one. He's tough, and can make for good fights, but a loss like this can cripple a mans confidence. He was being being played with at times.
Abe is fringe world class, at worst, and the performance today seemed to be him at about 50%, he really is a fantastic fighter, even if he's not putting on exciting performance, he is putting on clinics and we'd not be surprised if he embarrasses Minamoto later this year.
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