Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Ohashi promoted Phoenix Battle series of shows, which will be aired this coming weekend on Fuji TV. The card featured 5 bouts in total, a Japanese Youth Welterweight title bout between Rikuto Adachi and Takeru Kobata, a the professional boxing debut of Yoshiki Takei and an interesting match up between Taku Kuwahara and Yoshiki Minato.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, over the weekend we please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the the first under-card bout, which is unlikely to be televised at all, and then moving on through the other bouts on the show. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The opening bout on the show saw teenage hopeful Yushin Uchida (2-1, 2) [内田 勇心] score an opening round win over Shunsei Sawada (0-1) [澤田 春聖]. This bout, which lasted 161 seconds, saw Uchida drop his man twice to secure the victory.
Amazing the Japanese Youth Welterweight title bout lasted even less time than the opening bout on the show, and this ended with an upset! The much unfancied Takeru Kobata (9-5-1, 4) [小畑武尊] managed to destroy the once touted Rikuto Adachi (14-3, 11) [安達陸仁] in just 123 seconds! Adachi landed the first shot of note, a good body shot, but that seemed to kick start Kobata who pressured afterwards and landed a huge straight left. The shot dropped Adachi an the referee quickly waved off the bout.
For Kobata this is a massive win, a huge upset, and a career defining result up to this point in his career. As for Adachi, it's a second stoppage loss in 4 bouts, and not the return to the ring he would have wanted after more than a year out of the ring.
The third bout on the card ended up being the most competitive, though that wasn't saying a lot. That saw unbeaten hopeful Taku Kuwahara (8-0, 4) [桑原拓] take a wide 8 round decision over Yoshiki Minato (9-4, 4) [湊義生]. From the off Kuwahara was too quick, too sharp, too accurate and too good for Minato who gave a solid effort, but was second best in every facet of his game.
After 8 rounds the scores here were 80-72, twice, and 79-73 to Kuwahara. To his credit the winner did give Minato props, stating that he was strong and good at closing the distance, though the bout was still a clear win for the talented Ohashi gym prospect.
The chief support bout saw former K-1 champion Yoshiki Takei (1-0, 1) [武居由樹] begin his professional career, and do so in impressive fashion as he took out Kazunori Takai (6-8-3, 3) [高井一憲] in the shortest bout on the show. In fact this one lasted just 103 seconds! Takei pressed from the off and backed Takai on to the ropes, where he landed a good right hook and then brilliant combination to drop his man. Takai got back to his feet but was dropped again from a straight left hand just moments later. After the win Takei stated that he wanted to "become a fighter who can carry Japan on my back" an on the back of this performance he may well be able to do just that.
As a K-1 kickboxer Takei was a star and it seems like he has the tools to be a big star in boxing, having been responsible for a huge number of ticket sales on this event. That crossover appeal, added to his clear talent, makes him one of the most interesting prospects in Japan right now, and someone we suspect will be fast tracked.
In the main event fans saw unbeaten hopeful Andy Hiraoka (17-0, 12) [平岡アンディ] take a 3rd round TKO win over Fumisuke Kimura (9-7-1, 6) [木村 文祐], in what was a second bout between the two men. Hiraoka, who hadn't fought in Japan for well over a year, was in charge from the off, pressing the action and backing up Kimura. To his credit Kimura showed his toughness in the first 2 rounds, but in round 3 the referee had seen enough and stepped in, saving Kimura from further punishment.
Interestingly these two men fought back in 2018, and Kimura managed to last 8 rounds with Hiraoka, so this result was an improvement from the youngster. It was also his first main event, and the first time a show has been sold around him. It is however a clear sign that Hiraoka needs to step up now, and title bouts should be sooner rather than later. There's no reason for his team to hold him back, and Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific title fights should be on his radar for later in the year.
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see unbeaten hopeful Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11) [平岡アンディ] fight in a Japanese ring for the first time in well over a year, as he takes on Fumisuke Kimura (9-6-1, 6) [木村 文祐]. The bout between the two men, the main event of an Ohashi promoted show, is being fought over 8 rounds at a contracted 65.2Kg's (143.74lbs) and today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest.
On the scales Hiraoka came in at 65KG's, or around 143.3lbs, and was the heavier man. He was also the taller man and the man who looked in the much, much better physical condition. Kimura on the other hand was 64.4KG's, just under under 142lbs, and looked older and more battle worn than Hiraoka.
Notably this is a second bout between these two men who originally clashed more than 3 years ago, in February 2018. In their first bout Hiraoka dominated the bout but failed to stop Kimura, needing to accept a wide 8 round decision. Since then Hiraoka has gone 4-0 (3) and scored two wins in the US, whilst linking up with American promotional stable Top Rank. As for Kimura he he has gone 3-3-1 (2) since the first bout with Hiraoka, though is winless in his last 3. That poor recent form has seen him lose all the momentum he had from an upset win over Giraffe Kirin Kanda, from back in April 2019.
At the weigh in Hiraoka referred to their first first bout, and stated that he was looking for a KO here and was hoping to put in a performance that fans will remember.
For fans unable to see this at the venue, the bout will be shown on Fuji TV this coming weekend.
(Image credit - Ohashi Gym)
Earlier today Boxmob reported that the scheduled March 11th bout between former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (24-3, 21) [松本亮] and Takashi Igarashi (13-5, 5) [五十嵐嵩視] has now, sadly, had to be cancelled.
The bout, which was set for an Ohashi promoted show at Korakuen Hall, has been called off due to Igarashi suffering a nasty injury in sparring, which has left unable to be fight in less than a month's time.
The injury is, reportedly, a broken jaw, which would need significantly longer to heal than the 4 or so weeks we have until the bout.
Sadly this is the second cancellation from the show, with Kaito Takeshima (6-3-1, 1) [竹嶋海刀] needing to pull out of a contest with Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Toshiya Ishii (3-1, 2) [石井渡士也], due to health reasons.
Despite the cancellations from the show the event still promises a lot.
It features a mouth watering match up between Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] and Yoshiki Minato (9-3, 4) [湊義生], the professional debut of former K-1 champion Yoshiki Takei (0-0) [武居由樹], who takes on Kazunori Takai (6-7-3, 3) [高井一憲], a Japanese Youth Welterweight bout between Rikuto Adachi (14-2, 11) [安達陸仁] and Takeru Kobata (8-5-1, 3) [小畑武尊] and the return to a Japanese for the unbeaten Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11) [平岡アンディ], who battles Fumisuke Kimura (9-6-1, 6) [木村 文祐].
Even with those bouts still set for the show, we are crossing our fingers and hoping there won't be more cancellations from this event.
We've known for a while that the Ohashi Gym would be holding an event at Korakuen Hall on March 11th but until today many of the bouts on that card were unknown.
There were 3 bouts that were known. One of those was a clash between Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] and Yoshiki Minato (9-3, 4) [湊義生], which was originally planned for January before needing to be postponed due to Kuwahara being injured. Another was a Japanese Youth Bantamweight title bout between champion Toshiya Ishii (3-1, 2) [石井渡士也] and Kaito Takeshima (6-3-1, 1) [竹嶋海刀]. The third was a bout between former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (24-3, 21) [松本亮] and Takashi Igarashi (13-5, 5) [五十嵐嵩視], in what is expected to be an easy win for Matsumoto, who is looking to rebuild his confidence.
Other fighters named for the card were the world ranked 140lb hopeful Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11) [平岡アンディ], the promising Rikuto Adachi (14-2, 11) [安達陸仁] and former K-1 champion Yoshiki Takei (0-0) [武居由樹], none of whom had had their opponents named until today.
Now we know that that the 24 year old Hiraoka, who is ranked #12 by the IBF, will take on Fumisuke Kimura (9-6-1, 6) [木村 文祐] in an 8 round bout. On paper this shouldn't be a test for Hiraoka, but the reality is that it keeps him busy and sees him fight in Japan for the first time since July 2019. It seems likely that when he returns to the US, for another bout on a Top Rank show, he'll take on a more notable opponent.
We also now know that Adachi will battle against Takeru Kobata (8-5-1, 3) [小畑武尊] in an 8 rounder for the vacant Japanese Youth Welterweight title, making this show a double Youth title event. Adachi will be favoured here, though it is worth noting that he's fought since December 2019 and this will be his Ohashi Gym. Kobata on the other hand fought last December, losing a decision to Shoki Sakai on December 26th.
As for the debuting Takei, he will be up against Kazunori Takai (6-7-3, 3) [高井一憲]. On paper this looks to be somewhat underwhelming for Takei, who has looked very good in K-1 and looked very impressive in a recent spar with Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6-2, 19) [溜田剛士]. Takai, who's a 34 year old southpaw is 0-5-1 in his last 6 dating back more than 3 years, including 2 stoppage losses.
One other bout on this card will see 18 year old Yushin Uchida (1-1, 1) [内田勇心] battle the debuting Shunsei Sawada (0-0) [澤田春聖] in a 4 rounder.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Kadoebi put on their latest show in their "Slugfest" series. Although not a massive card it was certainly a notable one with a regional title fight and several good looking domestic bouts all on the event.
The opening bout on the show saw 23 year old Tomoya Yamamoto (5-2, 1) [山本 智哉] take a majority decision win over Shunsuke Isa (8-3-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔]. The bout started started at a great pace, but as it went on Yamamoto slowed his output on got on his bike, boxing well at range against an exhausted Isa, who gave everything in round 5. Knowing his man was tired Yamamoto put his foot back on the gas in round 6 to squeak the win the cards. This one was scored 58-56, 58-57 and 57-57 to give Yamamoto the win.
In the second bout we saw another youngster pick up a win as the 22 year old Kaito Okubo (5-1, 2) [大久保 海都] scored a stoppage win over Ryo Tanimoto (5-4, 3) [谷本 涼]. Okubo pressed the action early on, and made the taller Tanimoto uncomfortable, despite some nice shots coming from the rangy southpaw. From round 3 Okubo's pressure began to tell and he started to grind down Tanimoto, who was forced to hold his feet. Up close Okubo won the back and forth exchanges before dropping Tanimoto and forcing the referee to stop the bout. Not a bad performance at all by Okubo on his Korakuen Hall debut.
In one of the main supporting bouts Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (15-8-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] scored a stoppage win against Fumisuke Kimura (9-6-1, 6) [木村 文祐], in a bout between two JBC rankled Light Welterweights. The typically fun to watch Aoqui pressed forward early on and was getting inside with ease in round 2, something that didn't bode well for Kimura. As the bout went on Aoqui continued to increase the pressure and backed Kimura on to the ropes, with Kimura having no real answer. A clash of heads gave Kimura something of a respite, with Aoqui being cut around the eye, but it wasn't enough to stave him off. In round 5 a spiteful body shot took the legs away from Kimura and a follow right forced the stoppage.
The second of the major bouts was a Lightweight affair as Masanori Rikiishi (8-1, 4) [力石 政法] took a clear, and surprisingly comfortable, decision over Yuichiro Kasuya (13-3-2, 4) [粕谷 雄一郎]. Coming in here both fighters were JBC and OPBF ranked, giving a sense that this was a really meaningful bout, with the winner taking a huge step towards a title fight. The first round was tense, with neither man landing much of note, instead they were seeing what the other could offer, jockeying for ring position. That quiet opening round seemed to instill some confident in Kasuya, who pressed forward in round 3 and made the most of his jab. Sadly for Kasuya that was about as good as it got for him as Rikiishi woke up in round 4 and started to land his straight left hand, and footwork to land clean shots. Kasuya was cut in round 5 and had his pressure used against him in round 6 as Rikiishi started to run away with the contest. After 8 rounds we went to the score cards with scores of 70-74 and 78-74, twice, all in favour of Rikiishi.
In the main event of the show world ranked Flyweight Ryota Yamauchi (7-1, 6) [山内涼太] claimed his first professional title, as he defeated Satoru Todaka (10-4-4, 3) [戸髙達]. The bout was expected to be a bit of a mismatch and it turned out that way, with Yamauchi picking apart Todaka from fairly early on. Todaka tried to fight back but had no answered for Yamauchi who showed patience, skill, power and great shot selection. Todaka quickly had the fight beaten out of him and he seemed to be the verge of being stopped when the bell rang to end round 3. Well down, with his left eye damaged and looking like he had no chance Todaka's team took the decision to stop the bout between rounds 3 and 4. With the win Yamauchi takes a huge step forward with his career and opens up the possibility of a WBO world title fight. As for Todaka, this is almost certainly the end for him, with the fighter himself suggesting yesterday that this would be his last bout win or lose.
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