Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall got the latest show from Kadoebi. Although it wasn't a huge show, and had been a show cut apart by injuries that saw two bouts being cancelled in the build up to it.
Despite bouts falling through there was 3 bouts of note that were still on the show.
Th first of those saw former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (31-6-1, 14) [粉川拓也] prove there was still life in his career, not something we expected. The veteran took on domestic foe Hayato Yamaguchi (15-9-1, 2) [山口隼人] and managed to secure a 6th round TKO. The bout was competitive and exciting early on, with both men fighting well on the inside in round 2, as the pace picked up but by round 4 the physical strength and power of Kogawa started to break down the naturally smaller Yamaguchi. Despite being on the wrong end of things Yamaguchi dug his toes in, but it was for nought and he was stopped in round 6 when Kogawa landed a series of unanswered shots.
With the win Kogawa essentially saves his career, which looked done when he was knocked out by Jayr Raquinel last year. As for Yamaguchi it's unclear where he goes form this loss.
The second bout of note saw the hard hitting Yoji Saito (2-1-2, 2) [齊藤陽ニ] pick up his second win as a professional as he stopped Masashi Wakita (10-10-2, 5) [脇田将士] inside a round. From the off Saito pressed and pressured, using his physical strength to bully Wakita on to the ropes and around the ring. From there on Saito just unloaded, whilst Wakita tried to fight back. Part way through the round Saito's pressure forced Wakita to the canvas. To his credit Wakita got to his feet but the referee waved off the bout.
For those wondering why we're excited about a guy who started the day 1-1-2, Saito is a really, really exciting guy to watch, and we saw that here. He was a good amateur, and although he's not shone as a professional he is so much fun to watch and well worth following.
The main event saw Japanese ranked Lightweights clash as Kazuki Saito (7-3, 6) [斎藤一貴] faced off with Tatsuya Yanagi (17-6-2, 7) [柳達也].
Yanagi got the first break through of the fight in the second round, dropping Saito with a left hook. The shot landed solidly, but it didn't seem like a huge shot, and was sadly a case of what we've seen before, Saito not having a great chin. To his credit Saito fought back well, making a fight of things in the following rounds. That was until round 6, when Saito found himself pinned on the ropes and Yanagi unloaded until the referee stepped in to save him from further punishment.
For Yanagi this moves him a step closer to a Japanese title fight, whilst Saito's career really is hanging by a thread now, following a third loss in 5 bouts for the talented, though fragile Kadoebi promoted Lightweight.
For fans wanting to watch these bouts they have already been uploaded to the brilliant Boxing Raise service.
Tomorrow in Tokyo former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也] will be in action, in what is a must win bout for the veteran. In the opposite corner to the popular Kogawa will be Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Hayato Yamaguchi (15-8-1, 2) [山口隼人], in what could end up being low key one of the most exciting bouts of the week.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the Flyweight limit without any issues.
On the scales the 35 year old Kogawa was bang on the 112lb limit for the bout, and and looked in great shape. He is desperately in need of not just a win here, but a good performance following a brutal KO loss in 2019 to Jay Raquinel, and a string of under-whelming performances against the likes of Hideyuki Watanabe and Yusuke Sakashita. Sadly it has looked, in recent years, like Kogawa's long and hard fought career has been catching up with him, and his warrior style has likely taken something from him as he's aged.
Yamaguchi on the other hand came in at 111.7lbs. He looked in tremendous shape for what could be a chance to score a career best win. Aged 31 Yamaguchi is looking to bounce back from a 2019 decision loss to Daiki Tomita, in what was a WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight bout. Interestingly this will be his first bout at Flyweight since a 2015 win over Seiya Fujikita, and a win could open the door for him to got a title fight at Flyweight in 2021. Sadly though a loss for him would likely end any hopes of getting another title fight.
For fans wanting to watch this one, which could genuinely be a war, the bout will be made available on demand on Boxing Raise.
Back in January we reported that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (19-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] would be returning to the ring on March 26th at Korakuen Hall, in an 8 round bout against Korean fighter Hwang Kil Kim (11-2, 5) [김황길]. Today that bout was confirmed, with Kadoebi going further than just confirming the bout, but giving the full line up of the show, which will be SLUGFEST 14.
The card, which will feature only 8 round bouts, is a really interesting one, not just due to it being Okada's first bout in Japan in almost 2 years, but because several of the bouts are very well matched, or feature notable names.
The chief support bout will see former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也] look to bounce back from a heavy KO defeat to Jay-R Raquinel last year. Kogawa will be up against Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Hayato Yamaguchi (15-8-1, 2) [山口隼人], in what should be a relatively safe fight for Kogawa's health, but not a gimme at all, given that Yamaguchi is a talented fighter but a light hitting one. Whilst this isn't a gimme, it is a must win for Kogawa, who turns 35 in April.
Another notable fighter on this show is OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり], who fights in a non-title bout against Panturak Namtong (13-5-1, 9), in what looks like a stay busy bout for the Oriental champion.
In terms of more interesting fights we'll see Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (14-9-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] face off with Fumisuke Kimura (9-5-1, 6) [木村文祐], in what should be a very explosive 140lb bout, between two men who are limited, but can punch. An equally interesting match up will see Yoji Saito (1-1-2, 1) [齊藤陽ニ] take on Takahiro Araki (12-9, 2) [荒木貴裕], in what should be a very brutal match up, given the styles of the two men involved.
Arguable the most interesting of the bouts will see the highly regarded Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀] fight in his first 8 rounder as he takes on 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生], in a very good looking step up for Hiromoto.
Related - Hiroki Okada to face Hwang Kil Kim
Right now there are so many fantastic young Japanese fighters making a name for themselves in the lower weights that it can be easy to over-look some of them.
One fighter who was perhaps getting over-looked a little was Daiki Tomita (14-1, 5) [冨田 大樹], who hadn't received much attention since losing in an OPBF title fight to Tsubasa Koura last year. Today however Tomita reminded people what a talent he was, as he became the new WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion, beating Hayato Yamaguchi (15-8-1, 2) [山口 隼人] in Sakai City.
The talented Tomita took control of the bout early on, using a sharp jab to control the bout at range. Yamaguchi tried to apply pressure, fighting behind his own jab, but he struggled to have any sustained success due to Tomita's educated lead hand. Even when Yamaguchi did get close, with the intention of landing body shots, his success was quickly neutralised, with Tomita landing solid shots to Yamaguchi's mid-section.
As the bout went on the head shots of Tomita began to take their toll on the face of Yamaguchi, who was swollen and cut in the middle rounds. Yamguchi showed no quit, despite the marking on his face getting worse, and he actually had his best success in the middle rounds as the bout began more of a gruelling inside battle. It was however a draining effort for the veteran who became desperate, but also slowed from the body shots he'd taken through the bout.
After 12 rounds there was no doubting the result with Tomita taking the unanimous decision, via scores of 118-110, 117-112 and 115-113.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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