In late 2014 Hideo Sakamoto (17-5-4, 5) [坂本英生] scored a career defining win, as he stopped Hiriko Shiino and appeared to put himself on the road to a title fight. A subsequesnt win over Ryoichi Tameda, and a very hard fought draw with Hiroaki Teshigawara seemed like they would help him on that road to a defining fight. Sadly though a stoppage loss in late 2015, followed by decision loss to Seizo Kono the following year seemed to put those dreams on the back burner.
Today Sakamoto's dreams of getting a title fight were all but killed as he suffered a shock defeat to 32 year old Takaaki Kanai (9-7, 4) [金井隆明], who essentially saved his own career after losing 4 of his previous 5.
The bout was close throughout, though Kanai seemed to strike first, finding a homefor his right hand in the opening and stepping up the tempo a little earlier than Sakamoto. To his credit Sakamoto put his foot on the gas and got himself back into a great position, before being dropped by a right hand in round 5.
The knockdown proved to be the key, with Kanai taking the decision 76-75, twice, and 77-75.
After the bout Sakamoto stated he couldn't do things at his pace, and sounded rather dejected, with his career now hanging by a wire. For Kanai the win was one that should push him into the JBC rankings and could open the door for a potential Japanese title fight down the line.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ealier today Japanese fans in Hirakata got the chance to see an intriguing show headlined by two men who simply couldn't afford a loss. And thankfully for both fighters, they managed to avoid defeat, fighting in an action packed draw.
Those fighters were Hideo Sakamoto (17-4-4, 5) [坂本 英生] and former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (26-8-1, 13) [川口 裕], who really fought like men who knew their careers were on the line.
Entering the bout Sakamoto was looking to redeem himself following 3 losses in his last 4, with the most recent being an opening round blow out defeat to Ryo Matsumoto. As for Kawaguchi he had lost 2 of his last 5, but his wins during that run really were unremarkable and low key affairs.
The bout saw two really evenly matched men both fight in pursuit of the win but neither looked comfortable with the other always having a response and something to fire back in what was a relatively exciting, yet messy, competitive contest.
After the 8 rounds neither man had really seperated themselves from the other and the result was the fairest, though both really did fight for the win.
(Image courtesy of boxing.jp)
Earlier tody Ohashi gym put on their latest show, and although not one of their super packed world title cards it was still a deep show littered with notable fighters.
In one of the shows earlier bouts former Japanese Light Welterweight title challenger Valentine Hosokawa (21-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン], who bounced back from his controversial 2016 loss to Hiroki Okada with a dominant decision win over Ohashi's Quaye Peter (9-9-2, 5). Peter, who must have viewed this as a must win, was never able to match Hosokawa and has now suffered 3 straight losses, leaving his career in jeopardy. As for Hosokawa the win ended a 2-fight slide and keeps him in the title mix.
Another fighter picking up a decision win was former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (20-6-1, 11) [岡田 誠一] who scored a straight foward win against Kentaro Yamada (8-8-1, 6) [山田 健太郎].
In terms of bouts that didn't go the distance there was a good domestic win for former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (22-2, 12) [原隆二], who took 6 rounds to see off Akiyoshi Kanazawa (14-7-4, 7) [金沢 晃佑]. For Kanazawa the loss saw him being stopped for just the 2nd time in 25 fights but Hara will need to score a tougher win to earn another world title shot.
Int he main support bout fans saw the fast rising Koki Inoue (7-0, 6) [浩樹井上] score a career best win as he destroyed Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Mitsuyoshi Fujita (10-3, 3) [藤田 光良] in 5 rounds. Fujita put up a good fight, and had some moments, but was broken down by Inoue's pressure, power and work rate. Now it seems like Ohashi will push for Inoue to get a title fight in the coming months, and with his style he is very TV friendly.
In the main event Ryo Matsumoto (19-1, 17) [松本 亮] defeated Hideo Sakamoto (17-4-3, 5) [坂本 英生] in less than 2 minutes to make a statement, and begin his hunt for a world title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last couple of years Japanese youngster Ryo Matsumoto (19-1, 17) [松本 亮] has had various out of the ring issues, including a serious one with his health. Earlier today however he made it clear those issues were done with as he swiftly despatched domestic foe Hideo Sakamoto (17-4-3, 5) [坂本 英生] in thoroughly impressive fashion.
Matsumoto, fighting as a Super Bantamweight, looked to impress, and although he was caught early his power told, dropping Sakamoto part way through the opening round. The tough veteran got back to his feet but was unable to cope with the speed and power of Matsumoto who sought a finish.
That finish would come soon afterwards with the referee halting the bout after just 117 seconds, following a second knockdown of the out gunned and out matched Sakamoto.
Following the win Matsumoto stated he was going to be heading to the gym, and not really resting too much, as he looks to secure a world title fight. The performance was a statement from the younster and although Hideyuki Ohashi can hold him back a little longer, we really can't see Matsumoto waiting much longer for a shot at the top.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see once beaten Japanese prospect Ryo Matsumoto (18-1, 16) [松本 亮] battle with domestic foe Hideo Sakamoto (17-3-3, 5) [坂本 英生] in what looks like a good match up between Japanese fighters.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both made the agreed 56KG's limit.
Although we weren't made aware of the specific of the weigh in weights we are aware that both men looked in great shape and that Matsumoto is fighting pretty much at a career highest. Interestingly the baby faced youngster has grown, by around 2", since having surgery for a serious medicla condition last year and it looks like he will be continuing his career as a Super Bantamweight, rather than as a Bantamweight.
For Sakamoto the bout is a must win, after going 1-2-1 in his last 4 bouts, and although he has shown cracks recently he is a very solid fighter who holds notable domestic wins over Kazuyoshi Niki, Hiroki Shiino, Ryoichi Tamura and Ryotaro Kawabata.
(Image courtest of daily.co.jp)
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