Yesterday at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans got the latest show in the Phoenix Battle series of events, from Hideyuki Ohashi and the Ohashi Gym. The card was certainly nothing massive, but it did feature a Japanese Youth title bout, as well as several touted Ohashi Gym fighters, who were looking to bounce back from recent losses.
The show kicked off with Yoshiki Minato ( 10-5, 5) [湊 義生] score a 2nd round TKO win over Yuji Okinori (10-8-2, 3) [興法 裕二]. Minato started the bout aggressively and got to work on Okinori's body early on. In round 2 his body shots took their toll, and he sent Okinori down. Okinori would show some fighting spirit by beating the count, but was down again soon afterwards, forcing the referee to wave off the bout.
The second bout saw once touted youngster Rikuto Adachi (16-3, 12) [安達 陸虎] score a 6th round TKO win over veteran Toshihiro Kai (6-14-3, 2) [甲斐 斗志広]. The younger, sharper Adachi got behind his jab well in the opening round, before crushing the distance in round 2 and getting to work on Kai, who had to battle back despite taking consistent punishment. In round 6 the pressure, combinations and connects of Adachi broke through, as he dropped Kai for the 10 count with a body shot.
In many ways the most interesting bout was right in the middle of the show, as Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Haruki Ishikawa (9-4, 7) [石川 春樹] faced off with the unheralded Ryuya Tsugawa (9-1, 5) [津川 龍也]. On paper this bout was the best on the show, and it really delivered with both men having moments, and both fighting as if the title was the most important thing to them. Ishikawa looked confident in the early going, but it wasn't long until Tsugawa began to have breakthroughs with his body shots, and clean accurate shots began to catch Ishikawa with regularity. Round 4 saw Ishikawa have his best round, landing a great left hook, but it was short lived success for the champion, who was dragged into a war over the following two rounds, with 6 rounds being a thrilling 3 minutes of action. Sadly for Ishikawa round 6 seemed to take the fight out of him, and in round 7 he was looking like damaged goods as Tsugawa went hunting a finish, forcing Ishikawa's team to throw in the towel. The win is, by far, the biggest of Tsugawa's career, and sees him netting his first professional title.
After a great title bout, we then had a total mismatch, as Taku Kuwahara (9-1, 5) [桑原 拓] bounced back from his 2021 loss to Seigo Yuri Akui, and demolished the horribly over-matched Takashi Hisano (6-6-1, 3) [久野 喬] in just 32 seconds. Kuahara came out aggressively, hurting Hisano with a left hook and unleashed shots until Hisano hit the canvas, with the referee waving the bout out.
The main event was also a mismatch as former OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (11-1-1, 9 ) [中嶋 一輝] score a quick win over Shohei Kawashima (18-7-2, 4) [川島 翔平]. Nakajima came out looking to close the gap and although Kawashima tried to fight back he was unable to cope with the power of Nakajima, who dropped him hard at the end of the round, with the referee issuing the 10 count and giving the finish at an official time of 3:00 of round 1.
Earlier today the Ohashi gym announced their third show of the year, which is set for March 8th at Korakuen Hall, and will see two men look to bounce back from recent losses, and will also feature a Japanese Youth title fight.
One of the fighters looking to bounce back is former OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (10-1-1, 8) [中嶋一輝], who will be up against Shohei Kawashima (18-6-2, 4) [川島翔平]. For Nakajima this will be his first bout since losing the OPBF title to Keita Kurihara (16-6, 14) [栗原慶太] back in October. On paper this should be an easy win for Nakajima, who has the edge in youth, power, and natural size, but Kawashima has got the skills to at least ask some questions of Nakajima, if Nakajima is questioning himself after the Kurihara bout.
The other fighting looking to bounce back is Taku Kuwahara (8-1, 4) [桑原拓], who is looking to rebuild after a 10th round TKO loss to Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (16-2-1, 11) [阿久井政悟] last summer. Kuwahara is, understandably, in a bit soft here after that loss as he takes on Takashi Hisano (6-5-1, 3) [久野喬]. This really should be a straight forward win for Kuwahara, but it's clear his team will want to see how he responds to the loss to Akui, especially given how brutal and tough that bout off.
In a Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title fight we'll see Haruki Ishikawa (9-3, 7) [石川春樹] make his first defense of the title, as he takes on Ryuya Tsugawa (8-1, 4) [津川龍也]. On paper this is a really good match up, and although it'll be third from top on the card, it could end up being the show stealing bout.
Other fighters on the card include Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-1, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] and Rikuto Adachi (15-3, 11) [安達陸仁].
In Nagoya earlier today fight fans saw a new champion being crowned as local hopeful Tom Mizokoshi (8-3-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] was dethroned of the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title, in his first defense, by the hard hitting Haruki Ishikawa (9-3, 7) [石川春樹].
Prior to the bout both men had stated that they were looking for KO's though that didn't show it's self in the opening round, as Ishikawa boxed calmly and Mizkoshi looked to land some solid counters, using his speed really well. Whilst the first round was a quiet one, it was the calm before the storm, with Mizokoshi looking to start round 2 quicker but ended up getting too close and eating a huge left hook that dropped the defending champion hard.
To his credit Mizkoshi got to his feet, but he was a wounded animal and Ishikawa smelled blood, going for the kill and knocking out Mizokoshi just moments later, when the bout resumed.
After the bout an emotional Ishikawa spoke about taking the title belt to his father's grave, following his dad's passing a year ago tomorrow. It was incredibly clear that the win meant a lot to him, and being able to score the win so close to the anniversary of his father's passing seemed to make an event more important win. He also stated that he would like to have a rematch with Toshiya Ishii (3-1, 2) [石井渡士也], who beat him in 2019.
As for Mizokoshi he notably complained about jaw pain after the bout, and this could be an issue as he did suffer some facial fractures following a loss last year, and it would be a huge shame to see those issues resurfacing here.
The under-card, on the whole, was weak however the main support bout did see the talented Narumi Yukawa (2-0, 1) [湯川 成美] score his second win as a professional, as he beat Kazuki Hase (5-3-1, 3) [長谷 和紀] in 4 rounds. The bout saw Yukawa starting offensively, and pressing, but he was dropped in round 3 from a hard left hook as his aggression was punished. Thankfully for him he recovered to his feat, composed, and went on to batter Hase in round 4, forcing a knockdown and subsequent stoppage from the referee.
Tomorrow fight fans in Nagoya will get the chance to see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] defending his title against Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹] in a really good looking match up, that not only pits two talented youngsters against each other but also men with styles that should result in a fan friendly and compelling contest.
Today, ahead of their clash, the two men took part in their weighing and were given PCR tests as they went through one of the final events before getting in the ring together.
On the scales the champion was around 121.8lbs and looked in great shape for his first defense of the title. He gave comments to the media, and he sounded really confident of not just winning, but actually going for the KO. He stated that, no matter what, he's get the KO and added that he wasn't even thinking about losing. Given he's built his reputation as a boxer, not a puncher, we do wonder whether this is the right attitude from him, but it's likely to make for an exciting bout.
The challenger came in at an identical weight to the champion, around 121.8lbs, and he explained that he was in perfect condition for the fight. He came in not just confident but also like a man with a real determination. It was revealed that his father passed away on June 28th last year, and it seemed that he was going to win for his father, with the anniversary of his father's passing being just a day after the bout. Given his style and his aggression he'll be in there looking for a KO, though will need to deal with the footwork and boxing skills of a very talented young champion.
Mizokoshi takes on Ishikawa in Boxer Vs Banger affair!
Yesterday we saw the unfortunate news break from Japan that the scheduled bout between former Japanese amateur standout Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ] and reigning Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] had been cancelled.
The bout, which was scheduled to take place on June 27th, has had to be called off as Tajima has been suffering from back pain, leaving him unable to train properly for the contest, and needing to cancel it.
Despite the bout being cancelled, the show it's self will go ahead as planned, with the Japanese Youth title fight between Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢], the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion, and Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹], now being the main event of the show.
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