Former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (29-4-2, 12) was memorably seen being knocked out by a perfect uppercut from Marvin Sonsona in February 2014 in a bout from Macau.
Today Shimoda returned to the ring for the first time since that devastating loss and took on former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-2-2, 3) and claimed a hard fought decision win, which will extend Shimoda's career in the sport.
The fight was a hard fought one from the off but at the end it was Shimoda's experience that helped him see off the speedy and gutsy Seki.
Shimoda's fall from grace of the last few years has been remarkable. in January 2011 Shimoda claimed a career defining victory over Ryol Li Lee to claim the WBA title at 122lbs in an up and down affair that featured numerous knock downs. Sadly for "Sugar Shimoda" he would lose the title in eye catching fashion to Rico Ramos in his first defense and since then has struggled for real form. This win win however will help him rebuild the confidence he needs to move forward.
As for Seki this is a set back but one that we expect he'll come back from rather than one to be ashamed of.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The weigh in for tomorrow's enticing Teiken card from the Korakuen Hall took place earlier today.
One of the bouts on that card sees former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) making his ring return, his first since since being "iced" by Marvin Sonsona in Macau back in February 2014. Shimoda will be up against former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3) in what looks to be a real must win for both men.
On the scales this morning both men weighed in exactly on the Featherweight limit of 126lbs.
For Seki that's been his typical weight in recent times and is identical to what he weighed in at for in 3 of his last 4 bouts, including his sole loss to Satoshi Hosono. Interestingly for Shimoda it's a career high weight, though he was 125¾lbs against Sonsona.
Coming in to the bout Shimoda needs a win to remain relevant, at all, though unfortunately for him he has been the victim to two KO of the Year type losses in high profile bouts. He isn't likely to be KO'd spectacularly against Seki but he will certainly have some ring rust. Seki may not be a puncher but he's ambitious and would clearly love to add the name of the former world champion to his resume.
It's a great match up and one that and one that really could tell us where both men are going in their respective career's.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On May 1st we reported that former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) would be fighting on June 6, making his ring return following last year's brutal KO at the hands of Filipino sensation Marvin Sonsona in Macau. Today we can add to that by saying that his opponent for the bout will be once beaten Featherweight contender Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3).
The bout will be held at Featherweight, where Seki is ranked by the JBC, and will see Seki fighting in his most notable bout since last year's TKO loss to Satoshi Hosono in a Japanese Featherweigth title bout.
The bout really is a must win for both men. Shimoda knows that another loss, especially another brutal stoppage, will be the end of his career. He'll go in the favourite though having been out of the ring for over a year, and being win-less in more than 18 months, his confidence will be shot. Whilst the former world champion doesn't need to worry about suffering another KO of the Year type loss he does still nee to concentrate and make sure to put on a complete performance. For Seki a win would boost his standing in the sport, substantially, whilst a loss would almost certainly cost him his domestic ranking and any chance of getting a rematch with Hosono later this year or early next year.
Despite "only" being a domestic 8 round bout this is a genuinely intriguing contest and one that both men will be giving their all in.
Earlier today we were informed of the line up for "Fighting Bee Vol 10", a show announced for December 15th at the Korakuen Hall and we need to admit we were surprised in a lot of ways by the card which looks genuinely spectacular for a Japanese domestic card. Although 7 bouts have been announced so far, 4 really caught out eye for one reason or another.
The main event will see former Japanese Lightweight champion Akihiro Kondo (19-4-1, 8) battle against Tomoya Yamada (11-5, 3), if, and only if, Kondo wins his bout this coming Monday against Kaewkla Chaiyonggym (0-1). For Konda the turn around will be less than a month though it should help him keep sharp ahead of what could be a very big 2015 for the 29 year old tough guy. Yamada makes for a relatively interesting "stay busy" foe but shouldn't pose much of a threat to Kondo who we suspect will be happy to stay active and not be given a chance to pile on any extra weight ahead of the new year.
In the co-feature bout fans will see recent Japanese Featherweight title challenger Gosuke Seki (15-1-2, 3) fight against Yuta Nagai (28-10-4, 19). For Seki this will be his first bout since being stopped in 6 rounds by Satoshi Hosono back in Jun and will see him attempting to put that defeat behind him. As for Nagai, a former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger, he'll be hoping to avoid his 7th loss in 12 bouts. We suspect this bout is more about checking to see if Seki still has the desire to go on following the Hosono bout and although he should win the fight is more about the performance than just the result.
Another very compelling bout will see former Japanese amateur star Naoto Uebayashi (6-0-1, 4) risk his unbeaten record against former world title challenger Oscar Blanquet (32-8-1, 23). Blanquet is best known for his loss to Akira Yaegashi in August 2013 and although he has lost back-to-back bouts since then to Roman Gonzalez and Jose Salgado he should still be seen as a huge step up for Uebayashi. The Japanese fighter has been moved relatively quickly since his shock draw to the then unheralded Yusaku Kuga and we suspect a win here will be followed by either a title fight or a big step towards one in 2015. On paper Blanquet should be too small but this bout is certainly a huge test for the unbeaten Japanese fighter.
Uebayashi's most promising stable mate at the gym owned by Shinji Takehara & Takanori Hatakeyama is Hikaru Marugame (2-0, 1) who is scheduled to fight against the tough Ryoji Okahata (9-9-5, 1) on the same card. We're big fans of Marugame and are very glad to see him stepping up to 8 rounders this early in his career. He's possibly more talented than Uebayashi but hasn't had the fanfare of his gym mate and has instead had to impress in the ring. Okahata isn't a great opponent but is better than his record suggests and has ran talented fighters like Yu Kawaguchi and Jason Egara very close in losses so Marugame has got a bout that allows him to be compared to other notable domestic rivals despite his inexperience as a professional.
Whilst we wouldn't go as far as to suggest this is one of the best Japanese shows of the year it's certainly another welcome addition to the already packed December scheduled.
June 22nd saw the weigh in for the first title fight of the week. The Japanese Featherweight title fight between hard hitting Satoshi Hosono (25-2-1, 19) and the unbeaten challenger Gosuke Seki (15-0-2, 3). Both men, rather thankfully made weight at the first attempt.
Whilst is was no surprise the men made weight it was interesting to see that Hosono looked the bigger man despite both being pretty much the same weight on the scales. Hosono looked taller and more muscular though in fairness Seki did look in great condition himself.
Something we'd like to add is that this fight will be shown, on tape delay, on Fuji TV at 3:38AM Tokyo time on Sunday morning. That means we can all watch the bout, even if we do need to wait several days. From what we understand the show isn't being shown live anywhere.
(Image courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com)
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