Just moments ago Japanese fight fans at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama got the chance to see 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner, and current OPBF Featherweight champion, Satoshi Shimizu (5-0, 5) [清水 聡] record his first defense of the title that he won this past October. The talented, and heavy handed, Japanese fighter from the Ohashi stable was facing off with gutsy Filipino challenger Eduardo Mancito (15-8-2, 9) but made the bout look like a relatively one sided show case, bouncing Mancito off the canvas a number of times.
The challenger came to fight and showed that from the off as he came out trying to attack Shimizu, but lacked the nuances needed to to get inside the much taller man. Instead Shimizu picked him off and scored a knockdown in the opening round.
Thanks to the knockdown Shimizu was winning 40-35 when the scorecards were announced, but Mancito wasn't going to go without a fight and continued to try and break down the champion. This came at a price and in round 5 the champion landed some heavy blows on the challenger, and scored the second, and third, knockdowns of the fight.
In round 7 Mancito was down again, and this time Shimizu wasn't letting him off the hook, going for the finish and forcing the referee in to stop the bout.
Prior to this OPBF title fight fans in the arena had seen Takuma Inoue (10-0, 2) [井上 拓真] take a competitive but clear decision win over former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (27-9, 15) [益田 健太郎], with Masuda refusing to ever quit and coming on strong late on. They had also seen Koki Inoue (10-0, 9) [浩樹井上] stop Korean visitor Dong Hee Kim (8-2-2, 3) in 4 rounds, whilst Ohashi novices Kazuki Nakajima (3-0, 2) [中嶋一輝] and Katsuya Yasuda (2-0, 1) [保田克也] had to settle for 6 round decision wins.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Yokohama will get the chance to see a pretty stacked card, with a couple of world title fights and an OPBF title fight. That same card will also feature a rather strong under-card, including a bout between the all action Koki Inoue (9-0, 8) [浩樹井上] and Korean (KBF) Light Welterweight champion Dong Hee Kim (8-1-2, 3).
Today those two men took part in their weigh in for their bout and both men came in on, or under, the contracted 140lbs.
The unbeaten Japanese puncher looked in amazing shape whilst coming in bang on the 140lb limit. He looked like a fully fledged Light Welterweight and it's clear that in 2018 he will have his eyes on titles, though of course will need to come through here.
The visitor, who is actually risking his OPBF ranking, came in well was way under the limit, coming in at around 137.3lbs. He looked, like many Koreans, very lean and like he could have done with packing on a few more pounds.
Although it's unclear if, or when, this bout will be shown on TV there is hope it will be shown uin the new year on a tape delay broadcast.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that 2017 will end with two big Japanese cards, one on December 30th and the other on December 31st, though details of the under-card for those shows haven't been very widely announced. Thankfully though we have now began to see details emerge for both shows, and both feature some notable names.
We've known for a while that the first show, on December 30th, will be headlined by WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12) [井上 尚弥], who faces French challenger Yoan Boyeaux (41-4, 26). We've also long known that that card is also going to feature Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (9-0, 2) [井上 拓真], who faces former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (27-8, 15). What we didn't know until the last 24 hours was that Koki Inoue (9-0, 8) [浩樹井上] would also feature, meaning all 3 of the Inoue clan will be in action on the show.
Koki will be up against Korean visitor Dong Hee Kim (8-1-2, 3), who has never been stopped, and has gone 10 fights unbeaten following a decision loss. Not only is Kim in good form, but he also managed tofight to a draw with the talent In Duck Seo for the Korean Light Welterweight title.
Other Ohashi gym fighters now confirmed for the card are former amateur standouts Kazuki Nakajima (2-0, 2) [中嶋一輝] and Katsuya Yasuda (1-0, 1) [保田克也]. Nakajima will be up against domestic foe Taiga Higashi (4-1, 1) [東大河] whilst Yasuda will be facing off with a Korean visitor.
On the 31st we get a world title triple header, with the stand out bout being the Light Flyweight title unification bout between WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一] and IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-2, 13). We now know that along with the three world title bouts the card will also include former world title challenger Shingo Wake (22-5-2, 14) [和氣 慎吾] and recent OPBF title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (8-2, 6) [谷口 将隆]. Both of these men will be facing Thai foes, in what we suspect will be easy wins, but it's clear the plan for bother fighters is to have something big in 2018, and just want to keep ticking over befoe the year comes to an end.
This past weekend Friday Korean fight fans had their latest chance to catch a KBF show, with the headline bout being a Korean title bout between Dong Hee Kim (7-1-2, 2) [김동희] and In Duck Seo (8-0-1, 5) [서인덕].
The fight saw the two men trade knockdowns during the fight, but at the end neither man had done enough to claim victory with the bout ending in a draw, resulting in Kim recording his first defense of the KBF Light Welterweight title.
For fans interesting in watching the bout it will be shown on Korean TV on tape delay later this month.
Sadly specific details on the bout are hard to come by with even our usual Korean sources having very limited details, and the only real footage we've seen of the bout has been courtesy of busanmbc.co.kr, who featured some very brief highlights of the bout.
On May 27th Korean fight fans will get an interesting double header courter of the KBF, along with promotional outfits J. Nine Promotions and Buffalo Promotions. The card, to be held in Busan, isn't the deepest or most interesting but it is a notable one domestically for Korean fight fans and could, potentially, help shape not only the Korean scene at 140lbs and 122lbs but also see a notable player emerge in both divisions for the Oriental scene at large.
The Super Bantamweight bout will see Jin Wook Lim (8-5-5, 2) defending his title against promising 21 year old Yo Han Bae (7-2-2, 1). Of the two fighters Lim is the more experienced and the more well known, having notable faced Satoshi Shimizu in Japan, but Bae has shown the more potential and the youngster will be looking at this bout as his chance to make a statement and claim his first professional silverware.
At 140lbs we'll see Dong Hee Kim (7-1-1, 2) defending his KBF crown against the unbeaten In Duck Seo (8-0, 5). For Kim this will be the first defense of a title he won last year, and he will be looking to stretch an 8 fight unbeaten record following a debut loss. As for Seo this bout will be his first title bout, but the 22 year old does look like a really promising fighter and will see this as a chance to not only claim a Korean belt but also begin to move towards an Oriental title fight.
The show looks set to be shown on MBC Sport in Korea and more details are expected to be made public in the coming weeks,
(Image courtesy of the KBF)
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